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The Black Friday countdown begins. Projections for this holiday season’s sales are high; ShopperTrak is predicting a 3.3% increase in sales over 2011. According to the Hay Group, more than half of retail leaders say they’ll achieve the increase without the help of deep discounts used for the past three holiday seasons.
Instead, retailers are betting success on a whole new kind of consumer: one who uses their mobile device to enhance in-store shopping, creating a point-of-purchase experience where digital and traditional retail collide.
According to a dotJWT mobile retail survey, last holiday season, 55% of consumers used their mobile to find price and product information while shopping. Only 38% made a purchase via the mobile web. Yet the number of smartphone owners continues to climb, and two demographics -- men and teens/tweens -- are steadily using their phones to complete purchases. This mobile online market is bound to grow for holiday 2012.
Retailers will use this behavior to drive more sales over the next two months. Here are some of the cool tactics being employed:
- Snap to shop: 38% of Gen X-ers and 51% of Millennials are happy to snap QR codes or pictures, and their interaction will launch product demos or details online, or even augmented reality, like Macy’s used in 2011.
- It’s in the experience: Earlier this fall, Target released a shoppable short film. While watching the story unfold, viewers can highlight items throughout the video; when finished, they can share them online and buy them immediately. Retailers will continue to push the boundaries of what smartphones can do with video, app interaction, and more – creating new platforms for shopping.
- Location, location, location: Smart retailers will capitalize on location-based technology to reach shoppers in the proximity of their stores. A quarter of those who made online purchases via mobile did so while out shopping. Whether it’s via SMS or social networks like Yelp and Foursquare, retailers will boost their relevancy and give customers already out shopping two places to buy: in-store and online.
- Wherever, whenever: The other 75% of mobile shoppers made purchases at home, at work, or at a friend’s house. That means they’re shopping in spare moments, whenever they have web access. The key is good SEO and SEM – so when a consumer uses online search, smart retailers receive a top result. Retailers will also emphasize a mobile-friendly, or mobile-optimized online store to help earn repeat business beyond the holiday season.
- Text & email coupons: This holiday season, expect more “flash sale” communications, where retailers offer short-time deals while consumers are in a shopping mindset. This simultaneously allows retailers to shift quickly, driving sales at underperforming stores or products, rather than discounting the whole experience.
Get your walking shoes on--or your thumbs ready. This Friday, it’s time to shop!