If you think your favorite retailers are “talking” to you more online this holiday season, you are probably right. You may have noticed a huge increase in the amount of emails and social media promotions you’ve come across. In fact, you more than likely saw your inbox expand significantly between midnight and 3am on Black Friday, with a steady stream still flowing.

According to Experian Marketing Services, 96% of retailers plan to invest in email marketing this retail season. The majority of them will also make strong investments in social media campaigns (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and mobile advertising. Why? In 2011, Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday as the biggest online shopping day of the year for the first time ever, growing from 138 million visits to 177 million visits. Retailers have taken noticed and have devoted more time and resources towards the digital frontier. Here are three things I think retailers should include on their 2012 holiday marketing checklist:

1. Use your customers’ existing website and mobile shopping behaviors to improve their online shopping experience. Product search inquiries, navigation patterns and purchase history can provide a retailer with very interesting insights.

2. Make your site both mobile and tablet friendly. Over 50% of consumer will use smartphones and tablets to browse for holiday deals. Don’t drive away potential buyers because they can’t use your site.

3. Entertain and educate while shopping. While it might appear customers are purely focused on finding the lowest price, sometimes providing extra value in the form of product reviews, similar item suggestions and alternative uses, can win over a shopper. Social media sites like Pinterest can provide a forum to illustrate how your product works in everyday life.

– Courtney