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!