The leaves may still be on the trees here in New England, but in looking at the calendar that won’t be the case for much longer. The 2017 holiday shopping season is at our doorstep — and believe it or not, Christmas is less than 100 days away.

The Stage is Set for a Big Season

According to an August 2017 eMarketer report, US ecommerce retail sales are projected to rise 16.6% this holiday season (vs. 2016). That’s up from last year’s 14.3% YoY growth and the largest relative increase in six years. This uptick in ecommerce retail is poised to beat the total US retail growth rate (which is down to 3.1% this year, vs. 4.5% in 2016). In fact, in 2017 ecommerce is projected to grab its largest share ever (11.5%) of total retail sales this holiday season.

For consumers, the countdown to the holidays is on. According to a PayPal study from last season, about one-third (32%) of US internet users 18 or older started their holiday gift shopping in October or earlier. An Epsilon study from September 2016 goes further: about three out of five (59%) US internet users 25 or older planned to start holiday shopping last year by the end of October.

Digital Drives Holiday Purchasing Decisions

Four out of five (80%) US internet users 18 or older, according to an October 2016 Fluent report, say digital is important when it comes to holiday purchasing decisions. This is especially significant given the projected growth track for ecommerce retail sales — which eMarketer defines as “products or services ordered using the internet, regardless of payment method or fulfillment.” According to a CPC Strategy forecast issued last month, US internet users 18 or older who plan to shop for the 2017 holidays will turn digital channels/locations including Amazon (72.1%), discount retailer sites/apps (38.6%), and specialty retailer sites/apps (22.0%).

No matter your brand(s) or product(s), be sure to employ a healthy mix of rich media executions that not only engage target audiences with impactful creative (images and video) but also leverage inherent functionality for sharing and purchasing whether in-unit or via a landing page.

Mobile is where many consumers are turning to for holiday shopping, whether at home or in-store. The channel is growing significantly. eMarketer estimates that US mobile commerce sales will rise 38.0% in 2017, and sales via smartphones will increase 57.8%. Mcommerce will account for 34.5% of total retail ecommerce sales. And per Opera Mediaworks research from last season, US mobile device owners aged 14 or older used their device while holiday shopping in-store to research competitor prices (47%), look up product reviews (36%), and sign-up to receive in-store promos/discounts (30%). Retailers in particular should keep this in mind for the upcoming season.

(Above: Panorama Unit with Mobile Hotspots, Mock-up Designed by RhythmOne)

Reach Consumers this Holiday with RhythmOne

The hyper-focused holiday selling season provides marketers with a window to gain consumer awareness and consideration, and to move these consumers through the sales funnel. Using a combination of tactics will help ensure success.

Contact us to discover how RhythmOne can help you maximize ROI on your holiday spend this season. We will work with you to ensure your digital campaigns work flawlessly across devices, use data effectively, and employ engaging creative.

UK Holiday Insights, Too!

If you are interested in the UK market and what’s in store for brands across the pond, be sure check out the latest research from our RadiumOne UK family. Their latest consumer research report — Christmas Insights 2017 — details digital marketing and product category takeaways for UK brands, retailers, and agencies.