Department Stores Count On TV Ads, E‑commerce to Build Sales


It’s not too early for your clients to be planning their holiday advertising strategy. One group of retailers, department stores, relies heavily on TV ads during the holiday season. New data from iSpot​.tv reveals what department stores did last year and their ad strategies for this year.

In studying the department store vertical, iSpot​.tv analysts report that “14 department store brands generated over 22.8 billion TV ad impressions” in November 2017. The type of ads that resonated most with consumers offered cash back on holiday-​related purchases.

iSpot​.tv data shows that department store TV ad spending rose markedly in the middle of October 2017. In the lead-​up to Black Friday, which includes the entire month of November 2017, department stores spent about $301.6 million on TV ads.

As we reported in last Friday’s blog, consumers have fueled a strong increase in retail sales so far this year. Department stores have noticed. And they’re allocating more money for ads. Retail Dive reports, based on iSpot​.tv data, that department store spending during the critical back-​to-​school season, July and August, amounted to $226.7 million this year. That’s a 9.3% boost over 2017 levels. They may well continue this spending spree through the end of the year.

The department store vertical has been hit particularly hard by evolving consumer shopping habits. Early movers in the industry jumped on the e‑commerce trend. The most successful department stores are taking in up to 22% of revenue through e‑commerce channels. To stay ahead of the competition, they’re turning to unique twists on loyalty programs. They’ll also be promising more seamless omni-​channel shopping experiences, including hassle-​free returns, which are increasingly important to shoppers.

As you prepare to target your department store clients regarding their holiday advertising needs, check out the Local account Intelligence Report on the vertical in AdMall from SalesFuel​.com. You should also review the kinds of advertising that most effectively sway purchase decisions for department store shoppers.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.