The Five Biggest Digital Shopping Trends This Holiday Season

October 8, 2013 in Latest News

digital shopping trendsAmericans will be hankering to live more like the Jetsons, snatching up everyday consumer products that talk back and tell users what they need to know (or what they think they need to know).

At the same time, retailers will operate more and more like Big Brother, sending shoppers more targeted emails that reflect stores’ increasingly sophisticated monitoring of buying patterns and behavior.

Those are two of the five major digital trends that will drive the holiday shopping experience this year, said Kyle Lacy, senior manager of content marketing and research for ExactTarget, a provider of digital marketing software solutions that enable retailers such as the Gap and online shoe merchant Zappos to communicate with their customers by email, mobile and social media.

Connected Products

Look for retailers to be pushing more internet-connected products this year.

“One of the coolest things from a retail perspective are products that are connected to data,” Lacy said. These include a scale “that gives you information on how healthy you’re being, an [app-connected] toothbrush that keeps track of [how much] you’re brushing, or a General Electric appliance that will text you when you need something fixed,” he said.

‘Thumb’ Shopping Madness

Mobile commerce is poised to grow exponentially this holiday season.

“Today, one in three consumers are conducting product searches on their phones,” Lacy said, citing data from Cisco Internet Business Group.

As a result, expect to see more retail apps this holiday season that ease the mobile checkout experience for shoppers, Lacy predicts.

The Amazon Effect

Call it the Amazon effect. Retailers this holiday season will send consumers increasingly personalized emails, offering more product recommendations based on what they bought.

“Retailers see an estimated 15% to 25% increase in sales if the transactional email features personalized product recommendations,” Lacy said, citing iGoDigital data.

Twitter Talk, 24-7

Just as smartphones and email have created the very modern expectation that employees, friends and loved ones be available 24 hours a day, more and more, shoppers are looking for a similar round-the-clock accessibility from the retailers they shop.

This holiday season, expect to see more consumers directly querying retailers via Twitter with everything from product questions to customer-service issues, Lacy said.

“When you Tweet something positive or negative, our teams around the world can pick up on that, and can start having a dialogue with you in real time,” she said. “Online, you can click to call or click to chat, and in 20 seconds, somebody will be in contact with you. That’s the ultimate in customer service.”

Advertising On Social Networks

Expect to see more promotional Tweets cluttering up your Twitter feed this holiday season, and more retail ads embedded in your Facebook timeline.

That’s because “retailers are testing social media more in terms of [increasing shopper] engagement and [driving] revenue,” Lacy said.

Source:  Forbes