With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas right around the corner, it is once again, the most wonderful time of the year! Especially if you are passionate about bargain hunting and the holiday shopping festival that it is. But for some of us, this time of year can be most stressful, ahem…especially if you are one of those consumers that waits until the last minute to do all of your Christmas shopping.
As each year passes, stores are starting holiday deals earlier and earlier (WAY before Black Friday) with deals and promotions with Thanksgiving eve weekend becoming the most popular for happy holiday consumers taking advantage of early sales. And with the digital culture, it is no surprise that online sales keep growing year over year. Early data from IBM Watson holiday reporting are showing that more smartphones are gaining momentum over tablets for online sales:
Smartphones 9.2% 17.3%
Tablets 17.3% 18.5%
Since we take our phones everywhere, smartphones have always been the more popular choice for browsing products and retailers online but this year, they have almost doubled the margin from last year. While the increase in digital shopping on smartphones is overall good news for retailers, it doesn’t mean that it does not come without its challenges. While online sales continue to increase, the consumer attention span is declining. Average session length has gone down more than a minute over the past couple of years while the bounce rate has been increasing (higher on smaller screens). So it is becoming more and more difficult for retailers to not only capture consumer attention but keep it as well.
So what do retailers need to do?? The customer experience is so important from all aspects and need to move seamlessly and effectively across all channels in order to achieve full engagement and brand loyalty. It is imperative for retailers to understand their customer’s behavior throughout the entire customer journey – from awareness to advocation in order to personalize the experience. This is especially important as we enter the holiday shopping season – customer demand, tension and expectations are at an ultimate high. The customer experience has to be excellent, personalized, seamless and satisfying the customer online and in person. So to keep the holiday spirit alive, retailers need to make sure that their sites live not only on the web but rendered for mobile devices as well and are clear of all the clutter – more pictures and probably the most important piece, making the purchase process easy!
To stay on top of the latest developments this holiday shopping season, check in with our Perficient IBM Blog as well as IBM Watson Trend Hub. For further information on the customer journey and how you can utilize Perficient & IBM to improve customer engagement at every touch point, visit us at the NRF Retail’s Big Show! Booth #1024!