If you haven’t noticed yet by the Christmas music everywhere, it’s in full swing, folks.

With the holiday season upon us, now is a good time to highlight online shopping trends and how they change at this time of the year.  With online shopping slated to increase 17% over last year, keep the following tips in mind:

Trending in General:

Lines between online and offline shopping are blurring.  It is now the norm for shoppers to start their search on a mobile device, peruse in stores and then finish the purchase on the same or different mobile device entirely.  An article from 9news.com says that Google’s own research shows four in five mobile phone and tablet owners are using their devices to help them holiday shop.  This cross-channel shopping makes it imperative that a consistent brand is maintained across all mediums.

Social marketing apps allow brands to place offers where their audiences spend the most time. Facebook now supports complete transactions without ever leaving the newsfeed and collections allow users to ‘Want’, ‘Collect’ or ‘Like’ brands or even add them to ‘Wishlists’.

Pinterest is another strong driver of social ecommerce, as a shopping-centric network. This year, 71% of marketers plan to invest in Pinterest boards, compared to 30% in 2011.

Check out this article from BostInno.com about making social holiday shopping work for your brand.

Procrastination Factor:

One key factor to note in this modern digital age is how easy it is to put off shopping until the final moments. Time Magazine Online reported that a quarter of all shoppers last Christmas had not even started their shopping one week before Christmas.

“Free shipping to arrive in time for Christmas” is a tempting tagline for those procrastinating shoppers.  One quick entry on your device and the sale is complete! Your last minute gift is on its way to your front door.  Due to this recent trend, companies now keep it in mind and provide additional deals until the last second.  Extremely clear extended shipping deadlines are especially helpful in this situation.

Happy buying and selling!

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