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Survey: Flash Sales Are Back This Holiday Season

Mobile payments haven’t taken off quite yet, but when it comes to retailer’s advertising budgets it’s all about mobile.

During the largest portion of the 2014 holiday shopping season — between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday — it was clear what method retailers used to direct shoppers toward stores: mobile promotions. But how retailers have been using mobile to attract consumers has shifted during the past two years. The top mobile promotion among retailers, according to eMarketer’s research, was flash sales and daily deals. This was a drastic shift from last year’s figures.

“Flash sales and daily deals were unpopular last year as Groupon and other sites fell out of favor after the initial rush from consumers; only 5 percent of respondents focused holiday marketing efforts there. But this year, that number shot up even higher to 34 percent,” eMarketer reported.

Mobile message advertising also dropped significantly this year as more focus was put on mobile coupons (27 percent) than in years prior.

“Respondents doubled down on text messaging in 2013, with 33 percent using this type of mobile promotion, but they backed out in 2014; just 7 percent said they would focus on text message promotions,” the report said. “Retailers took to mobile coupons between 2012 and 2013, with usage rising from 20 percent of respondents to 28 percent during that timeframe; this year, 27 percent will use the promotion type for the holidays. QR codes also caught the attention of retail marketers over the past few years: 18 percent of respondents said they spent holiday ad dollars on them in 2014.”

Overall, eMarketer reported that while there is “rapid growth of mobile for holiday shopping among consumers,” some retailers are still slow to adopt the technologies. Research showed that onlyv49 percent of retailers were planning on including mobile technology in marketing strategies during the holiday season, which was only a 9 percent increase from 2013.

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Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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