Effective Holiday Marketing for an Unusual Shopping Season

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Effective Holiday Marketing for an Unusual Shopping Season”

Recent inflation is causing many shoppers to rethink their holiday shopping habits this year. So, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to this season’s shopping trends and create holiday marketing campaigns that hit home.

Effective Holiday Marketing for an Unusual Shopping Season

How Inflation is Changing Shopping Habits in 2022

According to a recent report by dentsu, 75% of American shoppers, “are concerned about inflation increasing the price of goods this holiday season.” The good news is that 37% of shoppers are planning on spending less on their holiday shopping this year. 27% plan to spend more than last year, and 36% anticipate spending roughly the same amount.

However, holiday shoppers plan on diversifying their shopping plans. So, your client’s holiday marketing plans need to shift accordingly.

Dentsu reports that the top spending priority among holiday shoppers this year will be:

  • Gifts: 38%
  • Food and Beverages for Celebrations: 30%
  • Holiday Travel: 13%
  • Decorations: 11%
  • Celebratory Experiences (such as going to shows): 9%

These priorities shift slightly when American shoppers are divided by generation. While all generations will prioritize gift giving this year:

  • Far more baby boomers will prioritize gifts, food and beverages than younger generations
  • Millennials will prioritize food and beverages slightly more than gifts, and holiday travel more than the other generations
  • Generation Z is more likely to prioritize decorations and celebratory experiences than the other generations
  • Generation X prioritizes an average amount of everything, but gifts and food/​beverages are significantly in the lead for them

How to Advertise to Holiday Shoppers This Year

Coupons and Sales are a MUST

With consumers as concerned as they are about inflation, your client’s holiday marketing MUST include discounts, promotions and sales. Dentsu reports that 86% of American shoppers agree that discounts, promotions and sales are more important to them this holiday season than last year.

Price will even conflict with their normal shopping values. In previous years, American shoppers made a point to shop at small and Black-​owned businesses. But this year, 81% of shoppers say that, “If a large retailer offers similar items at a better price, they’ll likely shop there instead.”

So, the key to your client’s holiday sales this year will be to ensure that sales messages are at the forefront of their holiday marketing campaigns.

Advertise One-​Stop Shopping to Younger Generations

Only 33% of American consumers plan on doing their holiday shopping all at once, reports dentsu. However, Generation Z is once again standing out from the older generations. 36% of Gen Zers plan on doing their holiday shopping all at once. An additional 56% plan to set up a dedicated shopping trip or time to get it all done this year.

So, if your client’s holiday marketing plans include promoting their one-​stop-​shopping experience, they should target that messaging primarily at Gen Zers.

Promote Free Shipping and Returns

Including free shipping and returns information in holiday marketing isn’t anything new, but it’s still a significant subject to note. The availability of free shipping and returns GREATLY impacts holiday shoppers’ buying decisions, says dentsu.

Feature Families in Your Client’s Holiday Marketing

A whopping 83% of American consumers plan on buying gifts for their family members this year, reports dentsu. The decision to put family first in the holiday shopping hierarchy is unanimous among every generation. 47% of Americans still plan on buying presents for their friends, but family is king this holiday season.

A rising trend among younger shoppers this year is to buy gifts for themselves, as well. Dentsu says that 55% of Gen Zers and 45% of millennials plan to buy presents for themselves. Additionally, an average of 28% of all generations plan to get gifts for their pets.

So, while depictions of family should be at the forefront of your client’s holiday marketing strategy, encourage them to include fun additions such as pets and “treat yourself” messages.

What Types of Media to Use in 2022 Holiday Marketing

When it comes to which types of ads to include in your client’s holiday marketing strategy, that depends entirely on who their target audience is. On AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, you can see which types of ad media influenced the highest percentages of your client’s target audience to take action within the last year. With this information at your disposal, you’ll be able to craft effective holiday ads.

Photo by Danny Lines