It’s been quite a year for the mobile industry! Between the COVID-19 pandemic permanently changing people’s relationships with their smartphones, Apple’s iOS 14.5 release, and the continued revenue growth of mobile gaming, staying up on mobile trends and advertising opportunities has been a challenge — and we’re only just hitting the hectic holiday season.
Here at Tapjoy, we’ve chronicled the ongoing evolution of the mobile landscape in a series of comprehensive Modern Mobile Gamer™ reports covering four key personas: Gen Z, Millennials, parents, and Gen X (coming soon!). As we prepare to baste the turkey and deck the halls, it’s time to take a closer look at the most wonderful time of the year — and what that means for mobile advertisers and publishers.
In this post, we’ll cover why mobile should be at the forefront of your holiday advertising plans. With the majority of mobile users on the Tapjoy network reporting that they’ll be using their smartphones and tablets for holiday shopping this year, it’s the perfect environment to reach holiday shoppers.
Holiday purchasing power of mobile gamers
In total, we surveyed 14,000+ US consumers on Tapjoy’s network to understand their holiday preferences and behaviors. One of the most striking findings was that 80% say they plan to make holiday purchases this year. Nearly half of consumers (42%) also say they plan to spend even more this holiday season compared to 2020. Together these statistics illustrate that as a group, mobile gamers are high-intent shoppers.
Beyond intent, mobile gamers also indicate strong purchasing power. Among the mobile gamers we surveyed, 15% said they plan to spend over $1,000 on holiday gifts this year. An additional 22% plan to purchase more than $500 in holiday gifts, while 52% say they’ll spend over $250.
What types of retailers will be at the receiving end of this projected spending? Consumers plan to shop across a diverse array of retail establishments. 82% said they’ll purchase from general merchandise retailers, 43% say they plan to buy directly from a brand, and 40% said they will patronize small, local businesses. The majority of consumers (73%) also say they’ll take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales — but the window to reach this audience is open throughout December. 73% say they continue shopping till the last minute, between one to three weeks before the holidays.
In sum: Mobile gamers are an incredibly valuable target audience for advertisers in the 2021 holiday season. Brands who reach this audience in November and December will tap into its purchasing power — and position themselves for impactful holiday returns.
‘Tis the season (for mobile shopping)
After a challenging 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, the holiday spirit is back in a big way. According to our data, 76% of respondents are looking forward to the holidays, and the vast majority have shopping in mind. Just as importantly, 69% of consumers will use their mobile devices to do that holiday shopping. With mobile shifting to the forefront of shopping experiences, it’s not surprising that consumers say this medium will be a focal environment for holiday purchasing.
Consumers are relying on retail apps (64%) and the mobile web (58%) as their primary holiday shopping methods this upcoming season. So what does this all mean? It’s simple: Advertisers who scale up mobile advertising campaigns will reach highly engaged consumers. And since shopping apps play such a big role in mobile holiday shopping, retailers need to ensure that the experience is smooth and intuitive from start to finish.
Holiday time is gaming time
Aside from shopping, mobile users plan on doing a lot of gaming this holiday season. While enjoying time off from work or traveling to visit family, mobile gaming provides a welcome respite from the chaos. With 66% of mobile users reporting that they open mobile games three or more times every day during the holiday season, this channel is integral for brands looking to increase awareness and connect consumers to products and services.
Our data shows that certain types of mobile ads are particularly influential with holiday shoppers. Half of those surveyed said they use rewarded ad offers to get holiday gift ideas, and 59% of parents engage with playable ads during the holidays. Mobile gamers are most likely to engage with retail and shopping ads, but food, beverage, and restaurant ads are also popular.
There’s no doubt about it: Mobile games continue to represent a huge growth opportunity for advertisers, especially during the holidays.
Black Friday still reigns supreme
The nature of Black Friday has changed over the years, but it remains one of the most popular shopping days of the entire year. Rather than force their way through thick crowds at brick-and-mortar stores, however, many consumers prefer the more relaxed online environment for Black Friday deals. On the Tapjoy network, 69% of users said that they plan to shop on Black Friday this year, though Cyber Monday isn’t far behind with 62% planning to participate. Overall, 56% of users reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are their preferred times to get their holiday shopping done. In other words, mobile advertisers should be ready for an influx of consumer attention in the days following Thanksgiving.
Parents are a particularly attentive demographic during this time: 76% plan to shop on Black Friday, and a whopping 84% are ready to drop some cash on Cyber Monday. Clothes and footwear are the top gifting categories in almost every demographic, though toys and games come in a close second.
It’s not exactly breaking news that the holiday season drives consumer spending, but what’s changing is how much consumers are relying on their smartphones to make their lists and check them twice. The 2021 holiday period will be a time of significant mobile usage, and — if you play your cards right — significant growth.
For a more in-depth look at all of our holiday market research, download our Modern Mobile Gamer™ Holiday Booklet!