The Holidays Meet Mobile: 3 Ways to Boost Conversion

by Ritika Puri

Last updated on December 18th, 2017

A recent Pew survey points out that last year, nearly 58% of cell phone users used their phones for guidance on purchasing decisions while inside a physical store.

And that’s just the beginning. A recent study from Deloitte revealed the following trends for 2013:

  • 69% of consumers will shop online
  • 58% will compare prices
  • 58% will obtain product information
  • 57% will read customer reviews
  • 52% will make a purchase

Holy cake pops! If you’re in e-commerce, the time to start sprucing up your mobile strategy was yesterday. If you happen to be a procrastinator (like the rest of us), three techniques will propel your mobile marketing and help you sell more this holiday season:

1. Easy-to-Explore Gifts

Down time is great for shopping, so guess when your customers will be exploring your website.

Help your prospects make the most of their down time by simplifying the research process. Here’s what ModCloth did with their mobile gifts channel during Halloween:


This type of navigation makes the gift selection process as painless as possible. No more wading through pages of products for gals when what you really need is a guy’s gift. Or something on sale. Or a holiday-specific product.

Replicate this template by taking the following steps.

  • Create a limited set of options based on customer needs
  • Cut that number in half for a super-easy browsing experience
  • Create a mobile landing page that outlines all of these customer needs

Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm your prospects with category overload. It’s better to have more items per category—keep focus directed towards the goods, and encourage your users to dive deep.


Conversion Metrics to Watch:

  • Wishlist additions
  • Direct sales
  • Social media shares of products

2. Email Marketing that Hits Home

Ask consumers about the top-5 things they do on their smartphones. To nobody’s surprise, email likely makes the list. Email will be an invaluable channel for connecting with prospects and customers one on one.

STA Travel

Retailers have sales on the brain, but it’s important to keep in mind that shopping sprees are just a small part of the holiday equation. Consumers are going to be bombarded with all kinds of deals, promotions, and last-minute offers.

As much as you want to ramp up your 4th-quarter numbers, take a breather to remember why the holidays are so important in the first place—friends, family, food, and time to relax.

In the next few months, people are going to become sick and tired of shopping. Make sure to engage prospects and customers by appealing to their values too.

For reference, here are a few of a hundred emails that I didn’t read during the holidays last year (on my phone or otherwise):

Spam Mail

Why not send a different kind of email?

Give subscribers a chance to spread the holiday cheer. Sponsor a charity, for example, and offer to donate a percentage of each sale in the purchaser’s name. Or offer a special gift to people who donate a dollar over and above their purchase price.

Now that’s an email that might get opened.

Conversion Metrics to Watch:

  • Email opens
  • Clicks to your website
  • Wishlist additions
  • Direct sales
  • Social media shares of products

3. In-Store Offers

For brick-and-mortar storefronts, online marketing is only half the customer acquisition equation. People are going to do their shopping across a variety of shopping mediums. They’re buying online via mobile, but they’re also browsing products in person at physical storefronts.

Mobile presents a significant opportunity to capitalize on this user behavior. Send in-store redeemable coupons via apps or email. Encourage prospects to complete a transaction, right then and there.

Here is some inspiration from the Container Store in Arizona:

Container Store

Conversion Metrics to Watch:

  • Visits to store with coupon
  • Offers redeemed

4. Every Last Detail

When it comes to mobile conversion optimization, you need to sweat the small stuff. That means ensuring a perfectly optimized user experience. Pay attention to the following check-list to make sure that:

Not sure what to optimize first? Begin by zeroing in on your audience’s intent. What are their goals for browsing your website? Where (geographically) are they likely to be when they’re browsing? How do you think they’re feeling? They could be in the store and stressed, cozy at home in the couch, or waiting for their morning train the snow.

Once you understand your site’s core user experience needs, the details will feel like a natural next step.

Bottom line

This holiday, your customers will evaluate your products on their smart phones. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to think mobile. Especially for the holidays.

The good news is, when using a mobile device, people tend to buy from the site with the best usability. So your chances of increasing sales is pretty high. On the whole, I’d say it’s worth the effort.

What is your favorite holiday mobile marketing tip? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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Ritika Puri

Ritika Puri is a San Francisco-based blogger who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and marketing. She’s inspired by the intersection between technology, entrepreneurship, and sociology. By day, she works for a large online media company, and after-hours, she runs her writing consulting business, UserGrasp.


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  1. Reshu says:
    November 16, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Nice read Ritika! I totally agree with you that responsive design and email marketing plays an important part in the holiday mobile marketing. Other than those two very important things that can be done to increase conversion rates are:

    1) Use a Specialized Mobile Holiday App to target shoppers. Even if you already have an app designed for your mobile shoppers it’s worthwhile to design another one especially for the holiday season.

    2) Use SMS marketing to target people. Data shows that click rates for SMS messages are often more than ten times that of emails.

    TIP: Start early, so that your product remains on top of the mind when people begin their shopping process.

  2. Ghautham says:
    November 13, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Great post. Some Great reminders . Conversions is all about staying relevant to your consumer market. Speaking “their” language, not yours. Having links that are descriptive and what the visitor would want to continue reading. Images also help, since so many people are visual and a website can get very cold feeling.

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