Holiday shopping tends to be one of my favorite wintertime activities because I love to see the decorations at the malls, experience the hustle and bustle of stores, and, best of all, give gifts to my loved ones. This year, consumers will spend on average more than 4 percent more than previous years in total spending for the holiday season, giving retailers the opportunity to differentiate in order to make that extra sale. In-store experiences, fun-themed pop ups and more are on the docket for online and brick-and-mortar retailers to create unique customer touch points, but one thing that we might have overlooked: more than 32 percent of shoppers will use mobile to check deals on social media posts, savings apps, and mobile search. Deal-searching shoppers are using all avenues to bargain with brands as typical holiday gifts like high-end toys, video games, or tech devices are rising in price. Let’s take a quick look at a few ways that brands can connect with these bargain buyers during the holiday season.
Location, Location, Location
What better way to use a coupon than to have it texted to you, as soon as you step in store? Send repeat buyers an email where they can sign up for coupon codes through text and use the data on previous purchases to formulate a personalized sale. Engaging and creative advertising is the key with this idea–differentiate your offerings from competitors’ with mobile-first design and creative CTAs. Brands using location-based marketing drove more than $17 billion in ad spend in 2017, and it looks like there’s no sign of slowing–consumers are demanding that kind of personalized experience.
Mall Wi-Fi is notoriously awful. For customers wanting to price check your items, read online reviews, or pull up a coupon in-aisle, forcing them to access the app store and download your native app while trying–and failing–to connect to mall Wi-Fi can be a major hassle. Cloud-based app experiences like Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) allow short-on-time customers to connect with your content and quickly find what they need. Using an activation method like scanning a QR or tapping an NFC chip located on your product can bring up an app-like experience that doesn’t require an app store download and runs on low-internet connectivity. UK retailer Debenhams has been using a PWA as a compliment to their retail brick-and-mortar stores for 2 years and saw a 50 percent cut in time spent from consideration to purchase, allowing shoppers to spot the sale and find similar products in store while ensuring customer satisfaction.
These innovative fixes to in-store customer experiences are paying off in major ways for brands that are thinking more about how bargain shoppers want to compare prices and plan for their purchase, while also giving them a unique and personalized experience. It’s clear that a solid mobile strategy can be the differentiator between landing those last-minute holiday sales and losing out to the quicker, nimbler competitor.