My summer tan is quickly fading and all of a sudden it’s dark at 5pm. People everywhere are carrying some type of pumpkin flavored drink (what even is pumpkin spice anyways?!) and deep down, I know: it’s coming. The strange mix of dread and delight that settles in at the onset of holiday shopping mayhem. Time to deck the halls, right?

It’s also that time of year when you’re taunted by every form of advertising, urging you to not feel guilty for shopping. And for me, that means lounging in bed on a lazy Saturday morning clicking “Add to Cart.” Usually it’s more like, “One for you and, okay… one for me.”

So the question becomes: how do you encourage your customers with extra short attention spans (thanks to too many PSL’s and non-stop family time) to stay focused for 5 minutes and not end up on some Buzzfeed article in search of momentary solace from “holiday cheer”?

The answer: Don’t overwhelm and over-advertise to your customers. Instead, streamline their experience and cut through the holiday chaos by building personal relationships over mobile.

According to Deloitte, mobile interactions are expected to increase store traffic by 50% this holiday season. That’s a deal that can’t wait ‘til Black Friday. So, how do you make sure you’re taking advantage of the projected $55 billion budget to be spent on mobile marketing by 2015?

tapjoy_holiday-shoppingHoliday Shopping Habits of Mobile Consumers, Source: Tapjoy

Below are six tips to help make your customers’ shopping experiences merry and bright:

  1. Create exclusive mobile-only offers. Let your customers feel extra special. Make these offers time-sensitive and send them on specific major shopping days (i.e. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Eve).
  2. Celebrate mobile coupons. Consumers are projected to redeem 10 billion mobile coupons this year alone, according to research from Juniper. That makes consumers 10x more likely to redeem a mobile coupon than a traditional print coupon. Sorry, Valpak!
  3. Don’t forget about social. During the holidays, companies feel particularly giving.  Many brands sponsor and promote their favorite charity on social media, and donate a percentage of their profits for a worthy cause. Use the power of social media to make it simple for your customers to share great mobile deals on their social networks. Viral sharing campaigns, whether charitable or offer-based, are extremely successful and provide your company with more exposure and, in turn, more customers.
  4. Let your customers play. Your target customer may be adults ages 18-50, but at our core, we are kids that still love the thrill of games and winning. In fact, 74% of people play games for more than 2 hours per week. Create gamified experiences for your customers through surveys, spinner coupons and surprises.
  5. Make sure your site is mobile optimized. This is pretty much a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many reputable shopping sites I visit redirect me 3 or 4 times until I land on a poorly designed mobile site. Talk about a suboptimal user experience and total loss of my dollars.
  6. Send your customers targeted messages. SMS is the most direct and personalized channel to reach your consumers. Not to mention, it’s exponentially more affordable than television, radio and print, and has a measurable ROI. Create personalized interactions with customers who have opted-in to your SMS program and remember that these are your most loyal customers. Make them feel that way by using customer data to send targeted, meaningful messages at the right time.

Now there’s no longer an excuse for those mass emails or redundant jingles on television. You now know that mobile marketing and holiday shopping go together like a good scotch and a fireplace, so make me feel special and make it super simple for me to shop. Next time I’m lounging around in my pj’s on a Saturday morning and I receive a text with your promo code, I’ll most likely use it.

For more retail marketing know-how, check out our retail marketing LookBook. And, as always, feel free to give us a holler. We’d love to connect!

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