It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—and consumers are checking out earlier than ever.
Despite Deloitte’s prediction that flat personal income growth in the first quarter of the year will dampen the spending spirit slightly, shoppers are already responding to promotions, particularly on their mobile devices.
That’s according to the “2015 Holiday Insights Guide for Retailers” report from online coupon site RetailMeNot, which found that while Black Friday is the number one day for mobile shoppers, consumers are increasingly relying on their smartphones and tablets to “research during the holiday season and are converting across platforms and in stores later.”
“As the majority of consumers roam the mall and shop from their couch armed with smartphones, RetailMeNot’s research also shows that retailers who invest in these digital channels with varied omnichannel promotions will build their brands, better engage shoppers, and improve sales conversions in those mobile moments,” said Michael Jones, senior vice president of retail and brand solutions at the company, which aggregates retailers’ digital coupons on its website and mobile app.
Based on company data from 2013 and 2014, as well as a consumer survey conducted in conjunction with Kelton Research in September, shoppers are browsing well before Black Friday: The report noted that 54 percent of shoppers expect promotions to begin in October or earlier and 85 percent expect deals to begin before Black Friday. So it’s crucial that retailers invest in a variety of promotional content before November and into late December.
“There is a growing perception amongst consumers—right or wrong—that discounts and deals on Black Friday aren’t always worth the wait. Increasingly, shoppers are looking for promotional opportunities earlier in the holiday buying cycle,” Jones continued, adding, “Retailers do not appear, according to our research, to be fully taking advantage of consumers’ promotional appetites during this post-Labor Day period.”
Mobile will gain momentum this holiday season
While nine out of 10 purchases are still made in-store, RetailMeNot data discovered that “among Black Friday shoppers who took to the stores in both 2013 and 2014, 34 percent felt the in-store deals worse than the previous year.”
Furthermore, apparel retailers received the highest number of requests for more in-store content on the app during the 2014 season. To that end, clothing retailers should take advantage of mobile moments that help push in-store purchasing decisions as smartphone-wielding shoppers browse the aisles.
“Mobile app visits and transactions should continue to climb during the 2015 holiday season, and if trends continue, we may see mobile web visits surpass desktop as well,” the report concluded.