If you’re a Marketer, Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating delicious food, spending time with your family, and maybe getting in on a game of backyard football. Instead, you’re obsessing about the biggest days of the year for shopping: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.

This week, we’re recapping this year’s Cyber Holiday Experience. To help us, we have Rick Kenney - Senior Director of Industry Strategy and Insights at Salesforce -  who has been in the marketing space for almost 20 years and has seen his fair share of marketing trends. We’re still only about halfway through the holiday shopping season, so this info could be just the ticket to get you through the rest of December.

Tune into the full conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Reach out and let us know if you have an interesting topic for the Marketing Cloudcast.

Here are some highlights from our conversation with Rick Kenney.


1. The Growing Power of Mobile


This year was the first time that we saw more orders for the holiday shopping season placed on phones over computers (just slightly, 46% to 45%). On top of that, this year a whopping 60% of holiday traffic on Black Friday was through mobile, up from 52% last year. For Rick, it’s important to pay attention because “More and more marketers need to understand that the context of that shopper is absolutely positively going to be mobile.” Most importantly, that’s just what happened this year. Going forward, you need to ”invest for what's coming tomorrow, the worlds of tomorrow, the world of next cyber week is going to be even more mobile than it is now, and that teeters on the brink of mobile-only for a lot of marketers out there.”


2. AI and Personalization Are Changing How We Shop


While mobile is certainly a big story for Black Friday 2017, there was also a 26% growth in Cyber Monday sales. For Rick, a big factor in that growth was the increasing number of brands that were able to leverage AI to change the way that users browse their sites. The go-to example is Amazon and how it’s trained us to shop on mobile: You don't navigate on Amazon. The consumer is being trained to not navigate anymore.” Instead, powerful search functionality is combined with smart AI personalization to put products in front of customers that they’d be genuinely interested in buying. Going forward, “We need to really focus on - how do you get smarter to create a little bit of advantage for every shopper so that they might see something a little more relevant than just what the merchandiser had done?”


3. Black Friday is a Global Event


Black Friday and cyber week are quickly becoming a global phenomenon. Rick joined us from London, where he’s sitting with customers from all over Europe that see sales spikes at this time of year, no matter where they are. As Rick says, “in many of the Europe geographies Black Friday is not being translated. It is Black Friday. It is not “Vendredi noir” in France. It is “Black Friday” in France. That's actually rather atypical for some of these markets that typically would translate some of the things that might come over in the form of digital commerce.”


4. More Holiday Shopping Trends to Come!


Rick puts the halfway point for holiday season digital sales at December 3rd, so we’re still right in the thick of it, especially because, as Rick notes, only “about a third of all spending is already done.” He expects to see more click and collect activity, once those free shipping thresholds around December 18th and 19th have passed. The good news for retailers is that getting customers to your store, even just to pick something up, means that they’ll probably take a moment to look around and maybe make another purchase.                                       

Rick offers more insight in the full episode of the Marketing Cloudcast. Join the thousands of Trailblazers who are Cloudcast subscribers on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or Overcast.