Black Friday 2017: Why Mobile Is the Key to Campaign Success

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Traditionally associated with long lines and crazy in-store sales, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have recently joined Cyber Monday as huge online shopping days. Shoppers spent $1.9 billion online last Thanksgiving, as dozens of top retailers opted to close their doors in favor of family time for customers and employees.

Driving this ecommerce revolution is mobile commerce. Mobile sales jumped by 45% in the last quarter of 2016, accounting for a 20.8% share of total ecommerce sales. Retail mobile commerce sales are expected to increase 51.9% in 2017, surpassing $100 billion for the first time. With 56% of smartphone owners planning to use their devices to assist in Thanksgiving weekend shopping, mobile will be the most important medium this holiday season.

Here are three recommendations for how your brand can convert holiday shoppers by going mobile-first ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Design Creative With Mobile in Mind

Knowing that consumers are going to be browsing for gifts on mobile, your creative should be shot and designed with mobile ad formats in mind – especially prioritizing vertical video. Research shows that less than 30% of people turn their phones to view horizontal video ads, and when they do, they only watch 14% of the ad.

Snapchat is a mobile-only platform with a number of fun ad formats that allow brands to reach a highly engaged audience. Over 173 million Snapchatters use the app daily, checking it an average of 18 times. Use Snap Ads to increase product consideration and brand awareness with your target audience.

If your holiday creative was already filmed or photographed without putting mobile first, there are ways it can still be optimized for mobile. Reach out and ask about Adaptly’s Creative Lab offering – our team is ready to help!

Make Your Site Mobile-Ready

Before you bet big on mobile, you need a great mobile site to back it up. If it’s not ready, spend the next few months making sure your mobile app or site is seamless. Nothing drives users to abandon an online shopping cart faster than a poor mobile experience.

Have your team test out different user flows, reducing the number of clicks from social to sale and allowing for a fast, easy checkout process. Make sure products, buttons, and descriptions are all clear and accessible on a smaller screen. Optimize for multiple devices and operating systems, using past traffic to anticipate user patterns in 2017. If there is a common drop off point for mobile users, experiment with that part of your mobile app or site and see how the experience can be improved.

Tailor Messaging to Millennials

Millennials are the mobile generation, with more than 50% spending over 3 hours a day on their smartphones. Much of that time is spent on social media. 74% of millennials let social media influence their purchase behavior, and 4 out of 5 went shopping last Thanksgiving weekend. Tailoring your message to this audience lets you reach consumers with a high purchase intent – but they can’t be found on just one platform. 78% of millennials consult 4 or more online platforms on a daily basis.

The millennial audience values authenticity, storytelling, and positive reviews in their shopping experience. Well-placed ads that feel native, not repetitive, on each distinct platform will help you convert casual scrollers into customers. 68% of millennials also said that tweets with product images help them make decisions, so be sure to include holiday product imagery in Promoted Tweets when targeting millennial audiences.

By focusing on mobile ahead of these heavy shopping days, your brand will be top of mind while consumers are on the go looking for holiday deals. Design creative optimized for mobile, be sure your site is mobile-ready, and tailor message to millennials to make the most of mobile this holiday season.

For holiday season insights beyond Black Friday, download Adaptly’s Thanksgiving Weekend strategy guide.