A person walking with a lot of shopping bags
By Scott Neslund Sep 27 2013 Blog

Capitalizing on Shoppers’ Tech Behavior During the Holidays

It’s September, and if you haven’t started your holiday marketing campaigns yet, you may already be late to the party. Of course, that’s an extreme assessment, but it’s no surprise that a select few marketers are already running holiday promotions.

With another holiday season just around the corner, these upcoming months mean big business for retailers. In fact, holiday sales have been shown to make up 40% of a retailers’ annual revenue according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In 2013, according to retail executives network Retail TouchPoints, this percentage is expected to increase by up to 20%!

New Opportunities
This growth comes with complications and opportunities. Consumers are now using a variety of technology to influence their path-to-purchase. For example, a study by ad serving technology provider PointRoll showed that 40% of consumers shop in-store but complete a purchase online, while 65% are doing the opposite and shopping online and buying in-store. For retailers, a strong digital presence has never been more important. Among consumers, 58% plan to spend more with multi-channel (online, in-store, mobile, etc.) retailers, according to a PwC study. Plus, emerging mediums like mobile (tablets and smartphones) are having a massive effect on the purchase cycle. In fact, mobile devices are expected to drive 10% of this upcoming holiday season revenue, according to the Retail TouchPoints report.

Bracing for the Holidays
In 2013, the retail industry is bracing for six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as compared to last year. As a result, many retailers are already getting a head start, given that 20% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in October (and 12% start before September!) according to the NRF. Even though holiday shoppers make up different types of demographics, nearly all shoppers will increase their use of technology this season. Consumers will leverage technology in a number of ways for price checking, product reviews, easy checkout options, coupons, credit card rewards, and more. The bottom line is that consumers are demanding shopping experiences on their terms. For advertisers, the notion of omni-channel marketing makes it important to understand how to properly reach these consumers and how to leverage different formats to drive them through the buying cycle.

Understand Your Customer
When planning for the holiday shopping season, a retailer needs to keep in mind the various ways they can leverage technology to get a better understanding of how their shoppers behave. Retailers need the insight on how buyers buy – where do sales come from, do shoppers browse online before stepping in a store, do shoppers see retail locations as showrooms? For example, high spending shoppers can be digitally savvy, especially with mobile. If this audience is more likely to use their mobile device while shopping every week, multi-screen solutions should be a strong consideration with campaigns. With that, day-parting will be important to better target consumers in the right medium, whether it’s desktop or mobile devices, and in the right format such as video, text, etc. Additionally, because it’s a challenge to link online campaigns results with local foot traffic in stores, brand lift studies from firms like KN Dimestore can help measure brand awareness for retailers in different regions.

Digital advertising for retailers is an enormous and complex job. With the holiday season coming up, it’s going to get more harried. To approach this marketing rush, retailers need a deep understanding of how their audiences buy and leverage technology to pinpoint the most valuable customers.

For more information on how Centro powers campaigns in the retail industry, please visit: http://medialogistics.centro.net/industry-solutions-retail.