O come all ye faithful—and savvy—shoppers. This holiday season, shoppers are more informed than ever about their purchases. Long before the swipe of a credit card, they’ve been pondering and researching purchases for hours on multiple digital screens. The time spent on digital has increased by more than two hours in the past three years—from 3 hours 11 minutes in 2010 to 5 hours 46 minutes in 2014. The holidays are closer than you think—especially for digitally savvy consumers. This year, as you add ingredients to your seasonal marketing mix, be sure to take these five holiday trends into account:

  1. Mobile engagement will be paramount to holiday success. Your products need to be easy to find and purchase across screens. Make sure consumers are always seeing
    the latest, context-relevant information.
  2. The holiday season is long (very long, actually). Retail success is no longer confined to the sales for just one day, such as Black Friday. Ensure that your brand is top of mind for the consumer by being present throughout the research period and at the time of purchase.
  3. Today’s shoppers are putting more hours into research, and that means brands have an opportunity to get in front of them and influence behavior. Be there when they are researching (think search and display ads) and remind them throughout the process with re-marketing.The time spent online researching popular holiday shopping categories, such as toys and home appliances, has increased 9.9 to 12 hours and 13 to 15.8 hours, respectively.
  4. Foot traffic to stores may have declined, but the value of those in-store visits is on the rise, and many shoppers are turning to smartphones while shopping. Providing detailed information through mobile can help them figure out what to buy (and what else they may need). Before making a purchase in 2014, shoppers referenced 12 sources of information—up from just five in 2010.
  5. Online shoppers are value conscious. They want the best deal and, whenever possible, free shipping. These two factors will significantly drive their purchases.

    We already know the holiday shopper is smart and keen on research. A good deal on price and shipping will have them reaching for their wallets.An extremely high percentage (92%) of shoppers will check prices online for the best bargain.

    91% of shoppers say a low price is an important to very important factor in the decision to buy.

    Free shipping was deemed the second-most important factor for shoppers when purchasing online.

    A comScore/UPS study reports that 83% of online shoppers are willing to wait additional days for delivery if they can get free shipping.

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