‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, someone was shouting, “I forgot to buy that blouse!”
In reality, millions of last-minute shoppers turn to mobile devices the day before Christmas to find nearby stores where they can still buy gifts. In fact, retail-related mobile search activity surges on Christmas Eve, when 24% more searches take place than on Black Friday, according to xAd, provider of a location-based mobile ad network by the same name. The company has dubbed this surge in using mobile on Christmas Eve to find nearby open stores “Mobile Eve.”
Mobile Eve “is a unique window of opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to take advantage of last-minute shopping mindsets ― when shipping gifts is off the table and consumers have no choice but to locate and visit a nearby store to purchase,” said Monica Ho, VP of Marketing for xAd, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “By focusing additional attention on Mobile Eve, brick-and-mortar retailers have a second chance to make good on promises of marketplace share of voice and drive additional revenue that can help brands close out the year in the black.”
A research report from xAd, titled: Mobile Eve: How Retail Stores Can Make The Most Of Last Minute Holiday Shopping, showed last-minute retail mobile search ramping up three days before Christmas, when it spiked in line with Black Friday activity. “Then, on Christmas Eve, last-minute needs reach a fever pitch when consumers search for the nearest retail location to find and purchase those final gifts,” the report noted. At this point in consumers’ holiday procrastination, “brick-and-mortar locations are not just a preference, but a necessity. Finding the perfect gift and having it shipped at the height of holiday madness, overnight or even same day, is just not available with most online retailers.”
While terms like Black Friday, Midnight Madness and Cyber Monday have become holiday vernaculars, the report indicated, consumers’ love for and reliance on mobile has given rise to the Mobile Eve window of opportunity as one that retailers “simply can’t ignore any longer.”
Though Mobile Eve is a phenomenon that has not been researched or discussed extensively, xAd data reveals that it is “a massive opportunity for retailers,” said Ho. “Because Mobile Eve demonstrates user preference in finding and visiting physical storefronts, retailers can take advantage of this opportunity to reach retail procrastinators and drive them in-store. This also provides retailers one last chance to increase marketing share-of-voice and year-end revenue.”
Afterall, the report noted, why should Santa get all the glory?
Last-minute shopping for other major retail holidays demonstrates similar procrastination activity, eased by the use of mobile devices: Earlier in 2013, xAd released reports documenting mobile search activity found on the xAd platform during Mother’s Day and Halloween. Both reports illustrated a spike in mobile-related interest in the days leading up to the actual holiday.
Click here to download Mobile Eve: How Retail Stores Can Make The Most Of Last Minute Holiday Shopping.