How to reach holiday shoppers

From Gift Planning to Unwrapping: How to Reach Holiday Shoppers

Every day, marketers have an opportunity to connect with customers during key purchasing decisions. To better understand the role mobile and Facebook play in critical moments during the holiday shopping season, we commissioned global research agency Millward Brown Digital to explore how mobile and Facebook help marketers influence purchase decisions in the US.  Conducted during last year’s shortened holiday shopping period, the study shows that mobile was a must-have tool for shoppers and Facebook was an essential companion throughout the entire holiday shopping trip.

Before: Shoppers start with a plan but are open to discovery

While shoppers often made a plan before hitting the stores, marketers had a shrinking window to make a meaningful connection. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers spent less than an hour researching their trip; they typically made a purchase within three days from the start of their research.

During: With Facebook the window of influence remains open

At the store, 65% of shoppers accessed their mobile phones for a shopping-related activity, and they used Facebook at 4 times the rate of any other app or search. The top reasons they accessed their phones were to connect with friends and look for a deal. The most popular places shoppers checked their phones were in store aisles, in store parking lots and in checkout lines.

holiday shopping

After: Once the presents were wrapped, people shared their experience on Facebook

At the end of the day, when the holiday shopping was complete, 89% of shoppers who shared their holiday shopping experience on a social network did so on Facebook, and nearly 60% of shoppers who used Facebook for information and ideas told us they found it to be influential to their shopping experience.

Key Takeaways:

Drive Discovery: People use Facebook to discover new ideas and deals via their friends and brands before and during their holiday shopping trips. Offer something compelling or be a source of inspiration during the discovery process this holiday season.

Use Facebook as a part of in-store efforts: It’s never too late to influence purchases. With people accessing their phones in store aisles and parking lots, and at checkout, there’s the opportunity to influence purchases up until transaction. Use Facebook to complement your in-store activity or counteract competitors’ with persuasive messaging, offers and other value ads to drive shoppers to action.

Drive share-worthy experiences: When people get good deals, or have a particularly positive or negative shopping experience, they tend to share. This puts the responsibility on retailers and brands to create positive experiences worth sharing. One way to do so is to create video or photo-worthy moments during the holiday shopping process that people will be compelled to capture and share.


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Source: “The Impact of Mobile and Facebook While Shopping,” by Millward Brown Digital (study commissioned by Facebook). Survey of 500 US holiday shoppers, Nov. 28 – Dec. 25, 2013