- The portion of mobile marketers that began preparing campaigns for this year's holiday shopping season in August has risen to nearly one-third from one-fifth who started this early in 2017, according to a study by YouAppi. In addition, more than half (55%) of consumers are ready for holiday messages between late August and November, compared with 47% in 2017.
- Ten percent of marketers say they've already started rolling out holiday themes, doubling the percentage from last year. While 7% of consumers think December is the only appropriate time for these festive themes, 38% are open to the idea of holiday season beginning after Thanksgiving — a drop from nearly half from last year.
- The share of mobile marketers who are planning something new this year rose to 87% from 74% in 2017, including fresh creative, acquisition methods, products, mobile video or technology. Top reasons for holiday campaigns overall include improved engagement (61%), new revenue generation (51%), greater consumer eagerness to buy (45%) and the ability to collect quality customer data for future campaigns (28%).
By readying their strategies even earlier in the year, mobile marketers will theoretically be better prepared to reach consumers before and while they start buying gifts. Holiday shopping is increasingly being done on mobile devices, with eMarketer forecasting that U.S. retail mobile commerce will hit $54.17 billion this year — compared to $40.87 billion last year — representing 43.9% of total holiday retail e-commerce. Overall, mobile devices will influence about $1.3 trillion of U.S. retail sales this year, after influencing more than $1.2 trillion in sales in 2017, per Forrester Research. While most transactions don't take place on mobile devices, many consumers browse products or price compare on smartphones, either in stores or on the go. This points to new ways marketers can more strategically engage with shoppers along their buying journey.
The YouAppi study suggests that mobile marketers see the holiday season as a particularly good time to connect with consumers, generate new revenue and collect data that can be used year-round, hence the earlier start. The study comes weeks after a new study by AdRoll found that kicking off holiday campaigns in October boosts impressions by 7%.
The holiday season should find spending support with U.S. consumer confidence at an 18-year high and the fastest economic growth in four years. Consumer spending rose 3.8% in Q2 2018 from a year earlier, according to the most recent available data, helping to drive stronger sales at Walmart, Home Depot and Nordstrom. Target reported sales growth of 6.5%, the highest in 13 years, as consumers opened their wallets for toys, electronics and home goods.