The day after Halloween decorations were packed away, a full onslaught of Christmas candy, lights, inflatable lawn decorations, music and holiday product displays went up. Retailers mean business this holiday season. The National Retail Federation estimates that the average consumer plans to spend about $737.95 on gifts, holiday décor, greeting cards — up 2% from 2012. So how can you ramp up your online marketing efforts to compete? We’ve compiled eight key trends that will direct how you approach your holiday advertising in 2013.

holiday shopping

Image Source:

1. Mobile site optimization matters.

The Adobe Digital Index survey of 400 U.S. shoppers revealed that 35% of 18-to-34-year-olds will use their mobile devices to compare prices while shopping in stores this year. (That number is up from 22% last year).

2. Mobile apps make shopping easier.

We’re likely to see an upswing in mobile apps this year, the Adobe survey confirms. Overall, just 36% of U.S. consumers are willing to download a holiday-specific app. However, 50% of 18-to-34-year-olds said they plan to do so.

3. Facebook will be a key tool for influencing shoppers.

An astounding 73% of 18-to-34-year-0lds say they’ll turn to Facebook “most often” for help with their holiday shopping this year. For all age cohorts, this number is still an impressive 62%.

4. Location will matter.

Sixty-one percent of online shoppers surveyed say they’ll be looking for lower prices online, while 51% say free shipping is likely to sway their purchases. However, price is just one way retailers can appeal to consumers. In addition to bargain-hunting, shoppers want convenience. Geo-fencing — targeting shoppers based on GPS location — will be another tactic retailers use to capture attention. Sixty-six percent of shoppers will look for local gifts this year because they like the idea of supporting the local economy, they expect to find one-of-a-kind gifts, they find it to be more convenient and they want excellent customer service.

5. Shipping must be free.

The free shipping trend began a few years back after the wild success of promotions like “Free Shipping Day.” Today’s consumer comes to expect free shipping as par for the course, so it’s likely we’ll see more online stores offering this perk. For example, Walmart has announced they will offer free shipping on all orders over $50 — whether it’s a box full of books or a 42-inch high-def TV.

6. Wishlist sharing explodes.

Internet users LOVE showing off their interests and making their wishes known among family and friends. Share-able wishlists are nothing new, of course, but some retailers will be taking things one step further in 2013. This year, when people create Universal Wish Lists via Amazon, a window will pop up and alert individuals of cheaper prices on Amazon, wherever they are browsing — be it on or With Flipbook, wishlists are transformed into visually-stunning digital catalogs and gives stars a vehicle to promote their endorsed products. Smart retailers will keep close tabs on people’s wishlists and make personalized recommendations.

7. Marketers warm up to Pinterest.

For instance, Target has launched a full-scale Pinterest promotion, creating inspirational boards and special “rich pins” that include product, price and availability. This tactic has resulted in a 70% increase in visits to so far! Kirkland, a home decor retailer, has created a Pinterest “Pinning Parlor” full of beautiful images to give consumers ideas for decorating their homes; along with these visual presentations, they’ll be offering in-store coupons and weekly prize pack sweepstakes entries for every item pinned by their fans. After one month, they have enjoyed a whopping 303,337 interactions!

8. Content will focus on problem solving.

More and more consumers are typing questions as Google search queries. They may be wondering “Who offers free shipping on Cyber Monday?”, “Where can I find a tablet for $150?” or “Should I buy a Dell or a Mac?” An aggressive content creation plan that makes decision-making easier for consumers can attract loads of online traffic and social media buzz during the holiday online shopping blitz.

Bonus Tip: As always, personalized email marketing will be relevant for the 2013 shopping season. Here’s a neat infographic from ExactTarget to help you plan your correspondences:

holiday marketing

Image Source:

Need more online holiday marketing help? Contact us!

Check out the Mod Girl Holiday Website Makeover Contest – We are giving away up to $15,000 in website re-design and branding services! Learn more here: