November 19, 2014
Mobile usage among consumers in the United States is expected to rise during the prime shopping season this year, according to a new report by Criteo.
The look at shopping behaviors from the past year determined the data points for this holiday season. On the eve of the holiday shopping season, it is important for brands to understand the trends of shoppers when it comes to online spending among their U.S.-based consumers.
"Luxury brands can benefit from this data because it highlights that this industry has the highest share of mobile sales versus the retail average," said Mollie Spilman, Chief Revenue Officer at Criteo, New York. "Consumers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to make purchases, so it’s important to ensure their online shopping experience matches their in-store experience.
"Purchasing trends are moving towards mobile and therefore marketers must be able to accommodate consumers on mobile devices in terms of both site optimization and marketing strategy," she said.
Criteo built its analysis for its “Holiday Shopping Season, 2014” report around millions of online transactions from close to 500 U.S. retailers over desktop, smartphones and tablets in 2013 and 2014.
Santa's new bag
The holiday online shopping season begins on Thanksgiving Day and continues until December 19. The largest shopping cart size occurs on Thanksgiving Day and is estimated at about $147.
Luxury and fashion brands will see the largest share of mobile purchases this season, according to the report. Toys, gadgets and sporting goods followed luxury and fashion.
This holiday shopping season is about 20 days and retailers are expected to see a 30 percent increase in conversion rate and 5 percent increase in cart size.
Black Friday accounts for a large portion of mobile sales, but the true mobile shopping season is between Nov. 28 and Dec. 19. During the week of Christmas, Dec. 20-26, mobile sales fall 44 percent from the previous week.
Retail sales are predicted to be about 27 percent on mobile and 48 percent of mobile purchases will be from tablets.
Criteo has found that most tablet purchases occur in the afternoon, while smartphone purchases are in the morning and desktop shopping occurs during work hours.
The holiday outlook for mobile indicates that brands should direct attention to their mobile sites and ecommerce, not just the desktop experience.
A new report by the Shullman Research Center found that consumers across demographic categories, especially the ultra-affluent, will be shopping at online-only retailers this holiday season.
Although consumers will also be spending time in department stores and other retail locations, the prevalence of online-only retail preference speaks to a growing demand for convenience. As consumers weigh their purchasing options, the outcome often comes out in favor of online shopping (see story).
Online trends are also increasing in other industries.
For instance, 52 percent of luxury travelers say they are likely to book a trip on a smartphone within the next year, compared to the average 29 percent across all segments of travelers, according to a new report by Expedia Media Solutions and comScore.
Even with the proliferation of mobile usage, travel brands can’t discount other forms of digital marketing, including desktop Web sites and placement on publications. This is especially true for luxury consumers, who use the most number of types of resources to make their plans (see story).
When looking at their mobile strategies, there are a few things brands should do to ensure they are able to attract consumers toward their mobile sites.
"Brands should ensure that their mobile advertising strategy is in place so that they are sending highly relevant, dynamic messages to consumers that will quickly resonate," Ms. Spilman said.
"From there, brands need to ensure that they have a mobile friendly website that makes it easy for consumers to browse, select, and purchase items via their smartphone, tablet, etc.," she said. "If consumers cannot easily find and purchase the item on their mobile device, they will most likely make a purchase from a competing brand."
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York