The holidays are advertisers biggest and most important season. Brands spend millions fighting each other for the attention of their target audiences. With so much competition it’s a hard game to win, but one way to have more successful campaigns is to narrow your target by analyzing trends in behavior. More and more consumers are living on and through their phones, so mobile usage trends during the holiday season are important. We analyzed the mobile use of users across our network and discovered these six holiday season trends.
1. Sleeping In
Our alarm clock app moments include waking up early and using the app (versus snoozing, which we don’t measure). Maybe it’s the weather, maybe the days off from work or perhaps the holiday drinking. Whatever the case, alarm clock moments in our network decreased by 2.8% benchmark to pre-holiday, and 10.9% pre-holiday to Holiday, suggesting an increased behavior of sleeping in to recover from late-night activities and to counter the holiday hustle.
2. Late-night Ordering
Late-night fast food ordering (11p-4a) decreased by 56.7% benchmark to pre-holiday, and then skyrocketed by 479% pre-holiday to Holiday, indicating a huge validation for the season’s unconventional popularity for late-night (post-drinking or nightlife) dining. During the holidays people are less likely to want to venture out in the cold in middle of the night to find food, people are opting to stay in and turn to their favorite food ordering apps to satisfy their appetites.
3. Boring Family Dinner
We know that phones are used as a social crutch to avoid awkward social situations. During the Holidays, family dinner ranks high on the awkward list. (An “awkward holiday family dinner” search query yields more than 690,000 Google results.) During dinnertime hours of 5-7p, Kiip’s overall moments decreased by 7.2% benchmark to pre-holiday, and increased by 11.6% pre-holiday to Holiday, supporting the theory that the mobile device is a means of avoiding Holiday awkwardness, specifically at dinnertime.
4. Family Travel
We know that our users’ game usage spikes on top road trip weekends when they are in the car filling the miles with extra mobile entertainment. We thought hours of endless travel – especially with family – may offer additional grounds for burying one’s attention in a mobile device. But in 2015, the busiest travel day for Thanksgiving (the day before, 11/25) and the busiest travel day for Christmas (the day before, 12/23) both logged less moments than our benchmark – both in Games and overall – suggesting that travelers are not looking to their mobile device for the same awkwardness avoidance reasons that they may be at the holiday dinner table.
5. Last Minute Shopping
Not everyone can finish their holiday shopping the week after Thanksgiving. Many people scramble at the last minute to find holiday gifts for Secret Santa, holiday parties and family get-togethers. During the holiday season, we saw a 221% increase from benchmark in late-night shopping moments across our network (between 9pm and 12am EST). And no one wants to be the person that forgot a gift for Aunt Shirley, so buying last minute gifts on mobile is a popular option. The Kiip network saw a 151% increase in shopping moments from benchmark on the 23rd and 24th of December.
6. Awkward Family Photos
The holidays are a time for shopping and food but also taking a bunch of awkward family photo’s. With smartphone camera’s getting better and better, often these photos are taken and shared on mobile devices. Across the Kiip network, photo and video moments increased 35% from benchmark during the last holiday season.
*Hourly analyses based on US/EST time zone