The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is finally beginning–children scramble to find the perfect gift for their mothers, friends hunt for the best White Elephant gift, and families stock up on food for the cold holiday hibernation to be spent together. Here at SA, our favorite part of the upcoming holiday season is not the search for the best wrapped present, but rather the marketing and advertising that consumers will soon find knocking at their doors (literally and figuratively!).
Businesses and organizations are beginning to roll out their best marketing in hopes of leaving a good impression with you, and hopefully your wallet. Here are some of the biggest trends in consumer advertising that you can expect this holiday season:
Web optimization – A report on website performance from Radware in 2015 found that 57 percent of consumers will leave a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. With online sales increasing year after year during this season (this Cyber Monday saw a news sales record of $3.45 billion, which is a 12.1 percent increase from 2015, according to Adobe Digital Insights), optimizing your website to address bugs, lags or missing features sooner rather than later is ideal. Monitoring sales analytics driven by websites will also be used to measure the effectiveness of one’s online design and content.
Native advertising – The best holiday advertisements are the digital pieces that don’t seem like holiday advertising at all. Native advertising looks and feels more natural and tends to relate to consumers on a more personalized level, like Buzzfeed posts, for example. Sharing this content marketing on social media will be crucial for brands this holiday season.
Free shipping – Consumer expectations have increased dramatically when it comes to the speed and cost of shipping. E-commerce retailers will need to think strategically about their delivery times and prices for their products and many will begin to test free or reduced price shipping to see how it affects their sales numbers.
In-store technology – Augmented reality, geo-fencing, personal checkout scanners- we’ll see an increase of in-store technology this holiday season like we’ve never seen before. This increase, 43 percent to be exact, will begin a revolutionizing shift in marketing trends. While each store or company has different technological capabilities, each will utilize sound, video and other eye-catching devices to keep you in their store as long as possible. For example, Apple’s iBeacon uses geo-fencing to activate an app on a consumer’s phone with coupons or deals once they are near a store, which is currently used by high-end brands like Duane Reade and grocery chains like Safeway.
Mobile buying – This is by far the biggest 2016 holiday marketing trend, after last year saw 50 percent of shopping visits and 27 percent of online sales driven by mobile devices, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Many consumers will go in-store to experience and test a product and then proceed to buy that product on their mobile devices right from the aisle. With this increase in mobile buying will also come an increase in mobile marketing-providing personalized mobile ads on apps and browsers, streamlined mobile payment options, and even store associates with mobile devices to optimize customer service in-store.