2018 Holiday Planning Guide

by Stephanie Purdy

Lev
Like it or not, the 2018 Holiday season is in full swing. Here’s our prediction for what you can expect to see from digital consumers this year.

2017 Recap

The 2017 Holiday Season showed a rise of digital window shopping pre-cyber week with shoppers displaying early buying intent but delaying their purchases. Statistics showed many early shoppers browsed and added items to their cart the weeks leading up to cyber week with few returning after November to browse. Overall, Black Friday 2017 continued as the year’s biggest digital shopping day for another consecutive year. Mobile shopping kept in line with this trend with surging rates and email serving as the highest conversion rate.

Artificial Intelligence

2017 statistics showed that few customers engaged with AI powered recommendations throughout the Holiday season. On the contrary, about 30% of revenue was driven by AI powered recommendations. Results showed that overall, 28% of the season’s revenue could be attributed to shoppers that clicked or tapped on a product recommendation.

Social Media also played a large role in last year’s holiday season. With over 10 million mentions of Cyber Week globally, 76% of those mentions were positive sentiments. Mobile traffic also saw a significant increase being up 24% from the previous years.

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2018 Holiday Predictions

So what does this mean for the upcoming season? Based on previous data, Lev believes that Cyber Week will start earlier this year. This means that shoppers will start filling carts Wednesday with dramatic growth Thanksgiving Day as they turn to their phones to shop at the dinner table.

With an earlier Cyber Week start time, this means personalization continues to be important and positively impacts sales. AI can be leveraged to continually assist brands in standing out with features like send time optimization and predictive scoring.

So why is an earlier start time and personalization so important? Because Holiday Shoppers are expected to buy more on Black Friday via mobile devices than ever before. Cyber Week should see more total mobile visits as well as late season shopping days of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and even Boxing Day.

Prep Work For Holiday 2018

So what can your brand do today to ensure a successful Holiday Season? For starters, Lev recommends starting a re-engagement campaign. Email lists churn sees an annual rate of about 30%. This means it is important to follow up with inactive customers to get your email list in it’s best condition leading into the holiday shopping season.

Moving into November be sure to set up a singular holiday hashtag to easily monitor your customer’s posts and track your overall campaign. This will help your business better understand your customer needs and what to keep moving forward. A major strategy for December is to allow all those last minute shoppers plenty of options. Make sure that your business is ready to assist them with Buy Online/Pick up In-Store, endless isle, rush shipping, or gift guides to get them what they need faster.