Mobile Trends for the 2016 Holiday Season

Read Time: 5 - 10 min

Ever seen this meme?

 

august_no_bear.jpg

 

Well, ‘tis August already. The years move pretty fast. August 1st to Christmas is 146 days. That might seem like a lot, but consider the fact that most people begin shopping for Christmas at the end of November -- and now we’re at about 105 days, which suddenly seems like a lot less. That’s barely over three months. 


By this point, we all know about the rise of mobile overall. There are more mobile devices on the planet than people. (There are also way more cell phones in the world than toilets.) Some massive continents, i.e. Asia, are increasingly mobile-first with everything, and that includes shopping.

Mobile shopping is a massive industry right now:


In short: mobile shopping is huge. And it’s getting even bigger.


Now back to this bear above, the one who’s upset about August getting here. Our bear friend is upset because the year’s moving quickly, and it means -- provided he has a smartphone, which he might -- that he needs to begin thinking about holiday shopping. 116 days!

Holiday sales in 2015 were about $626 billion. That represented 3% growth from 2014. It’s also 7.825 Bill Gates’ worth of money spent in about 30 days. There’s a lot of pie to be divided up for retailers.

Each year since smartphones arrived, a bigger piece of this pie has been going to mobile -- and in 2015, 57.2% of online Black Friday traffic came from mobile devices, outpacing desktop by about 13-14%, That’s a 174% rise in mobile usage on Black Friday from 2014, and on Cyber Monday 2015, mobile drove 49% of web traffic and 28% of sales to the tune of $514 million.


That’s a lot of money on the table.

The lesson for retailers is simple: you have 105 days until the holiday shopping season really gets going. Make sure everything about your mobile e-commerce platform is working. Test and iterate. Make sure it’s an easy process for consumers. Deliver a type of customer experience via mobile that you’d be proud to use. Your brick and mortar may deliver more money, yes. Your desktop experience may account for a higher percentage of online sales, indeed. But as the stats above prove, if you don’t focus on mobile and make sure that experience clicks for potential consumers, you’re putting yourself at a severe disadvantage and leaving money on the table. And mobile’s only growing: everything you learn about optimizing for the holiday season this year helps you better plan for next season. The holidays only roll around once a year, but they do come every year.

 

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