Why Mobile Marketing Should Be Part of Your Holiday Strategy

CM Commerce Team

Think of the last ecommerce purchase you made.

How did you start your journey?

Chances are, you either:

  • Got an idea and Googled something from your smartphone.
  • Saw an interesting ad or post while browsing Facebook.
  • Received an email in your Gmail or Apple app with a relevant recommendation and discount.

Regardless, there’s a solid chance you began—if not completed—your entire purchase from a mobile device. Mobile commerce makes up almost half of the U.S. ecommerce market: $284 billion. 

Holiday mobile marketing revenue.
Source: Business Insider

That’s why it’s so essential to develop a mindful mobile marketing strategy for your holiday campaigns and it’s never too early to start planning. 

Below, you’ll learn why a mobile commerce strategy is so vital for success this holiday season, along with a few actionable tips and strategies to deliver results.

What is mobile marketing, and why is it essential for your holiday strategy?

Mobile marketing involves a strategy for reaching ecommerce shoppers on mobile devices.

Ideally, your mobile strategy should focus on optimizing every stage of the funnel—from brand awareness and demand generation down to conversions and building customer loyalty.

When surveyed in 2018, 79% of customers said they’d bought something on their phone within the past six months. 

Before the pandemic struck, ecommerce sales (both desktop and mobile) were expected to make up 12% of the entire retail market in 2020. As we’ve seen, however, a majority of business is happening online, and much of it on mobile devices.

Holiday mobile marketing shopping and spending habits
Source: Outerbox

Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. If an email’s layout isn’t formatted correctly, over 70% of customers will delete it in less than three seconds and 15% may even unsubscribe.

8 tips for making the most of your mobile strategy

Successful mobile marketing is all about timing and relevance. 

1. Start as early as possible.

Starting early is key to keeping your brand at the forefront of shoppers’ minds. 

According to the National Retail Federation, 40% of Americans start shopping for the winter holidays before Halloween. Over 12% begin their holiday shopping journey before September even hits.

Pinterest research shows that consumers are consistently ahead of advertisers. In fact, consumers start planning their Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and winter holiday shopping as early as June.

When should you start planning holiday mobile marketing?
Source: Pinterest

That’s good news for you because you can earn some leverage over your competition by starting your holiday mobile marketing strategy during the back-to-school season.

2. Stand out in the inbox with personalized and automated email marketing.

Email is a must in any effective holiday mobile marketing strategy. 

A majority of people check their email within an hour of waking up each morning. Meanwhile, 17% of folks say the first thing they do when they wake up is check their email.

Millennials are even more likely to prioritize email, with 30% checking their inbox first thing. 

On average, people open their email 15 times each day—every 37 minutes.

So much time spent checking email isn’t necessarily a good thing, as far as work and mental health are concerned. However, it does mean that people prioritize their email inbox over other methods of communication like social media, direct mail, or phone calls. 

No one rushes to their mailbox unless something they’ve ordered online is due to arrive. 

You can take advantage of these facts in your holiday mobile marketing strategy. Ideally, focus on personalizing and automating your email.

This Lululemon email is fully optimized for mobile and promotes convenient gift choices:

Holiday mobile marketing with personalized email.
Source: Lululemon


Using the Campaign Monitor template builder, you can develop custom holiday emails with no coding experience. You want to make sure your emails look 100% across every device. 

You can then save your holiday email templates to use throughout the season with personalized content such as:

  • Product recommendations or reminders based on browsing behavior
  • Relevant coupons or discounts
  • Upsells or cross-sells based on previous purchases


Email automation is also crucial for personalizing your content based on triggered actions. CM Commerce offers a wide range of powerful automation features to help you meet your customers at the ideal time, such as:

  • Abandoned cart emails to win back the 70% of products left in carts
  • Feedback and review requests to bolster trust and authority
  • Automatic follow-ups with product reminders or post-purchase discount codes
Holiday mobile marketing with abandoned cart emails.
Source: CM-Commerce

3. Grow your audience and win impulse buys with social media marketing.

Businesses spend billions each year on social media marketing. Unfortunately, most conversion rates are pitiful compared to average ad spend, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Targeting and personalization are the secrets behind winning social media marketing. 

When the holidays roll around, you can take advantage of social media strategically in a few ways:

  • Brand awareness and demand generation: Use social media to promote your informative holiday blogs, gift idea roundups, reviews, and testimonials among your target audience.
  • Retargeting: Social media marketing produces the best results when you’re targeting people already interested in your brand and products. You can use tools like Facebook Pixel and Audience Insights to reach your most loyal customers on the platform and elsewhere.
  • Impulse buys: How many times have you bought something impulsively because you know it’ll make an awesome gift for someone? The holidays are the perfect time to capitalize on impulse buys with product video promotions.

4. Provide a seamless checkout process to boost mobile conversions.

While abandoned cart emails are critical for winning back lost sales, nothing compares to a fully optimized mobile checkout experience. 

The design experts at Nielsen-Norman Group recommend

  • Making it easy for shoppers to update/remove items from their cart.
  • Listing any shipping costs or extra fees up front.
  • Providing a guest checkout option—don’t require a shopper to register an account.
  • Use the shopper’s location data to personalize shipping time and price.
  • Keep forms simple and use autofill features.
  • Avoid drop-down menus for states and date inputs—let customers type the details.
  • Offer several payment options, including credit card scanning.

5. Create a branded mobile shopping app.

A branded app can play a key role in your mobile marketing strategy, earning you a permanent place in your customers’ smartphone. You can use this to send push notifications for product notifications, sales, and personalized recommendations. 

Plus, people can complete their entire purchase seamlessly through your app. In other words, you don’t have to convince your shoppers to visit your landing pages or website. 

Make sure your mobile app integrates seamlessly with your other platforms. Ideally, any products a customer adds to their cart via one platform should show up on another.

For example, if a customer adds products to their cart from a smartphone app, those products should stay in their cart when they open your site from a desktop.

6. Develop a holiday content marketing strategy to encourage social sharing.

A comprehensive content marketing strategy can help you earn 434% more indexed pages in Google. This comes in handy for visibility in mobile searches. 

For the holidays, think of how content should best represent your brand:

  • Holiday gift guides or roundups 
  • Inspirational holiday video series
  • Interesting industry infographics

7. Consider an SMS strategy.

SMS isn’t the right strategy for every brand in every situation, but it can certainly come in handy as part of your broader mobile marketing strategy.

It’s worthwhile to ask shoppers if they’d like to receive transactional text messages from your brand, such as order status and shipping notifications. 

You can also set up unique holiday marketing SMS drip campaigns like countdown notifications and updates on new products. You may review text privacy laws before planning an SMS campaign.

8. Highlight virtual gift options to accommodate changing expectations.

Even as the pandemic slows, many folks in high-risk groups won’t feel comfortable attending large holiday gatherings. 

Make life a little easier for your customers with virtual gift options. Digital gift cards, virtual classes, instructional DIY guides, and vouchers all make excellent no-contact yet heartfelt gifts.

What better time to promote free shipping?

Holiday mobile marketing with free shipping.
Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

Mobile commerce has skyrocketed in popularity over the past five years. With the ongoing pandemic, mobile marketing is poised to remain a key part of your holiday marketing strategy. 

Use these tips and techniques to optimize your mobile strategy his holiday season:

  • Start early—ideally in August or September.
  • Personalize and automate your email marketing.
  • Hone your social media marketing to win impulse buys and build branding.
  • Optimize your mobile checkout process to reduce any friction.
  • Invest in a branded mobile app.
  • Develop a content marketing strategy to build trust and expand your reach.
  • Consider an SMS campaign strategy.
  • Provide virtual gift options.

Looking for powerful email marketing automation and personalization tools to win your holiday strategy? Check out the full range of CM Commerce features.