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2018’s Biggest Holiday Ad Trends & How to Use Them




December 1, 2018 | Article written by Carly Morris

 
This holiday season, mobile advertisers are tuning in to the season’s latest ad trends. As the industry continues to flourish year over year, every digital marketer should be feeling confident in their ability to reach new audiences on mobile and to harness all the hot new trends and opportunities available to them – this season and beyond.

 
 

The Holiday Mobile Ad Opportunity

In today’s digital world, 55% of consumers are on their smartphones at least three hours per day. This ever-growing share of mobile time spent provides advertisers with more opportunities than ever to engage their audiences and boost their bottom line. And, when it comes to the holiday shopping season, this rings true at a particularly high level.

This year, consumers are projected to spend a great deal of time and money on mobile. For example:
 
● In comparison to 2017, holiday sales are projected to increase 13% this year, with mobile devices pushing 68% of online store visits and 46% of orders
 
● Compared to last year, 80% of consumers will spend the same amount or more on holiday gifts
 
61% of millennials will use a mobile phone to browse gifts, while 1 in 6 will follow all the way through to purchase
 
● Many mobile purchases will be made during “idle time,” like while riding public transportation, waiting in line, or other quiet down time

 
 

How Mobile Is Used Around the Holidays

To best reach consumers on mobile, it’s important that advertisers understand how and why shoppers are using their mobile devices when shopping online.

Here are the main ways that mobile users will leverage their phones for holiday shopping:
 
● 71% of shoppers use mobile to compare prices
 
● 69% use mobile to research products
 
● 61% use mobile to communicate with friends and family about gift ideas
 
● 55% use mobile to read product reviews
 
● 45% use mobile to get directions to a brick-and-mortar store location

 
 

Top Mobile Trends of 2018

Now more than ever, it’s not enough to simply have a mobile presence. Advertisers should be intimately familiar with the latest trends and advancements to ensure their user experiences are seamless, from first ad impression to checkout.

To keep up this holiday season, here are a few trends and best practices to consider:
 
● Get Social This Season
Consumers spend about one-third of their online time on social media. During the 2018 winter holidays, it’s estimated that social media will account for 5% of all eCommerce traffic, which represents an increase of 17% over 2017. Review your data closely or turn to a trusted partner to help measure your social impact and audience engagement by channel, and then optimize accordingly.
 
● Leverage New Technologies
This holiday season, AI-based product recommendations will account for 35% of total revenue. Remember to tap into resources that can help you personalize ads and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
 
● Everyone Loves a Freebie
During the holidays, consumers tend to put more in their carts than the average shopping spree, and they like to feel rewarded accordingly. To encourage sales and show your appreciation, you can experiment with different incentives and opportunities this season. Most last-minute shoppers can be swayed by free shipping, which about 72% of all orders will offer this year.
 
● Provide New Ways for Consumers to Pay
Although people are in the giving spirit during the holidays, finances can still be tight. One way to encourage sales is to offer alternative payment methods and longer-term layaway installments. In fact, 69% of consumers are likely to buy using payment financing options during the holidays this year.
 
● Get Your Mobile Site Ready for Increased Traffic
The biggest faux pas is when ads drive a consumer to a site that is slow, or worse, down completely. Google recently found that 40% of shoppers will leave a site that takes over three seconds to load on their phones. Make sure your mobile site or app is prepared for the mass influx of holiday shoppers over the coming month.

 
 
When all is said and done, there’s nowhere better to turn than your own data. Take a look at all the different aspects of your campaign and site/app performance over the course of winter holiday seasons past, and consider where you’ve been successful and where you still have room to improve.

Now’s also the time to start gathering data on this season’s performance, both for present day optimizations and for a leg up when next year rolls around. It’s never too early to start preparing!