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Text, Coupons Replace Flash Deals as Mobile Holiday Focus

Just 5% of retailers to remain faithful to daily deals

With mobile shopping more popular than ever, it’s no surprise retailers are planning to focus more on mobile this holiday season. But according to research, their focus may also be qualitatively different.

Data from BDO USA suggests that retailers’ primary mobile efforts this year will focus around the comparatively unsexy channels of text messaging and mobile coupons. Last year, far and away the winner in terms of attention was flash sales and daily deals—which hardly any retailers expect to focus on again. In fact, aside from flash sales and daily deals, all mobile marketing channels were expected to gain in popularity this year, suggesting the limited-time offers did not perform as well as hoped for in 2012.

But keeping the focus on saving money tracks nicely with what consumers appear to expect. Data from Placed indicated that getting coupons or other discounts was the most common way smartphone owners would use their devices to shop on Black Friday. Nearly half of all smartphone owners planned to do this as of October.

Early research returns from the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend indicate mobile has been a major source of web traffic to retailers, and a sizeable share of holiday commerce so far has been conducted via mobile. eMarketer expects overall holiday season retail ecommerce sales, which includes all US retail ecommerce sales for the months of November and December, to reach $61.8 billion this year, up 15.1% over 2012.

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