Which trends will be hot for marketers this holiday season?

As Amazon reaches further and further across our online shopping experience, which trends can brand marketers use to effectively compete?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor
(Image: Viglink)

San Francisco, Calif.-based outbound-traffic monetization service Viglink has been looking at the marketing trends for this holiday season -- so marketers can get planning an effective campaign.

It looked at data from its 70,000 advertiser brands, and over two million publisher sites, in conjunction with its publishers' data. It analyzed previous trends from 2016 to predict what holiday shoppers will respond to best.

The upcoming trends in retail marketing and social media tactics are based on the data it monitors at the back end of the platform. It analyzed data from the 2016 holiday season to determine what could affect plans for this year.

It noticed that during 'cyber five' (the days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday) clicks went up 64 percent from 2015 compared to 2016.

Black Friday drove the second-most clicks on any single day of the year in 2016, compared to 2015. In 2015, Black Friday drove the 12th highest day in clicks, and Cyber Monday was the 17th highest day in the year in terms of clicks.

The yearly order value percentage on Black Friday rose 66 percent from 2015 compared to 2016.

During the holiday season, the days that reached the highest order values of 2016 were: Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, then Thanksgiving. In 2015, the holiday days with the highest order values were: Dec. 12, followed by Black Friday, then Cyber Monday.

Its holiday shopping data showed that consumers were not necessarily shopping earlier, but were spending more during that time frame. The peak shopping period in 2016 - from Nov. 24 to Dec. 21 - drove 16.6 percent of total 2016 sales.

This is an upward trend from 2015, which indicated the shopping peak was between Nov. 26 and Dec. 23, accounting for 11.2 percent of total sales. Almost 17 percent of the order value for 2016 was on Thanksgiving day itself. This was an increase of 67 percent over 2015. The data showed that people spent more last year after the holidays and before the new year. The order value increased by 63 percent compared to 2015.

From Viglink's 2016 data, it noticed that email marketing will continue to be a hot commodity for merchant paid placements. It suggests that marketers should use omnichannel marketing to ensure success and mandate the use of social media by brands across their campaigns.

Omnichannel has resurfaced as a hot buzz word again due to Amazon figuring out the last mile strategy. Last mile ensures that customers in remote and rural areas can still get timely deliveries wherever they are. Amazon Locker uses secure lockers at pick up points where customers can go to collect their purchases.

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One of the biggest trends that marketers will see during this holiday season is the fight against Amazon and what other large brands will do in order to carve out a piece of the market.

Traditional retailers have to compete with Amazon Locker and are trying to figure out how to utilise physical distance to their advantage. Fortunately, the data shows that in-store pickup from online orders will continue to increase - even though consumer sentiment toward this tactic is not necessarily high.

Data usage and analysis will drive better targeting and conversions. The use of pre-targeting and retargeting are becoming more streamlined.

These tactics should be utilized by brands that want to gain market share against a giant like Amazon that already delivers that last mile.

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