During the holiday season, we focus so much attention on when people buy, how much they spend, and whether it got there on time that we tend to overlook what happens once gifts are purchased. An equal test for retailers — both online and brick-and-click — will be making returns as easy as the purchase itself.
The mostly unreported story of Black Friday weekend is that much of the ecommerce growth came from “bricks-and-clicks” retailers, not pure-play e-tailers. The reason: Physical stores offer a critical customer experience and serve as a “brand anchor,” both of which support ecommerce for traditional retailers. Stores drive online sales because they instill a sense of confidence and trust in the consumer.
Cyber Monday was one for the record books. U.S. shoppers spent nearly $3 billion through digital channels, making it the single largest online sales day in history, according to Adobe, and continuing a string of firsts this holiday season. Mobile continued to display strong momentum from the holiday weekend in driving website traffic and sales.
If U.S. consumers proved reluctant to spend their Thanksgiving holiday in stores, they demonstrated few qualms about shopping online. Digital commerce was up significantly from 2014 levels. The momentum continued into Black Friday, which also saw brick-and-mortar spending reach its highest totals since 2012. The biggest winner over the holiday weekend was mobile: Its share of website traffic and online sales reached record highs.
The holiday season isn’t just a big time of year for retail spending; it’s also a big time of year for retail spending data. The stats indicate one common trend: Purchasing is going to be more omnichannel than ever. Here’s a rundown on some key data points for this holiday shopping season.
Retail activity this holiday season promises to be more omnichannel than ever, courtesy of the ever-present smartphone. That raises the stakes for retailers in terms of their preparedness and complicates their attribution metrics. With online-to-offline shopping dynamics in focus, this may be the long-awaited breakout year for beacon technology.
Today marks the beginning of a crucial week and month for retailers, as shoppers clamor for deals and steals on presents for family, friends, and coworkers. Whether in-store, online, or a mobile device, an astounding amount of retail business will be transacted in the next five weeks. RetailMeNot vice president of communications Brian Hoyt said to expect a more personalized, more omnichannel holiday shopping season this year, courtesy of the ever-present smartphone.
Around the holidays, consumers tend to spend a lot more time on multiple devices, altering standard shopping habits and behaviors. This means brands and businesses need to ensure they are accurately and competitively represented in search, social, and mobile channels, and that social engagement and advertising efforts are properly targeted to the right consumers at the right times.
Black Friday is a week away. Is there anything brands and merchants can do before then to make their local marketing stand out amid the holiday crush? Yesterday’s Street Fight webinar, “Real-Time Location-Based Marketing Strategies for the Holidays,” in conjunction with Brandify, indicated there’s still time to implement some practical tactics that can make a difference.
What’s on the mind of technology and marketing suppliers targeting the connected local economy? They’re keen on mobile — perhaps too keen — but struggling with their own companies’ brand awareness. The dichotomy between small businesses and national chains that sell locally is profound, and presents difficult challenges in scaling to support either, let alone both, according to Street Fight Insights analysis.