The Holidays are a crucial time for marketers to capitalize on consumer trends. There are several strategies marketers should use to meet Q4 projections.
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Holiday Shopping Trends Edition

Social Media and Content Manager

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This holiday shopping season is already well underway, as 26% of holiday shoppers start to check things off their lists before Halloween. In addition to starting earlier, holiday shoppers are also relying on digital solutions—online, mobile, and video—to enhance and assist them in their quest for the perfect gift (at the perfect price). There’s also a lot of data surrounding men’s holiday shopping routines, and figuring out when, where, and how they shop. Source: AdWeek, October 10, 2014.

And magazines also play a vital role in the holiday media mix, scoring high marks in brand recall, engagement, trust, and purchase intent.

Marketers need to refine their strategies to further capitalize on consumer preferences, crucial to meeting Q4 projections. There are several strategies marketers should be using to ensure a successful holiday season:

Take Advantage of the Expanding Holiday Shopping Schedule

This year’s comparatively short shopping season (it’s one day longer than the very short 2013 season, but five days shorter than the 2012 season) means that retailer strategies will change. “We are going to start seeing much more aggressive ads a lot sooner in the year,” said Clay Olivier, CEO of Volusion, an ecommerce solutions company. Source: eMarketer, Holiday Shopping Preview, September 2014.

But retailers are actually getting more time to connect with holiday shoppers, as more and more are shopping earlier. It’s the perfect opportunity to offer discounts for early shoppers, and to make sure that their digital searches take them to your brand. And they’ll be actively shopping all season long, using online, mobile, and print media for information and inspiration.

Money Goes Mobile

This holiday season, eMarketer estimates that 8.4% of retail sales will be digital, compared with 6.5% for 2014 in total.

As consumers become more comfortable with digital shopping, their shopping behavior is shifting to online and mobile. Marketers need to find creative solutions that bridge the digital/mobile and in-store shopping elements and create a path to purchase.

Mobile media is powerful at driving in-store sales, with 28% of digital habits influencing in-store purchases.  Highlights the benefits of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Adoption rate/consumer confidence in online shopping is increasing. Source: eMarketer: Influene of Digital and Mobile Device Usage on U.S. In-Store Retail Sales, 2013.

Marketers should also take advantage of the fact that the clear majority of all major age groups use their smartphones while shopping in stores. Campaigns using visual search, videos, beacons, and local search are powerful solutions to take advantage of the proliferation of mobile use in holiday shopping.

U.S. Male

The holiday shopping habits of men have a huge impact on retailers’ bottom lines. They may claim that they hate to shop, but it turns out that they’re far more willing to shell out big dollars than women. Like women, they prefer to find deals and to shop online, but “32% of men are willing to pay a little more to shop in stores that they can get in and out of quickly.” Source: WSL Survey, 2013.

What this means for retailers is that they need to make sure their message focused on capturing the attention of men. Marketers need to ensure that their ads reach men everywhere they’re consuming media: online, on their mobile devices, and in magazines. Make sure you provide solutions to his shopping needs (make it easy), and what he’s willing to spend.

Of course, it’s possible that men tend to spend more and go over budget more than women because they do most of their shopping later than female shoppers.

Whether you want to reach men or women, your media mix better be integrated this holiday season. Consumers in are shopping earlier and relying on mobile more, and men in particular expect to spend more this year than they did last.

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Social Media and Content Manager