It’s the Sunday evening of the long Thanksgiving weekend. You’ve finally made a significant dent in the leftovers and your most annoying relatives are on their way to the airport. So what do you do?
For many people the answer is, apparently, shop online using your handheld device. Aggregated advertiser data from MediaMath shows a definite spike in mobile traffic on “Sofa Sunday,” with the most purchases made from 7 pm to 11 pm. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Edwin Lee, VP of Retail at MediaMath, explained the trends that are fueling the Sofa Sunday phenomenon, and revealed how retailers can best take advantage of consumer activity during this critical portion of the holiday weekend.
Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How big a spike in mobile shopping are we talking about on Sofa Sunday?
Lee: It’s not clear exactly how big the spike will be, but it will spike. If you think about it, mobile shopping fits into the weekend when people are on the go. Whereas Cyber Monday is when people are back at work sitting in front of their desktop, Sofa Sunday is being out and about and still buying holiday gifts.
RTP: Is it primarily browsing and research, or completed transactions?
Lee: The major retail trend this year is that mobile conversions are finally catching up with the mobile traffic numbers. Historically, people would research on mobile and convert on desktop. On Sofa Sunday, people will be in-store and online at the same time, researching deals and, if they are finding the best one, converting, whether in-store or on their phone.
RTP: The “Couch Commerce” concept has been around for a few years. What recent trends, either technological or behavioral, are fueling this current spike?
Lee: The ultimate driver of converting on mobile devices is the comfort consumers have in doing so. This comfort is made up of better, not-just-mobile-optimized-sites, but mobile-web-specific designed sites and mobile apps. The fact that consumers are continuing to spend more and more time on their mobile device leads to higher trust and comfort in transacting over the mobile device. So it’s technological, but the technology is changing consumer behavior.
RTP: Are you seeing this behavior across various age and demographic groups?
Lee: Mobile adoption is highest among the millennial generation, but Gen X and Gen Y are right behind them. For instance, research on shopping habits released by Adroit Digital in August shows that 55% of those aged 18 to 34, and 52% of those aged 35 and older, are now more likely to click on a mobile ad over a desktop one. This shows that the generations are more alike in their shopping habits than previously noted.
RTP: Are there particular product types or retail verticals that you expect will see the most traffic and sales on Sofa Sunday?
Lee: We predict that the bigger ticket items will be higher on Sofa Sunday than others — TVs and electronics specifically.
RTP: In your opinion, will Sofa Sunday ever eclipse Cyber Monday?
Lee: No…consumers still can do a lot more and faster on their desktop over corporate-fast Internet connections. Cyber Monday will still be the biggest.
RTP: What should retailers do to take the most advantage of the Sofa Sunday phenomenon?
Lee: Be sure to have a mobile-web designed site that reflects the same deals or exclusive deals for that channel. Also, be sure that your marketing and media are aligned to make consumers aware of deals. Take advantage of true cross-device targeting and attribution. You don’t want to lose that customer to another retailer!