October 19, 2016 | Business | by Alexian Chiavegato

Holiday Shopping Is Right around the Corner

Candy canes and snowflakes won’t start appearing for a while yet, but for mobile publishers, we’ve reached the part of the calendar where the holiday season is truly upon us. The holidays provide an opportunity for everyone, not just retailers, to benefit from the money consumers spend on gifts during this season. Increasingly, mobile is becoming a big part of the shopping experience, not only for making purchases, but also for doing research as shoppers plan out their lists.

According to a new report from RetailMeNot, an online destination for shoppers looking for deals, the holiday shopping season ramps up in the beginning of November. Last year consumers’ interest in finding deals climbed 21 percent on November 7, and then continued to climb before peaking on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This means publishers have just three weeks to get ready to take advantage.

Mobile saw a bigger role in the holiday shopping process last year. For browsing purposes, mobile eclipsed desktop, and while it still lags behind for purchases, it’s closing the gap every year. Among Millennials, 39 percent said they planned to use their smartphones to shop on Black Friday, and 49 percent said they would do the same on Cyber Monday. Knowing that consumers will be shopping for gifts from their phones, mobile publishers would be wise to map out a clear advertising plan to reach them.

For retailers, mobile is more than just a way to provide another platform to sell products and services—advertising on smartphones and tablets also gets people through the front door at the mall or on Main Street. Marissa Tarleton, CMO of North America for RetailMeNot, says, “We continue to see mobile content drive more sales and foot traffic for brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers have a big opportunity to acquire new customers this holiday season via their mobile marketing efforts.” We’ve talked about it before here, but location-based marketing through mobile devices is a great way to get people into a storefront. Some 76 percent of people who search for an item near their location find a local store and visit it within a day, and 28 percent make a purchase in that store.

Multi-channel marketing is key. Among those surveyed, 83 percent say they plan to use up to six different channels during their holiday shopping. Making mobile a priority is a crucial way to make sure your business is making the most of the holiday shopping season. If you’re using mobile advertising, there are multiple strategies for driving sales. Offering incentives is always effective. Ads that can be presented for a discount in the store or a promo code that can be used online always work well, even more so during the holiday rush. Mobile also allows you to target users by their location or by the product they’ve been browsing for, so you can ensure that when one of your ads is served on a phone or tablet, it shows up in front of someone who actually needs the product or service you are selling.

As mobile advertising continues to grow it becomes ubiquitous in all areas of business and publishing, and the holiday season seems to make the importance of mobile clearer every year. The time to maximize the success of your holiday mobile marketing campaign is now. The clock is ticking.