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LivingSocial claims trends point to big holiday season for mobile

September 11, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 10.22.26 AMNEW YORK – A LivingSocial executive at the Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2014 claimed that trends and increased mobile usage point to a bigger holiday season online and on mobile.

The brand is continuing to gear towards mobile commerce after seeing 66 percent of recent traffic come from mobile devices. LivingSocial has pinpointed core trends that it expects to impact the upcoming holiday season, including mobile dependency, the significant surge of mobile phones in the market, and higher mobile usage than in previous years.

“The total Internet usage in the US is already more mobile than desktop,” said Curt Odar, director of product management at LivingSocial.

Mobile Marketer organized the Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2014.

Key trends
LivingSocial has identified key mobile trends that will boost holiday sales and integrate into its goal of combining local commerce with mobile. Studies have revealed that people have addictions of dopamine when devices go off, and result in “nomophobia”: fear of lacking a mobile phone.

“People want to see notifications,” said Mr. Odar. “Mobile helps satisfy the need for urgency.”

There were 143 million mobile devices sold in 2013 and another 89 million are expected to be sold in 2014. Along with increasing screen sizes, these are some of the factors contributing to mobile commerce’s significant rise. Marketers have even greater audiences to reach, helped in part by speedier mobile networks.

The last key trend identified by LivingSocial is greater usage overall. While many brands’ mobile conversion rates are just under 1 percent, most of those issues are addressable mobile issues, such as design and aspects specific to mobile devices.

Mobile use will continue escalating, especially during key commerce days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. LivingSocial saw its biggest net revenue in history on 2013’s Cyber Monday, with mobile conversion rates increased by 50 percent and 41 percent of transactions taking place on mobile devices.

It predicts that at least 50 percent of transactions will be on mobile this holiday season.

livingSocial body

Impact on LivingSocial
Last month, LivingSocial saw 42 percent of transactions come from mobile devices. The brand uses frequent email blasts and personalized messages to target consumers on mobile devices.

“The only time desktop outperforms mobile and tablets is during weekdays, during work hours, when people are forced to be at their laptops,” said Mr. Odar. “On weekends, mobile dominates 24 hours a day, and this changes even more over holidays.”

During last year’s holiday season, LivingSocial experienced high mobile conversion rates during Cyber Monday, and a 75 percent increase on Black Friday. Customers are likely to use mobile devices while standing in line at stores, and browse on tablets at home after shopping during the day.

The brand has classified five phases to help mainstream its holiday marketing efforts: prepping for the holidays, early gift shopping, Thanksgiving and cyber days, prime time, and the home stretch before Christmas. LivingSocial revealed that it approaches messaging differently during the competitive cyber days, and personalizes when and why messages are sent.

Because LivingSocial is a diverse marketplace, deciding how to curate collections and identify the right collection at the right stage of the holidays is imperative. As most users do not have a concrete idea of their future purchase before they visit the application or Web site, LivingSocial functions on demand generation, rather than demand fulfillment.

LivingSocial will be exhibiting a large marketing focus on mobile this holiday season, but will continue budgeting heavily for desktop as well.

“Mobile by itself is not a strategy,” said Mr. Odar.

Final Take
Curtis Odar is director of product management at LivingSocial, Washington DC

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at

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