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Trends to look out for ahead of the holiday season

It seems like Chinese e-commerce giant, Taobao has its eyes on Singaporean shoppers this Single’s Day. According to TODAY, Taobao has an “e-hongbao” with daily giveaways worth SG$2 billion.  The Taobao Lite mobile application, built for Singapore shoppers, will be provided with more vouchers. Meanwhile, in markets such as Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand, Taobao will be sending “flash deals” closer to 11 November, to drive anticipation on Singles’ Day promotions.

Clearly, e-commerce marketing campaigns are on the rise in Asia and many brands are banking on the holiday season to up their sales online. In the US, Adobe has predicted that online sales will increase 14.8%, totaling US$124.1 billion, while offline retail spending is expected to increase a modest 2.7%, this holiday season. According to Adobe, Cyber Monday will set a new record as the largest- and fastest-growing online shopping day of the year with US$7.7 billion in sales, a 17.6% increase year over year (yoy).

“As online shopping surges with another record-breaking holiday season, the retailers with compelling websites coupled with physical store locations will have the advantage,” said John Copeland, head of marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe. “Many shoppers want to interact with retailers’ products and the brand in-store, and the ability to pick up online orders in-store within a matter of hours can’t be underestimated.”

Keeping this in mind, Adobe has outlined several trends for marketers to take note of this holiday season:

The mobile revenue opportunity: Smartphones continue to gain share as consumers’ preferred devices for online shopping, representing 48.3% of visits and 27.2% of revenue. Mobile revenue is up 11.6% yoy. Yet, completed cart orders happen over 20% less on smartphones than desktop, as a result of abandonment from sub-optimal checkout experiences. Closing this gap equates to US$9 billion in mobile sales. Tablets are on the decline, making up 8.8% of visits (down 30% in four years) and just 9.6% of sales. Consumers using mobile apps will spend more time browsing and complete sales two times more often than on the web.

Emerging shopping trends: Voice-assisted shopping is on the rise, with 21% of consumers reporting they are planning to reorder frequently-purchased items and 17% placing one-time orders for in-store pickup using their voice activated devices. Adobe expects holiday shoppers to ship and return purchases more often compared to the rest of the year (5 and 18% more respectively), and to shop more for experiences like cruises and hotels on Cyber Monday. More consumers will stay home on Thanksgiving Day. 60% report they won’t shop in stores on Thanksgiving Day, up from 40% in 2016.

Top revenue-driving marketing channels: Retailers will be able to capitalise on loyal customers that go directly to their website to make a purchase, with revenue per visit (RPV) rising the most at 36%. Search has the second highest RPV growth at 23%, followed by helper sites like RetailMeNot (15%) and email at 8%.Retailers with online and physical footprints are expected to see 28% higher conversion online in comparison to retailers lacking a traditional storefront. Adobe Analytics data anticipates shoppers increasingly buying online and picking up items in-store (BOPIS) during the holiday season.

Social losing value for retailers: Social referral traffic will generate 11% less revenue per visit (RVP) compared to Q4 2016. It is the only marketing channel to see a decline in RPV, despite the increase in referral traffic coming from social. Adobe attributes this to consumers’ weakening trust in social networks. Shoppers are also expected to consult social media sites 25% less for gift ideas this year.

 

 

 

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