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Attention, brand marketers. One of the highest grossing shopping seasons is predicted to kick off sooner than you think. Curious as to how you can prepare? Read this post for predicted trends for the 2013 holiday shopping season. $640 Billion 2013 Holiday Retail Spend Consumers will be on the lookout for value messaging, coupons, awesome promotions, and free shipping. One in five retailers say free shipping will be the deciding factor on purchases this year, so brand marketers should consider this tactic if scalable/possible and consider using it to their advantage on the big in-store shopping days such as Black Friday according to Google Internal Search Data. In addition to this, retailers are focusing on flash sales and promotions such as BOGO. Mobile Mobile is believed to contribute to 38% of in-store sales by retailers and 53% of retailers believe the most significant transactions will be via mobile channels. Based on the shopper's location and device, retailers should aim to meet consumers in context of wherever they are (comparing prices, checking inventory, hunting for coupons, etc.) As Interbrand points out in Best Retail Brands 2013 report: "In the future, retail stores will look different than they do today. The digital dimension and corresponding consumer behavior continue to evolve and change the way a brand experience is delivered. Now that the idea of shopping can't be anchored in geography or managed as an event, the brand experience is too important'and holds too much promise'to be ignored. It's critical that retailers focus on enhancing brand experiences no matter where they are." The 'Online Shopping Continuum'? Typical peak shopping days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Eve) are stretching into shopping weeks and extended promotions. Retailers are taking advantage of these shopping 'holidays'? and are pushing the urgency tactic through mobile to consumers according to the Chase Holiday Pulse. Timing is Everything Retailers will be open for business via mobile at all times, especially on those major in-store shopping holidays. The three biggest days for mobile queries were Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and the day after Christmas (Google Internal Search Data, Shopping Category, Q4, Percentage Lift vs. Average Q4 Day). In 2012, shopping-related searches increased astronomically during key in-store days. Up to 40% of retailers' sales this year are expected to happen during the 2013 holiday season (National Retail Federation, Holiday FAQ). As early as it may seem, consumers and retailers alike are busy prepping for the big holiday spend this year, which is predicted to be one of the highest grossing yet. Retailers and brand marketers, take note to plan first with mobile tactics as part of holiday marketing shopping strategies. Happy holidays and happier shopping to all!