To stay competitive in today’s constantly moving business world, marketers can no longer afford to ignore mobile traffic. It’s essential to create a strategy and then dedicate the necessary resources to execute it—especially during the demanding holiday shopping season.

It doesn’t take much number crunching to determine that time will be in short supply during the holidays—the 2013 holiday shopping season will be the shortest in the past 11 years, with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year.

With nearly a week shaved off their shopping time, consumers will have fewer opportunities to visit brick-and-mortar stores, making them more likely to use their phones or tablets to put a dent in their lists. In fact, in a recent survey, consumers told Adobe they expect to shop 40 percent more this year from their mobile devices.

The Smart Path to Purchase

Smartphones are a constant companion for most people, and that includes during the holiday season. While lounging on the couch after dinner or killing time at a humdrum office party, shoppers are inclined to hop on their iPhones or Androids to check out the hottest gifts. But when it comes time to place an order, they’re likely to bypass the small screen in favor of its bigger successor, the tablet.

According to data collected by Internet Retailer, approximately 55 percent of mobile sales are completed on tablets, as opposed to 45 percent on smartphones—and the gap is expected to widen this season. Nielsen confirms that people often use smartphones to check product options and availability, read user reviews, find store locations, compare prices, and conduct other research—all important factors in buying decisions. But for a majority of shoppers, the credit card doesn’t come out until later, when they’re comfortably at home (or at work) on their tablets.

The Great Mobile Divide

Not so long ago, online targeting was based on two segments: PC or mobile. In today’s multitasking, multiscreen market, “mobile” has taken on a broader meaning. The key to capturing on-the-go shoppers is to deliver a targeted experience based on the device they’re using. This may seem like a tall order, but tools like Adobe Target make it easy to target based on device type, operating system, screen size, geolocation, or profile.

When tailoring user experience based on device this holiday season, remember the following points:

  • Tablet users consume more textual content than smartphone users, who are often performing quick tasks, such as looking up store locations, comparing prices, or grabbing coupons.
  • The checkout process must be seamless, stable, and secure within mobile apps and mobile sites. It should be just as easy to complete a purchase using a mobile device as it would using a laptop or desktop.
  • Tablet ad campaigns should generally be more interactive and compelling than smartphones campaigns, which are better suited to simpler, static ads.
  • People tend to watch videos on tablets more than on smartphones because the larger screen offers a higher-quality viewing experience.
  • Smartphone users are more likely to visit social media sites to seek out gift ideas or get feedback from friends and family on a product or service they’re considering.

With the shorter window between Turkey Day and Christmas Day, millions of consumers will rely on multiple devices for their holiday shopping. Using the advanced targeting capabilities of tools like Adobe Target, it’s easy to measure the behaviors and expectations of both types of mobile users, enabling you to deliver customized experiences that will ease the path to purchase.

Next week, we’ll continue our mobile series with a closer look at the choice between mobile sites and mobile apps.


Great choice of the topic! Smartphone and tablets become ever more a daily commodity and an increasing number of customers are looking at mobile retailers as the main source for their holiday shopping.

And nowadays the real challenge is to optimize message and design for different mobile devices which are connected with different mindsets, needs and moods.

Speaking of optimization for multiple mobile devices, I found this webinar very insightful. Check it out!