‘Mobile Black Friday’ Only a Few Months Away in the U.S.

Filed in Mobile Engagement, Mobile Marketing by on July 23, 2014 0 Comments

Black_Friday-ThumbnailOK, let’s have a show of hands. Who of our U.S. audience has or knows of someone who has left their Thanksgiving meal early or camped out overnight just to get their hands on that super-discounted flat screen TV or that must-have toy? Well, next time, how about pulling up your favorite retailer’s app to bag that deal on your mobile phone as you lie on the couch nursing your holiday food hangover? Sound better?

The amount of Black Friday sales moving to the mobile channel is truly staggering, and it’s making a case that Black Friday is fast-becoming “Mobile Black Friday.” Black Friday, for those outside the U.S. who may not be familiar with this day, is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November) that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and is one of the most crazy-busy shopping days of the year. As an indication of how this shopping is moving to mobile, last year, according to IBM, mobile traffic grew to 39.7 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday, an increase of 34 percent over 2012. And mobile sales were also strong, reaching 21.8 percent of total online sales, an increase of nearly 43 percent from 2012.

The increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets has made shopping amazingly accessible to consumers anytime, anywhere. Adults are now spending an average of 141 minutes a day using mobile devices, and eMarketer predicts that by 2016, mobile sales will account for $87 billion, or a quarter of all e-commerce. As a result, the opportunity for retailers to engage consumers on Black Friday and other popular shopping times has never been more important, and for retailers planning their 2014 holiday marketing campaigns, making them mobile-centric has simply become a must.

In particular, this holiday season, retailers can leverage the power of mobile to realize these three benefits:

  • Identify mobile customers and deliver the right message to the right people – wherever they are, on whatever device they use.
  • Engage the maximum number of customers by using multiple channels of communication, including apps, messaging, email and social media.
  • Optimize action and coupon-redemption by tailoring offers to consumers’ individual shopping habits and behaviors.

However, mobile can add yet another layer of complexity to an already frenetic holiday shopping season for both retailers and consumers. For one thing, with mobile comes not just one additional communication channel, but many channels, like email, apps, push notifications, social media, mobile wallets, and voice communications. Plus, marketers have to take into consideration different phone technology features, including phone types (smart or feature), operating systems (iOS or Android), screen sizes and operators.

In our age of the connected and empowered customer, to achieve marketing success, a consistent, seamless message has to be optimally delivered across all those channels and devices. That’s because, as my colleague Paul Kingsbury talked about in his last blog post, omni-channel communication is the cornerstone of success for building long-lasting customer relationships.

So with November only a few months away, how can retailers help make sure they’re ready for this year’s Mobile Black Friday? To support retailers in their promotional planning, Syniverse has developed a set of innovative use cases that can optimize mobile engagement during the shopping period. The use cases can help retailers to enhance the in-store digital experience, create customer engagement and build excitement for their Black Friday promotions. Download your copy of the “Black Friday Mobile Use Cases.”

I would also love to know how you’re planning to enhance your Mobile Black Friday sales efforts this year. Please leave a comment.

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About the Author ()

Fatema Hamdani joined Syniverse in 2009 and has more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, strategy and mobile solutions management. As Vice President, Mobile Engagement and Protection Strategy, in Syniverse's Enterprise Solutions organization, she enables brands to better engage mobile users through the delivery of highly specialized solutions using tools like two-way text messaging, push notification, and Passbook and Google wallet integration. Fatema is also currently serving as Interim Vice President, Strategy and Sales, Europe, Mobile Engagement and Protection, and is responsible for leading Syniverse’s solutions for brands in Europe. Previously, she was Executive Director, Enterprise and Intelligence Mobile Solutions, and managed Syniverse’s solutions for Fortune 500 global brands to enhance customer engagement. Prior to joining Syniverse, Fatema was a partner at Ishi Systems, a technology consultancy firm that she helped build, and served as Regional Sales Director at Optaros, a digital solutions company. She holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in marketing and information services, and she was named one of Mobile Marketer's “Mobile Women to Watch in 2014” (www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/lib/19073.pdf).

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