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Beat the Summer Heat with Cool Holiday Thinking

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Today, heat waves are sending the mercury well above 90 across much of the U.S. We are clearly in the thick of summer’s sweltering heat.  For me, it feels like the perfect time to grab an ice-cold beverage and plan for cooler times.  That’s right, now is the perfect time to start planning for winter. Kids should start their lists for Santa, spouses can prod their significant others for hints about the perfect gift, and marketers, you can to start thinking about getting ready for your holiday campaigns.

In fact, this Tuesday, August 21st, at 1 p.m. E.T., Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru and I will host our annual Holiday Readiness webinar. I’ll be sharing with you information from IBM’s retail benchmark.  I’ve got an excellent mix of the latest trends combined with years of online holiday activity statistics. Sucharita will be sharing some of Forrester’s holiday data and mixing in her perspective as an industry analyst. We’ve both got some recommendations to help you take advantage of mobile, social media, instant retargeting, in-depth personalization, email optimization and other new technologies this holiday season.

To convince you to join, here’s a sneak peek at two interesting trends.  I’m sure it is no surprise that both mobile and social are hot topics when planning for the holiday season.

Sales over smartphones and tablets more than doubled last holiday and are continuing to rise in 2012, up to 15 percent in Q2.  IBM is predicting this number to soar to over 20percent for this holiday season.  Apple’s iPhone continued to rank number one for mobile device retail traffic (at 8.2 percent  in Q2 2012).  Next, neck and neck are Android and iPad which finished at 6.8 percent and 6.7 percent respectively in Q2.  Personally I find it incredible that a single device,  iPad, is mustering as much traffic as all of the Android devices combined.  In fact, my last blog post dove deep into the idea that 2012 might be remembered as the year of “couch commerce.”

In spite of the media buzz and long-term potential, sales and traffic from social media isn’t as robust as you might expect.  Social traffic and sales have both been below two percent of online traffic (1.3percent and 1.9 percent respectively in Q2).  In spite of these low numbers, our enthusiasm for social media is still strong.  The potential for social media to extend the reach of your marketing campaigns and amplify them into the customers’ network is huge.

We will be covering mobile and social and lots of other great holiday readiness advice.  So what are you waiting for?  Register, grab a cold beverage, and join me this Tuesday, August 21st, at 1 p.m. E.T. to start planning for cooler days….

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