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This is Black Friday On Mobile

Over the past few peak shopping seasons, we have seen mobile play an increasingly stronger role in the commerce chain. Due to mobile’s accessibility, this medium plays a crucial role in all three distinct purchase paths: researching before buying online, driving consumers to stores, and purchasing directly through mCommerce. Even when shoppers do not complete a purchase on the go and instead turn to the computer to make a final purchase, the mobile device still plays a critical role in the purchase funnel.

Research on Mobile Prior to Buying Online

This holiday season, shoppers are more informed than ever about their purchases. According to eMarketer, before making a purchase, holiday shoppers reference as many as 12 sources of information to make educated decisions.

More and more, advertisers are taking advantage of mobile video to drive interactivity. Through video product demonstrations, users can experience firsthand the benefits of products without having to visit stores. These video demonstrations bring the products to life and provide consumers with all of the information needed to make informed decisions online. There is even a YouTube channel dedicated to videos of people unwrapping presents.

Driving In-Store

Due to the sheer number of brands that execute holiday campaigns via mobile apps, marketers must find unique ways to stand out of the clutter. One major retailer, for example, has released a product inventory search that enables consumers to save time by searching to see if their desired product is available in-store before making the trip and waiting on long lines. Once shoppers are at the store, the product is mapped to an aisle location, which can be accessed on an in-app map. Not only does this make things easier for consumers, it increases motivation to visit stores and potentially buy more than they had in mind.

Additionally, leveraging the consumer penchant for reviews and the mobile social aspect, we see a new focus on videos in which video bloggers and publishers share their purchases and must-gets for the holiday season.

Mobile Commerce and Video

Each year, consumers are increasingly using mobile commerce to directly purchase products; 54% of app users plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping via a mobile and/or tablet app. This creates a huge opportunity for advertisers to create ads with a seamless and uninterrupted path to purchase.

Interactive in-stream video is ideal for driving mobile sales because the advertisement appears in the same window as the content and can include custom interactivity buttons to drive to purchase. In a particularly creative execution, one retailer has been testing a flash-sale shoppable video campaign on its YouTube channel, where every day a new deal is uploaded with a link to purchase. For perspective: the video gets 100,000 views per day.

It’s clear that from research to purchase and everywhere in between, holiday shoppers are increasingly turning to mobile as their first screen. As companies discover innovative uses of mobile technology for communications, there will be a major opportunity for them to differentiate their services and build long-term customer loyalty.  Now that mobile represents 28% of all Web traffic, there is a great opportunity for brands to attract, engage, and convert through the creative content opportunities on this platform.

In prior years, marketers sought to reach increasingly mobile, socially connected consumers by creating a forum for product research.  With shoppers turning more and more to multiple devices, there is a greater opportunity for advertising to integrate and play across that mix.

During the noisiest of all seasons, mobile devices are a powerful way to rise above the clutter. Because video garners high engagement and mobile is the most accessible medium, the combination of the two promises to drive activity more assertively down the path.