Insights from our 2017 holiday retail survey

By most accounts, the holiday shopping season was an e-commerce success, with final tallies beating analyst estimates. Earlier this month, we asked e-commerce teams about their holiday marketing strategies — planning, budgeting and expectations — and what they did differently this year from last year.

Nearly 100 respondents shared their feedback. The majority (57 percent) of respondents worked in-house, while 43 percent were at agencies. The client/company size represented skewed to the smaller end, with 60 percent of respondents working with companies with annual revenues below $25 million. Nearly 13 percent represented companies with annual revenues over $500 million.

There were several interesting findings from the survey. Here are some of the highlights from the final results.

Holiday budgets rose across most platforms

Overall, search and social budgets increased this holiday season over the previous year, with 70 percent of respondents saying they increased budgets on both channels. Display retargeting budgets for more than half of respondents (56 percent) also increased year over year. Sixty-five percent used dynamic retargeting ads this holiday season.

More than three-quarters of respondents said Google budgets rose year over year, with 25 percent saying Google budgets rose by more than 50 percent. Nearly 40 percent increased Bing budgets this holiday season, and 66 percent boosted Facebook ad budgets year over year.

Source: Search Engine Land 2017 Holiday Retail Survey

Pinterest advertising remains hard to scale, and that’s reflected here. Just 8 percent of respondents increased their Pinterest ad budgets over last year’s this season, and half aren’t using the platform at all.

Amazon has been rapidly increasing its ad offerings for sellers on the platform. Among respondents, 36.5 percent are selling on Amazon, and of those, 34 percent increased their ad budgets this holiday season.

Holiday planning is primarily a fall sport, but many plan year-round

When it comes to planning holiday marketing strategies, September was the most popular month to get cracking, with nearly 18 percent of respondents starting then. Just over 12 percent of respondents said they plan year-round. Just as many said they don’t have time to plan (this gives me anxiety) as those who said they start planning in August.

Source: Search Engine Land 2017 Holiday Retail Survey

For 56 percent of respondents, planning started at the same time it did the year before, while 20 percent started planning earlier.

These and many more findings from the survey — challenges, tactical changes and consumer behavior changes, to name a few — were the basis of a lively discussion packed with jewels of insights for retailers in a webinar with Brad Geddes of Adalysis, Elizabeth Marsten of CommerceHub and Aaron Levy of Elite SEM. You can find the webinar, Holiday Retail Search Strategies 2017: What worked, what didn’t, on demand (registration required).


Apple Products, Phablets Top List of Most Popular Mobile Devices This Holiday Season

Apple Devices and Phablets Were the Best Selling Mobile Tech During the 2016 Holidays

Post-holiday season, you’re most likely to find traffic to your site or eCommerce store coming from Apple devices or phablets– if any brand.

That’s because both Apple devices and, more generally, phablets were among the top gifted mobile devices this holiday season.

Best Selling Mobile Tech During the 2016 Holidays

Apple Devices and Phablets Were the Flavors of the Holiday Season

According to a report by mobile analytics company Flurry, 44 percent of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices this year in the week leading up to Christmas and Chanuka. The report also looks at app activation for the major devices to reach its conclusions. In comparison, 21 percent of new activations were on Samsung devices, up one percent from last year.

Phablet devices also continued to increase their holiday share, eating away at the market for medium phones, the report said.

Huawei, LG Gain Momentum While Google Loses Ground

Other manufacturers that made it to the list include Huawei and LG. That’s surprising because both manufacturers do not have any individual device within the top 35 devices activated.

Not surprisingly, Google Pixel is missing from the list. With just two new devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and mixed response from the market, Google has so far struggled to make an impression with holiday sales. That’s judging from activations leading up to the holidays alone.

Businesses Must Keep an Eye on Apple

So what does all this mean for your business? Well, in addition to the fact that many of your customers and clients may be using Apple mobile products, there’s also the question of what to consider for your own next business mobile device.

Here are some of the main features of Apple’s iOS 10 for you to consider.

First, the operating system comes with comprehensive privacy and advanced security features. So customers may be able to significantly curtail the amount of their data available when visiting your online store or other site. And that should be a consideration when creating your marketing plan.

From the perspective of using a device for business, Apple’s multilingual typing feature could be a great tool to reach international customers.

Meanwile, popularity of larger phablets over smaller phones of any brand means larger screens to better view and interact with apps and mobile sites so keep this in mind when updating both for your business.

iPhone 7 Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Apple Products, Phablets Top List of Most Popular Mobile Devices This Holiday Season

Apple Devices and Phablets Were the Best Selling Mobile Tech During the 2016 Holidays

Post-holiday season, you’re most likely to find traffic to your site or eCommerce store coming from Apple devices or phablets– if any brand.

That’s because both Apple devices and, more generally, phablets were among the top gifted mobile devices this holiday season.

Best Selling Mobile Tech During the 2016 Holidays

Apple Devices and Phablets Were the Flavors of the Holiday Season

According to a report by mobile analytics company Flurry, 44 percent of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices this year in the week leading up to Christmas and Chanuka. The report also looks at app activation for the major devices to reach its conclusions. In comparison, 21 percent of new activations were on Samsung devices, up one percent from last year.

Phablet devices also continued to increase their holiday share, eating away at the market for medium phones, the report said.

Huawei, LG Gain Momentum While Google Loses Ground

Other manufacturers that made it to the list include Huawei and LG. That’s surprising because both manufacturers do not have any individual device within the top 35 devices activated.

Not surprisingly, Google Pixel is missing from the list. With just two new devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and mixed response from the market, Google has so far struggled to make an impression with holiday sales. That’s judging from activations leading up to the holidays alone.

Businesses Must Keep an Eye on Apple

So what does all this mean for your business? Well, in addition to the fact that many of your customers and clients may be using Apple mobile products, there’s also the question of what to consider for your own next business mobile device.

Here are some of the main features of Apple’s iOS 10 for you to consider.

First, the operating system comes with comprehensive privacy and advanced security features. So customers may be able to significantly curtail the amount of their data available when visiting your online store or other site. And that should be a consideration when creating your marketing plan.

From the perspective of using a device for business, Apple’s multilingual typing feature could be a great tool to reach international customers.

Meanwile, popularity of larger phablets over smaller phones of any brand means larger screens to better view and interact with apps and mobile sites so keep this in mind when updating both for your business.

iPhone 7 Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Pokemon Go Update Lets You Get Pichu, Togepi, and Holiday Pikachu

Pokemon Go Update Lets You Get Pichu, Togepi, and Holiday Pikachu
HIGHLIGHTS
Pokemon Go’s new update lets you catch limited edition Pikachu
Pokemon from games like Pokemon Gold and Silver can be obtained
These include Togepi and Pichu
Pokemon Go can now be officially downloaded and played in India. In a run up to this, developer Niantic announced a new update to the game — new Pokemon.

The likes of Pichu, Togepi, and ‘select others’ are now available in-game. They can be acquired by hatching eggs in Pokemon Go.

Hatching a Pokemon Egg requires you to place it in an Incubator, which you receive when you start the game, and then walking a specified distance – some eggs hatch after two kilometres, others need a lot more walking.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Launched in India: Advanced Tips and Tricks)
If you’ve played Ingress- Niantic’s last game, you should have a good idea of where to look for PokeStops as the location data in Pokemon Go is based on that of Ingress.
While most of the original 151 Pokemon were present when Pokemon Go first hit, others such as Mewtwo, Zapdos, and Mew were unavailable. Some of these, such as Ditto could be caught from last month. It will be interesting to see how many more are added.
(Also see: Who are India’s Pokemon Fans? The Answer Will Surprise You)

What’s more is that Niantic are bringing special Pikachu to the game dubbed as Holiday Pikachu.

“We also have another special treat for you. Starting later today through December 29, 2016, 10:00 A.M. PST [11:30pm IST], you’ll find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat to celebrate the season!” reads the post from Niantic.

Are you still playing Pokemon Go or have you moved on to other games? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go update, Pokemon Go Limited Edition Pikachu, Pichu, Togepi, Pokemon Go Eggs, Holiday Pikachu

[“source-ndtv”]