How to make the most of holiday shopping trends this year!

2016 holiday shopping trends consumers, retail, giftRetailers are expecting three big shopping trends for holiday 2016 and the good news is you can use them to your advantage.

See it to Believe It
Shoppers who used to thumb through oversized catalogues looking for gift inspiration are now turning to the internet. And one growing source of inspiration is YouTube gift guides. In these short videos, creators like Grace Helbig, ZoellaiJustine, even Kid President, share their favorite products.

Not sold on YouTube? You should be, according to a June 2016 study by Google/Euromonitor International, 64% of smartphone shoppers turn to YouTube for ideas about what to Buy in the Home and Garden industry.

How can you take advantage of this shopping trend? Get video. Don’t go crazy, but consider making some Facebook live videos of your holiday gift items as they arrive in your store. This could include unpacking items, placing on display or just general gushing. For more ideas, take a look at this holiday blog on Jeff and Pam Sneed of Jeff’s Country Florist & Gifts that includes a link to one of their internet videos.

The BEST Gifts Ever
Today, holiday shopping is about more than just choosing between the red or white scarf. There are so many options, especially online, that consumers can end up feeling overwhelmed (by the way, Amazon sells roughly 225,000 scarves). Once they have their video-inspiration, shoppers are narrowing down their choices by searching for the “best” products. According to Google, searches related to “best” products have grown by more than 50% in the last year (May 2015 v May 2016).

How can you take advantage of this shopping trend? Create content around best gifting options. This can include a blog for the “Best Gifts for Dad” and another for the “Best Gifts for Mom” etc. Share these on your social channels and even consider putting a few dollars behind promoting them (we’ve seen just $5 make a difference in post views). Make sure to include reasons to buy the product IN your store in the post (like personal service, gift wrap, return policy, etc.).

Embracing Mobile
Every year we hear that Mobile shopping is going to be big. And we are hearing the same prediction for 2016 but this year the actual consumer journey is much more clear. What we can expect are shoppers researching online on their mobile devise (YouTube, “Best” searches) and then heading in store to actually see and touch a product. Then, while in store, shoppers will use their mobile phone to read product reviews or double check prices. According to Google, 30% of shoppers use their mobile phone to search for products while shopping for them in store!

How can you take advantage of this shopping trend? Remember those “Best” blogs we just talked about? Put them to use in your store to direct the shopping searches that we know are going to happen anyway. Your plan of attack is to tag all the items you’ve blogged about with “Best Gift” call outs. Then also include a URL (something short is best!) so shoppers can access the blog (or video review) on their smartphones.

By preparing for, and embracing, expected 2016 holiday shopping trends gift shop retailers can use these consumer behaviors to their advantage to have a truly successful holiday season!

How are you embracing digital shopping trends? Have you tried Facebook live videos or other video review options? Are you creating product blogs or sharing other content to help consumers find the best gifts this year? We’d love to hear about your strategies in the comments below!