As the countdown to the holidays continues, shoppers are beginning to flock to the stores for their gift purchases. With almost 8 billion mobile devices around the world – yes, more than the current population of the world – you know a lot of these purchases will be done online.

Mobile Shopping Trends

This holiday season, online sales will continue increasing. More people are turning to their smartphones to search, compare prices, and buy. Mobile shopping is expected to go up almost 25% this year. In fact, 75% of shoppers with smartphones who, in the past, have generally made purchases at physical stores, have said they are open to new online retailers and brands this holiday.

Almost 65% of smartphone shoppers search and browse for gifts online on their mobile devices. Almost the same percentage turn to YouTube for gift ideas, especially when it comes to electronics. More than 80% of shoppers with mobile devices actually used them while in a store!

Smartphone Shoppers Are Getting Savvy

Today’s shoppers are savvier and pickier when it comes to online shopping – and they are also not afraid to shop around for what they want. Shoppers are turning more to product reviews when deciding what gifts to buy. Reading product reviews was one of the top three things shoppers did when shopping via their mobile devices.

In terms of your best bet for holiday promotions, free shipping should be high on your list. Apparently this promotion was used more than coupons or discounts last year at this time.

Just Having a Mobile Presence Isn’t Enough

It’s great to have an app for your brand, but by itself, it won’t drive shoppers to your business. They expect more so you have to offer more.

  • Tis the Season. Go all out. Use seasonal themes to get customers through the door. Ideally, you should tweak the theme to complement your brand or promote it in a clever way. Update themes when holidays change and stay “relevant”.
  • Up Your Game. It’s not enough that you look festive. Create compelling themed promotions and really drive in what makes your brand different from everyone else. Don’t get stingy with your PR budget when the results can be worth so much more than the expense.
  • Conquer the App Stores. Go the extra mile and create a unique and enticing icon. Consider making a fun and impressive video accompaniment. Showcase screenshots and visuals that play up the uniqueness and value of your brand – and app.
  • Stay Abreast of Your Target Audience. Invest in reputable analytics and make sure you never lose sight of your largest target audiences and how to attract them. Focus on them first before figuring out how to reach secondary target audiences.
  • Don’t Let Up When the Holidays Are Over. Keep the momentum of the holidays going straight into the New Year. While consumer traffic and transactions peak during the actual holidays, keep pushing during the denouement – there are plenty of shoppers who will be buying gifts, especially if they are out there returning and exchanging items, or waiting for post-holiday discounts.

Also make sure you keep upgrading your app. Even though many shoppers will download and use an app only during the holidays, more than 90% of them are open to using it again if it suits their needs. Use the data generated about your target audiences during the holidays to continually improve and add to your app in the long run.

The Holidays Are Just the Beginning

If you see the holidays as one of the many (albeit the most important) peaks of a continuing cycle, you can see why the season is not just a great opportunity to bring in new customers, but to strengthen your connection with current and newer shoppers for repeat business. Once you get into the “groove”, you will find your business expanding beyond the holidays themselves – and that’s the best gift you can give yourself.