Mobile Search: Mobilizing for the Holiday Season

Retailers think in terms of seasons, just not spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Instead, it’s Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer Fun, Back to School, and other major shopping seasons.  As fall closes in, businesses around the world are already thinking about Black Friday and the ensuing holiday shopping frenzy.  According to Google’s Mobile Ad blog, about 15 percent of Black Friday searches will be run on mobile devices.  It is worth taking the time to consider how to reach these searchers – and boost mobile and in-store sales.

The best strategy is to start now; Google predicts that over one-third of mobile shoppers will start looking, and purchasing, before Thanksgiving.  Black Friday is traditionally the start of the season, but “Christmas creep,” as it is known pushes the date forward year after year.  Be prepared; start campaigns, pre-holiday sales, and highlight attention-grabbing merchandise.

There are two big trends of which e-retailers should be aware.  One, mobile users comprise a sizable portion of the last minute crowd, and two, tablets and other “high end” mobile devices tend to drive in-store sales.  Let’s take a look at how this works.

While Black Friday is typically the biggest retail day of the year, last minute shoppers create a “second peak,” and a great opportunity for businesses.  Google reports that 44 percent of those looking for last minute gifts (defined as the week before Christmas) will find them on mobile devices.  Make sure you optimise your site to include location-specific information (directions, address, phone number, etc.), as well as targeted merchandise-related keywords.

The second trend is that while shoppers use mobile devices to locate products and stores, they often buy the products in person.  Last minute shoppers, again, contribute to this demographic because they may have missed free shipping deals (or have no time for shipping!) and want to save money and time by stopping in and picking up the gift in-store.

Tablet users, though, tend to shop in-store and spend moreSixty-five percent of “high end” mobile users (i.e., tablets, smartphones) use their devices to locate products or stores, and then visit the physical location.  Another interesting tidbit – and excellent reason to target mobile shoppers – is that tablet users tend to spend 50 percent more than traditional PC users.

The market is out there, even during rocky economic times.  Make it easy for shoppers to find you with sound holiday SEO practices.

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