When is the last time you looked at your phone? It was likely within the last 10 minutes, if not less. Recent studies by Asurion and Microsoft found that the average American adult checks their phone every 12 minutes, about 80 times a day, all while maintaining an average attention span of about eight seconds. So, while we’re all checking our phones non-stop we’re constantly distracted and overwhelmed with information and options. You still with me? Focus!
These statistics were top of mind this year for companies as they created their marketing plans for the largest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Every company is vying for your attention during those eight fleeting seconds to convince you to buy their product either online or in-store. Here are some of the trends that we saw retailers using to be top of your list during the holiday season:
- All About Mobile: Just as the research shows, consumers are using mobile devices now more than ever to make purchasing decisions and to complete the purchase transaction. This year we saw companies innovating their methods to grab consumer attention to drive more sales and store visits. Key trends we noticed included embedding GIFs and mini-videos in email as well as personalized messages based on past purchases and preferred status for early access to deals. One key differentiator was the retailers that ensured promotions or coupons offered their mobile sites or apps could also be redeemed physically in-store providing a consistent experience both on & offline. These tactics paid off with mobile representing 33% of online revenue and is up 22% YoY according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80 percent of online transactions across the top 100 U.S. web retailers.
- Social Media & Influencers: This year we saw a huge shift in focus on social media outlets and influencers with companies on average doubling their social spend year over year. Companies are taking notice of the recent statistics by Mediakix that the average person will spend more than five years of their lives on social media or about 1.5 hours a day. This year influencers played a big role in promoting Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals by sharing their ‘favorite’ items with direct links to those items and additional coupon codes for more savings. This allows companies to market to consumers while they interact with people they choose to follow and admire.
- Black Friday Turned into Month Long Deals: Deals are starting earlier every year with the shift on Black Friday moving to more of a ‘pre-holiday’ sale for the whole month of November. Consumers now begin their product research as early as October driving companies to launch their campaigns early to get a jump start on the competition. This year we saw several companies grabbing consumers’ attention with early promotions and countdowns starting at the beginning of the month leading through the holiday season, long after Black Friday ended.
Ultimately, organizations need to focus on differentiating themselves among the competition to grab that short attention span of a consumer while they’re mindlessly browsing their email or scrolling through social media status updates.