8 Mobile, Global & Social Trends Online Retailers Need To Know To Maximize 2012 Holiday Sales

“By 2012, global mobile commerce will reach $171.5 billion; by 2014, $352.7 billion... and US mobile commerce is expected to reach $11.6 billion in 2012, according to Forrester Research. We did a blog post a number of months ago: In 2016 Consumers Will Spend $327 Billion Online.  Here are some projections, predictions, trends, demographics, advice, and competitive pricing strategies for the upcoming holiday season from several leading analysts and research companies.  The 2012 Winter Holiday Survival Guide is available from Exclusive Concepts online marketing service, in conjunction with practicalecommerce.com:

Mobile, Global & Social Trends For 2012 Online Holiday Shopping: 

1. Strong Online Holiday Shopping Season Expected.  Depending on whom you speak with, analysts predict from a 3.3% to a 20% increase in revenue this coming shopping season. That's a pretty big spread, but most analysts say they expect a strong online shopping season, especially for electronics.

2. Increase In Online Holiday Shopping Predicted: 

 * “31% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year.”

 * “Seventy percent of holiday shoppers in 2011 said they made purchases online rather than in stores because online retailers offered better deals.”

3. More Online Holiday Shopping Will Be Done Using Mobile Devices.

* Mobile shoppers made an online purchase (an average of) 4+ times in the past year.

* 2011 saw 88% of online shoppers making a purchase within 24 hours of doing research for it.

* As computers are getting smaller, mobile shopping is growing.

* 41% of smartphone owners have purchased online.

* The use of tablet computers for shopping is increasing rapidly -- 85% of tablet owners have purchased online.

*In 2011, 68% of all mobile purchases were made using an iPad

4. Shopper Demographics Are Good Going Into The Holidays:

* Online shoppers typically spend $500 or more online every year.

* Online shoppers shopped online four or more times in the past year.

* Online shoppers are 52% female; 48% are male;

5. Friends And Family Exercise Great Influence Over Online Shoppers: Friends and family top the list of influencers of purchases at 90%; strangers 70%; experts 27%; advertisers 14%; and celebrities, 8%.

6. 50% more consumers than in 2011 already used the Internet in 2012, to find & share promotions, like coupons and sales, offered through social media.

7. “Consumer Shopping Patterns Have Diverged To The Extremes: Luxury retail is back for the higher-end consumer and discount retail is flourishing.”

8. “Nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they were done with their holiday shopping by the end of Cyber Monday.”

In addition to these trends, here are some sales tips from Exclusive Concepts for online retailers: 

* Do everything you can to engage your shoppers.

* Don't do anything to cause shoppers to leave your site -- especially to compare prices or search for more information.

* Provide clear descriptions and background information as well as technical information and support so your customers won't hesitate to purchase.

* Make your shipping deadlines and costs and policies easy to find.

* Offer flash sales, daily deals, and special promotions to keep your fans and followers following you.

* Use your checkout page to up-sell increased numbers of the item or related items.

* Market in many channels to increase your reach and exposure. Shoppers are extremely savvy and will go to many sites before making a purchase.

Takeaways:

To maximize your opportunities for success, know the trends, have a sound strategy, use the latest in competitor price and assortment monitoring technology, make pricing decisions in real-time, track your results, and provide the best, most consistent services to keep you foremost in the customer's mind -- not just at holiday time, but all year round.

(Editor's Note: Information sources include: Forrester; Gartner; IBM via Internet Retailer; RetailMeNot, Chainlinks Retail Advisors; and Exclusive Concepts via practicalecommerce.com). 

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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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