People are starting their holiday shopping earlier this year and millennials are leading the movement in digital gift purchases.
According to Criteo’s “2016 Holiday Initiative Summary Report,” mobile-driven millennials are a key retail target for the upcoming holiday season. With 20 percent of consumers making holiday purchases before Nov. 1, millennials are taking the reins as digitally-savvy shoppers, with 37 percent that research products on a smartphone and an additional 70 percent that are open to trying new retail apps during the holidays that they haven’t used before. Retailers that target millennials are more likely to sustain a loyal consumer relationship beyond the holiday season and advance in retail’s digital transformation.
“With consumers across the U.S. beginning their holiday shopping earlier than ever, the e-commerce landscape has the potential to reach record-breaking sales revenue this year,” said Criteo’s executive vice president of marketing, Elie Kanaan. “Those that strategically target millennials will not only succeed during the holiday season, but will also reap benefits far beyond the new year.”
Before Black Friday hits, millennials and other consumers are starting their holiday shopping much earlier than expected. By Nov. 1 last year, 41 percent of consumers had already begun searching for holiday gift inspiration and 34 percent had already started their holiday shopping research. Last year, a fifth of millennials (21 percent) started researching before Nov. 1 and 38 percent of millennials already purchased their holiday presents before Black Friday. With an early start to holiday shopping, retailers may have a great opportunity to hone in on millennials through m-commerce.
As the most mobile-savvy consumers, many millennials will do their holiday shopping on smartphones this year. With about 40 percent of millennials researching products on their smartphones compared to only 18 percent on tablets, retailers may want to make their digital platforms and inventory even more mobile-friendly. Of those millennials that are unbiased to new retail apps, more than half (53 percent) will continue to purchase from these new apps throughout the year beyond the holiday season.
M-commerce will also play a crucial role in holiday shopping for other shopper demographics, if retailers provide them with a seamless digital experience.
Twenty-six percent of shoppers considered purchasing through a mobile site, but failed to do so when their mobile purchases were expensive and had poor navigation. Fifty-percent of mobile shoppers said they disliked mobile notifications and 47 percent disliked retailer texts during the holiday season.
Although m-commerce has some challenges, a majority of consumers, including millennials, are using digital platforms to buy gifts for themselves this holiday season. Three-quarters (75 percent) of holiday e-commerce shoppers researched gifts for themselves and 69 percent bought themselves gifts on a mobile device. Eighty-three percent of millennials also will engage in “self-gifting” this holiday season and use their smartphones to buy themselves presents.
With the popularity of m-commerce on the rise, 72 percent of consumers will use more retail apps during the holiday seasons and 47 percent will continue making purchases through retail apps into the new year. As consumers favor digital over brick-and-mortar, retailers may want to consider their e-commerce and m-commerce capabilities to not only succeed during the holiday season, but preserve consumer relationships throughout 2017 as well.