How Digital Advertisers Can Prepare For Holiday Shoppers

December 3, 2018 · Campaign Management and Optimization

It’s that time of year, once again, when holiday shoppers flood the web and hit the streets in search of the best holiday gifts and deals. It will be difficult to beat last year’s shopping spree: spending was at an all-time high at a whopping $184 billion.

But one thing to note was that holiday shoppers last year emerged from their homes (and away from their mobile devices) and actually showed up in stores – a 3.5% increase from the prior year.

Analysts are predicting a growth year once again, but what else is in store for 2018?

Today’s shoppers – they want an easy buying experience (when they’re ready to buy, that is).

The modern shopper holds more power than ever in the buying process. The spending starts to spike in mid-November and goes through the Christmas holiday. In parallel, when shopping spikes on Cyber Week, retail advertisers’ CPM also spikes.

Analysts have noted a few key themes among shoppers:

  • Smaller shopping baskets and a strategic approach to buying: Sure, retail is growing – but basket size isn’t. Shoppers are in the mode of fragmented, one-off purchases. They’re thinking about their purchases, planning them, shopping around. And they’ll buy when they’re confident it’s the right purchase for them – and when they’re getting the best deal.
  • Loyalty is dead: Well, sort of. 61% of shoppers are open to making purchases from new retailers. And, 71% of them are actively playing the shopping field – shopping from multiple vendors, both online and brick and mortar.
  • Digital wins. No surprises there. Mobile sales last year shot up by 22%. Shoppers want convenience and they want to buy when they’re ready – no matter where they are.

Make it count – best practices to capture holiday shoppers

Our experts at MatchCraft have come up with key strategies to capitalize on the holiday buying season. To get the most ROI from your holiday campaigns, follow the following framework:

  1. Diversify your spend. Leverage a mix of ad formats and deal types to allow more room for optimization throughout the Holiday season.
  2. Explore mobile opportunities. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas are mobile-first holidays as consumers are away from their computers at home or work; on the go, in-store and using their phones as the primary means of researching gifts.
  3. Extend through the New Year. Take advantage of the influx of inventory and low prices to start the New Year by keeping campaigns active past the last Holiday period.

Orchestrate the ideal holiday buying journey

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to start this holiday season – or just want to polish your game, consider these tips for guiding your customers through a well-crafted buying journey.

It begins with a pre-sales campaign. This is when you take advantage of the buzz around Black Friday and Cyber Week. Launch a well-balanced mix of high-impact ads, combined with evergreen content to drive consumer action and awareness.

pre-sales campaign advertising

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is when you’re going to want to hit consumers hard. Think custom media opportunities to drive deeper brand engagement (get ‘em hooked!).

Then, pre-holiday, leverage your best performers. Optimize what’s working to minimize waste and rotate based on media type.

For the last minute and end of year shoppers, use the power of urgency. Promote “last chance” and “final sale” through high-impact ads to generate action.

high-impact ads

By putting these strategies into place – and keeping a close eye on the data – you’re well on your way to a terrific holiday ad line-up. Good luck!


Source: IPSOS/Google

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