Consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever! Many began looking for gift inspiration as early as September and 20% started making purchases at the beginning of November. Millennials are leading the trend toward deal-seeking and early shopping— more than one fifth of Millennials began their holiday shopping research before November 1st (compared to only 18% of Gen X), and 38% had already purchased holiday gifts before Black Friday.
A Shift in Shopping
Analysts believe that digital will be the star of the holiday season and we’re seeing a drastic shift in the way consumers research, search, and shop for gift ideas. The vast majority are digital-first when looking for gift ideas (83%), researching gifts (85%), and purchasing online (74%), as opposed to in-store or browsing catalogs—only 17% say they look for gift ideas, 15% research, and 26% shop via other channels. Across devices, Millennials and Gen X consumers, and particularly women, were about evenly split between researching and shopping on smartphones and personal computers, while Boomers tended toward larger screened tablets and PCs.
Make It Seamless
Shoppers are finding gift inspiration from a number of sources, although online retailer sites and apps lead, search engines, email, online ads, and social media also inspire consumers to buy. While this research underscores the need for brands to implement a strategic, omnichannel approach to digital marketing, marketers should also look to reduce barriers to purchase. Researchers found that 72% of consumers use more retailer apps and sites during the holidays than they typically do, but warn that site/app performance is critical to conversion—26% of those who considered purchasing through an app or mobile site said they did not convert due to difficulty with navigation or functionality. Ensuring a seamless digital experience does more than boost holiday sales, 47% of those surveyed said they continued making purchases through the apps and mobile sites beyond the holiday season.
With the right tools and strategies, brands and retailers can win this holiday season. Learn how Women’s Marketing can help your brand reach the consumers that matter most to your brand. Contact us today to get started.
Source: Criteo 2016 Holiday Initiative Summary Report