This Holiday Season’s Mobile Strategies and Trends

Posted by Gracie Clemens

On Black Friday, mobile overshadowed desktop and tablets as 57% of traffic came from mobile devices this year (IBM). On top of that, 36% of online sales were attributed to mobile. Even when a purchase is completed on desktop, stats suggest that research took place on a smartphone. As comScore supports, mobile now accounts for 60% of our total time spent shopping online.

With so much going on, we wanted to identify a selection of trends we’ll be seeing this holiday season and why they’ll stay relevant in 2016:

In-store experience

High street stores are bridging the gap between offline and online to create the ultimate consumer experience. If you head to Burberry’s flagship store on Regent Street you’ll notice the brand has weaved technology throughout the store to improve your experience. For further reading on how digital is enhancing the customer experience in-store, take a look at our previous piece on the rise of digital in luxury.


While there are some barriers to beacons, Carling’s newest iPint app drives footfall and rewards in specific locations using these technologies. Download the app and experience how these work in practice. See our previous post for a detailed explanation of unique ways you can engage the consumer with beacons.

Mobile Search

Google evolved the mobile search game, causing mobilegeddon in April this year. As of May 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop in ten countries, including the US and Japan. Google has also provided the evidence to support how this evolution in search has triggered consumer change; “Mobile stands out, with nearly 50% of 25–34-year-olds using their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store”. Take a look around when you’re on the high streets this Christmas and you’ll see how many people are using their phones whilst shopping.

Mobile & Social

59% of the UK population has a social media account, 32 million of which are accessing these accounts through a mobile device. 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product they’ve heard about through family and friends, and 85% of people who follow your brand on Facebook are willing to recommend it. If you look for this, you’ll see all the leading brands focusing on using a strategy that incorporates the best of mobile and social.

Mobile Payments

Apple Pay made a nice marketing splash for the mobile payments industry but this is just the beginning. With 33% of Apple Pay users saying they use it whenever they can (, we expect the festive period (sales, Christmas shopping, drinks etc…) to trigger a surge in mobile payments. It’ll be interesting to see who wins the short-term battle of contactless cards vs. mobile payments as both unlock new, but similar consumer behaviours. These solutions are simplifying how we use our accounts to pay for items and reducing the amount of ‘things’ you have to carry to make payments. It isn’t changing our relationship with money, that’s a real task that has yet to be re-invented and ‘mobile’ will play a pivotal role in this change. There’s some further reading on this in our previous post ‘Apple Pay in the UK’.

Mobile and Digital Gift Cards

We can now keep virtual cards on our phones; whether it’s through an app or an email, make it easy to give and receive as gifts, or offer top up loyalty programs for those who buy more than once. Big brands such as Starbucks and TKmaxx allow consumers to purchase ‘egift cards’ and send them from your mobile phone straight to someone else’s. Don’t be surprised if you receive Mobile and Digital Gift Card in your stocking this year.

Final Thoughts

Every year, I notice a spike in Instagram followers after the 25th of December, which I’ve always assumed was due to smartphones being a common gift. Turns out Apple, Samsung and Nokia all report an increase in new device activations throughout the holiday season in 2014. This gives us piece of mind that a having a solid strategy and solution for the mobile generation isn’t just for the holiday season, it’s for life.

Read more about mobile and holiday trends here:

Apple dominates 2014 Christmas gift lists (Telegraph)

Black Friday goes mobile (Marketing Week)

Shoppers Go Mobile for Black Friday Weekend (think with Google)

Your 5 Mobile Musts this Holiday Season (ClickZ)

Checking It Twice: Key Steps to a Simple but Successful Holiday Mobile Marketing Campaign (Digital Marketing Magazine)

5 Holiday Shopping Trends to Watch in 2015 (think with Google)

UK Digital, Social and Mobile Statistics for 2015 #smlondon (SMLondon)

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