Ready'?¦set'?¦SHOP! Hard to believe, but the 2013 holiday shopping season is almost underway. In 2012, holiday shoppers spent nearly $579 billion (Baynote/etailing group 2013 Holiday Survey). If the predicted 11% increase proves to be correct, retail spending will reach more than $640 billion in 2013. What are retailers doing to get ready? Here are a few trends brand marketers should consider when preparing for the 2013 holiday season. Mobile Optimized Experiences Looking at the past year, the majority of increase in online spending is attributed to mobile. And, mobile is predicted to drive much of the growth throughout the 2013 holiday shopping season. One-third of retailers believe mobile will consist of more than 10% of holiday sales this year, and 38% believe mobile will push more shoppers into stores. What's driving this shift? Consumer behavior. Consumers are attached at the fingertip to their phones as evidenced by the finding that over half of American smart phone owners don't go an hour without checking their device. In-store, consumers also use their mobile devices to compare prices with other retailers. 84% of shoppers use smart phones in-store as shopping companions, and one in three shoppers turn to their phones instead of asking an employee (Google Shopper Marketing Council, Mobile In-Store Research, April 2013). What does this mean for brands this holiday season? This constant connectivity provides brands a unique opportunity to deliver custom, geo-targeted messaging and communicate with a highly engaged audience. A mobile optimized experience is a powerful tool to deliver this customized messaging and to engage with consumers in-store and post purchase. Iconic British brand Burberry has leveraged this connected behavior to connect the online + offline world in order to provide the best consumer experience. Burberry dramatized its tough weather gear by making it rain (virtually) during the 'Burberry World Live'? launch at the grand opening of its largest store in Asia Pacific this past April. In September, Burberry transformed the Regent Street, London flagship store into a living website, a digitally-enhanced shopping experience that filled the 44,000-square foot space with cutting edge innovations. For its Chicago store opening last December, the space hosted a unique local event that continued its theme of "retail as theater," integrating digital, entertainment and fashion in a seamless experience. To find out more about shopping predictions and trends this holiday season, check out upcoming posts on the AMP blog.