Where will holiday shoppers be making purchases when using mobile, in app or web browser?
The percentages will vary based on the product being purchased, and the geographic location. PwC has some great research indicating the different research and purchase behaviors across various product types and platforms (ie: desktop vs mobile web vs. in-app). Time spent in mobile apps has eclipsed time spent in mobile browsers and this has been researched a number of times. Yet, some research suggests that mobile web, or browsers, still account for more e-commerce revenue than in-app, on average. Research by Criteo suggests that for those business investing in their mobile apps and improving the user experience, revenue has risen to outpace mobile web.

I expect this trend to continue over the Holiday season, and into 2017. As app experiences become better, and the technology improves, the amount of revenue businesses can drive will continue to rise.

How early do publications start hosting holiday ads?
Looking through our data, we see about 50% lift overall in volume within Q4, and the rise starts in early October with a steady built towards December. We see a jump in activity mid-November, leading into Thanksgiving and Black Friday, with a small dip in the following few days. Then, in the first week of December see a massive spike as the advertisers and retailers start advertising to consumers. We see this influx of advertiser activity continue until the last week of December, and the post-Holidays hangover results in a decrease of roughly 25%.

What are 5 digital advertising trends to achieve record results this holiday season?
Digital marketers have a lot of weapons at their disposal to ensure their digital campaigns are successful this holiday season. First, mobile video should certainly be at the forefront, as the medium has a dramatic impact on performance, engagement, and impact. Second, if marketers want to compound those results, they can layer on interactive video. When advertisers use VPAID, a form of video that allows for interactive components, we see an explosive increase in performance – almost 800% increase in engagement metrics over normal VAST. Third, a hot topic for years, marketers can now take advantage of trusted third party vendors for viewability to ensure their ad campaigns are only serving on viewable and audible inventory. Why pay for impressions that aren’t seen or heard? Fourth, marketers can ensure they’re hitting the right person with their message by utilizing first and third party data available via DMPs and from publishers. Fifth, marketers need to be aware of the growing push for better creatives and better advertising. Spending time to produce better creatives, specifically designed for the medium (mobile vs. desktop vs. TV), is money well spent and will improve campaign performance and audience engagement.

Will mobile commerce continue to grow?
I certainly think so – the percentage of commerce transacted on mobile devices needs to catch up with mobile consumption. It is a similar story with mobile ad spend being behind consumption, but as technology improves we will see these percentages shift. It will be interesting to watch the impact of newer technologies like the Amazon Echo on consumer behavior and e-commerce.

Is video advertising on the rise this holiday season?
Video advertising has been on the rise all year, and we anticipate the rise to continue into 2017 as the dominant format for mobile.

Is email marketing still a good promotional tool?
Absolutely – old faithful is still kicking. I, like many others, still spend all day in email and use it as a primary method of communication. This may change over time as messaging apps continue to rise, but email is still a powerful marketing medium.