How Brands Can Capitalize on the Increasing Mobile Shopping This Holiday Season | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

How Brands Can Capitalize on the Increasing Mobile Shopping This Holiday Season

November 8, 2021

By Jim Johnson


Anyone born before the year 2000 likely remembers the holiday shopping experience of the pre-mobile commerce (or even e-commerce) days. Following shoppers back to their car as they exited the mall to claim their parking spot wasn't considered creepy, queuing in long lines overnight for Black Friday sales was commonplace, and the now ubiquitous smartphone was used primarily for making calls or texting.

Times have changed, however. The role of the smartphone as our direct connection to the outside world was never more apparent than during the global pandemic of 2020 when, compared with 2019,. Time spent with mobile increased by an average of 31 minutes per U.S. adult and holiday season m-commerce sales soared 16 percent to $71.31 billion, according to eMarketer. What's more, time spent with mobile video continues to increase, up 65 percent since 2017.

All of this is to say that continued growth for m-commerce and video consumption is all but guaranteed, but how to ensure that your company takes advantage of that growth depends on several factors, all of which include the end user as the centerpiece. Here are three tips to enhance your m-commerce strategy:

  • Consider the consumer's goals. Think about your own mobile usage for a moment. Many people use smartphones as an extension of their thoughts or conversations, turning to their phones when a debate ends in a stalemate, or they can't think of the name of a song they hear on the radio. For quick information at your fingertips, mobile search remains the most powerful tool available.

    But what about brand or product discovery? Research from Bazaarvoice found that 61 percent of consumers globally are more likely to browse for new products online compared to in-store, and find it easier (64 percent) and more enjoyable (54 percent). They also note that smartphones are the device of choice for this type of browsing.

    Knowing that a consumer leverages their smartphones for both quick intent-based response as well as browsing for new products or ideas allows you to build mobile video advertising experiences to suit both use cases: the first for immediate m-commerce fulfillment via shipping or in-store pickup and the second as a recommendation tool that allows the user to navigate through a product gallery — for instance, based on their need for ideas or inspiration (such as a holiday gift for the child who has everything).

  • User experience (UX) is critical. Building off the idea of creating video experiences based on user context, think about the category your products and services fall into and design your user experience accordingly. For example, if you're selling a new mattress, the mobile video advertising experience should focus on features and benefits for the buyer and designed for a longer sales cycle, one in which the user needs to gather information from multiple sources before making their purchase decision. Conversely, if your product is a stocking stuffer for a holiday party, chances are good that the user wants the shortest path of resistance between the ad and fulfillment, so a one-click ordering tool and multiple fulfillment options are the most user-friendly options.

  • Offer a helping hand: Finally, it is no secret that supply chain issues have caused many consumers headaches over the past few months between low inventory, delayed shipping, or higher costs. Any good video advertising experience should include real-time inventory, pricing, and fulfillment options so that customers can buy with confidence. Consider the mobile device as the easiest way to have a one-to-one digital relationship with your customer, and anticipate their needs based on other customer's feedback.

Any good m-commerce marketing strategy begins and ends with making your customer's lives easier. Considering their goals (intent versus discovery), designing video experiences based on category or vertical context, and acting like a helpful store associate with real time product information will help ensure that your brand continues to ride this wave of mobile growth into the holiday season, with the added bonus of not having shoppers following your customers out of the store to take their parking spot.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Jim Johnson is the VP of account planning at

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