Advertising During the Ho-​Ho-​Holiday Shopping Season

holiday shopping

As wild as it sounds, the 2021 holiday season has already started. Due to the new realities surrounding COVID-​19 and how consumers had to shift their purchasing habits last year, the evolution to an all-​digital holiday season may be here sooner than we realize. Those who spent days camping out in front of big box department stores for a new PlayStation in 2007 or 2013 are now in online waiting rooms for the new model this year. Thanks to a new report from Integral Ad Science, there is new information on when consumers are doing their holiday shopping, how they’re budgeting and the importance of online advertising.

No, really. Is the holiday shopping season here already?

Yes. According to IAS’s study, 53% of surveyed shoppers plan on doing their holiday shopping before November of this year. Many have already started, almost 25% of consumers say they will begin shopping in, or before, September. This finding aligns with data presented from another holiday season shopping survey conducted by Shopkick. They found:

  • 22% of consumers plan to shop early this year
  • 25% expect to do most of their shopping before Thanksgiving
  • 10% expect to do most of their shopping before Halloween

So, it’s clear that if consumers haven’t started checking gifts off their shopping lists, they soon will be. That means it’s critical that you’re already speaking to your advertisers about crafting an effective holiday marketing strategy. Additionally, advertisers will want to be assured that there will be enough ROI for their investment. Making sure customers are going to spend enough this holiday season should provide that assurance.

Consumer budgets

When asked how their budgets for the 2021 holiday season compared to last year, a massive 76% of respondents said that their budgets are going to remain at the same level or increase. On top of that, 25% said specifically their budgets will increase over the holiday period. That should ease any fears from your advertisers if they’re wary about increasing their own budgets to attract consumers.

To best reach their consumers, make sure you’re pointing your advertisers to search engine marketing. According to IAS, search engines are the top destination for people who need great gift ideas for where people are going to find gift ideas:

  • 48% — Search Engine
  • 38% — eCommerce and Retail Sites
  • 28% — Online Advertisements
  • 26% — Gift Guides on news or Lifestyle Guides
  • 24% — Video Content on YouTube, etc.

What role will online ads play this holiday season?

According to IAS, 79% of consumers are still concerned about COVID-​19 and will be doing all their shopping online this year. Given the importance of digital advertising this season, 88% of respondents said they considered online advertising helpful in finding products and promotions online. 85% found online ads important in discovering new products and promotions. Those numbers are impressive, but what’s maybe more important is how receptive consumers are to online advertising:

  • 31% of consumers believe that online ads help save time researching for gifts
  • 27% of consumers think online ads reduce holiday shopping stress
  • 33% of consumers are more open to online ads during the holiday season

Online advertising alone isn’t enough though. IAS points out that while your advertisers may be using online ads, they need to make sure they’re reaching the right audience with the right messaging.

  • 60% of consumers are more likely to remember a contextually relevant ad
  • 56% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of brands with contextually relevant ads

To that end, AdMall, powered by SalesFuel, will ensure your clients are reaching the right audience. With the AudienceSCAN profiles, you will be able to create the framework for a successful campaign that will help your clients target the right audience when it matters the most.

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

Adam Ambro

Adam Ambro

Adam Ambro is the Client Success Manager for SalesFuel. He is responsible for the onboarding of all new AdMall clients and aids in client training. He holds a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University.