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Mobile Eve - Twas the Night Before Christmas and All Through The House People Were Shopping on Their Mobile Devices

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December 17, 2013

Mobile Eve - Twas the Night Before Christmas and All Through The House People Were Shopping on Their Mobile Devices

By Tony Rizzo
TMCnet Senior Editor

If you are a retailer, a purveyor of goods, or otherwise engaged in attempting to entice people to spend money on gifts for the holiday season with your place of business you would be very wise indeed to heed the advice that that the night before Christmas – or Mobile Eve – is the most important shopping time of the year from a mobile device. Dubbed Mobile Eve by xAd, a global mobile-location ad platform vendor, xAD has delivered an insightful new report that strongly demonstrates that retail-related mobile search activity surges on Christmas Eve, with 24 percent more mobile search activity than Black Friday (News - Alert).

This uniquely-timed phenomenon is the result of course of last-minute shoppers scrambling to locate nearby retail stores that remain open with the hope of purchasing holiday gifts. Perhaps it should be referred to as Procrastinator’s Eve, but it turns out that Black Friday cannot hold a mobile candle to people in urgent need of scoring gifts at so late a date.

For us it is an interesting phenomenon. We were, in our younger days, of the absolute belief that all Christmas shopping should take place on Christmas Eve. Most of our friends and neighbors have long been convinced we had a mental problem of some sort. Eventually, as age and perhaps wisdom caught up with us (or maybe it was just the Web) we began to relax our penchant for Christmas Eve shopping. To be sure we still go out on the hunt on Christmas Eve (and no, we will never use our iPhones for this – a key part of the idea here is to get out there with the carolers) but we no longer worry if we happen to come back empty handed.

But the folks at xAD have in mind here far more desperate sorts and true procrastinators. In any case they form a captive audience and knowing they are out there means one thing – opportunity to sell your wares and goods! This means being prepared to serve these last minute shoppers is critical to your holiday business planning. The most critical question that requires answering is – is our business properly set up to allow those smartphones and tablets to easily access our online storefronts, easily discern our schedules, easily allow us to quickly step in and say, yes – we are just around the corner from you and we are open and ready to save you from certain embarrassment.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds to be prepared, but knowing that you should be and need to be prepared is the first crucial step to making Mobile Eve your own favorite retail holiday. Let’s take a look at the following chart:

Clearly last minute activity ramps up a mere three days before Christmas, at which point we see a spike directly in line with Black Friday activity. Ah, but then we arrive at Christmas Eve itself and as those last minute needs reach a fever pitch when consumers search for the nearest retail location to find and purchase those final gifts mobile activity jumps the 24 percent we noted earlier.

For these shoppers locked in the moment of their gift-buying procrastination, it is the brick and mortar stores – and more specifically their location and proximity to each person on the hunt, that are not merely preferences at this point but a dire necessity. Finding the perfect gift and having it shipped at the height of holiday madness, overnight or even same day, is just not available with most online retailers - and let’s leave out of this Jeff Bezos and his recent dream of shipping same day to you via robot drones!

This then is your real opportunity as a retailer. To be prepared to capture the moment xAD recommends the following strategies, which we’ve quoted directly from their report:

  • Do the Research - We are long past the years of unavailable insights and blind testing. There are a variety of insightful and well respected reports available to the industry, and even more available to us as an advertising platform. These will allow you to better understand and identify with your consumer audiences and their specific behaviors found during the holiday season;
  • Lock in Location - Because Mobile Eve demonstrates user preference in finding and visiting physical storefronts, targeting should be focused around the vicinity of each store location. Research from our 2013 Mobile Path to Purchase Retail report found that 50% of mobile consumers are looking for a storefront within five miles of their current location – and when it comes to Mobile Eve, the closer the better. Therefore, focusing ad placement on the areas immediately surrounding each location, or competitor locations, taking into consideration each location’s store hours, and user search activity in the area, will help refine the targeting and help drive increased consumer visitation during Mobile Eve;
  • Creative Couponing - It’s hard to resist a sale, and during the holiday season, consumers are always on the lookout for the best deals. In fact, 28 percent of mobile users said they are more likely to click on an ad that contains a coupon or promotion of some kind (2013 Mobile Path to Purchase: Retail). Make sure all that hard work in targeting isn’t lost on ad creative that falls flat. Leverage dynamic, locally relevant, mobile coupon creative that promotes the best sales and steals each store location has to offer. This type of ad creative is great for last minute clearance messaging and door busters;
  • Measure and be Merry - Recent advancements in mobile location technology allow retail advertisers to track and analyze your last-minute optimized campaign from click to foot traffic. Store Visitation Lift studies are a great way to gather in-depth mobile consumer activity based on the physical locations visited during the campaign period, and the best way to prove campaign ROI.

Ask yourself this question: Why should Santa get all the glory?

Well, perhaps Santa should get all the glory (we think so), but follow xAD’s advice and you will at least end up with a good deal more mobile-driven profit! That should certainly leave you and the customers whose lives you’ve made less disruptive and less embarrassing feeling extra merry.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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