Today is Black Friday, the day that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers will be gauging sales to see if we have turned the corner from the recession. Retailers are also on the alert. Ho, Ho, Ho; Santa is going mobile!
Mobile marketing is on the rise thanks to more Web-enabled smartphones in the market. According to the October 2010 U.S. Mobile Briefing conducted by The Mobile Marketing Association, 59% of mobile consumers plan to use their mobile phone for holiday shopping compared to 25% in 2009. The briefing also revealed that 64% of the respondents that plan to use their phone to facilitate shopping, will check their phone before even stepping foot into a store. Asians, Hispanics and adults ages 25-34 are the three demographic groups that will use their phones the most; 13% of mobile holiday shoppers expect to use their phones to purchase or pay for their gifts.
Marketers understand the mobile channel facilitates a way to cut through the clutter. Consequently, in recognition of how consumers interact with content, they have geared up to provide an enlightened mobile experience this holiday season. Big-box, mobile commerce pioneer, Target is leading the surge. To demonstrate my point, let us get into the shoes of a typical, 25-year old Target consumer that is going to utilize their iPhone this holiday season. Yesterday, while sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, under the table they were busy checking out Target.com to prepare for today – store specific maps to better navigate the store to find Black Friday deals; searching the main Christmas category for gift ideas by age group that includes photos, ratings/reviews, availability and aisle location; managing their shopping lists. Today after sleeping in, they will wake up to a notification of Target’s daily deals complete with some scannable mobile coupons and then text their friends to exchange gift ideas. Later, they will check in from their local Starbucks in their weekly quest to become a Foursquare mayor and view Red Robin’s new YouTube video for the Gingerbread shake since there is a Red Robin across from the Target store they previously selected on their store locator. Once they arrive at the store, they will check in and be busy texting, tweeting, updating their Facebook pages, checking out Facebook Places to see the latest Gap deals, etc.
Santa, face reality, technology has taken over. You now live in the new age of social commerce. I suggest you get online to listen to all the social engagement that is influencing consumer behavior since the experts are forecasting that holiday mobile usage for 2011 will jump to 75%. I also suggest, instead of sweating over your gift lists, go down to Red Robin, purchase some gift cards to get your bonus bucks for your bucks and don’t forget to have a Gingerbread shake with your burger. OMG!