Flyers, Retailer Emails Drive Holiday Sales

BY Kathy Crosett
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The four-​day period that encompasses Thanksgiving weekend continues to drive the holiday shopping season. At least 11.5% of  all holiday-​related purchases will happen online, but shoppers continue to go to their favorite stores to hunt for deals. Your clients should be buying ads now in preparation for the busy Thanksgiving weekend.

According to the details in Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report, younger consumers are more likely than other age groups to shop heavily over Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, 43% of millennials shopped on the holiday weekend. These consumers also spent 13% more than average consumers during that time period. And, 62% went into the stores while 58% shopped online.

Retail formats visited by shoppers over last year’s Thanksgiving weekend included:

  • Department stores 50.9%
  • Discount stores 34.2%
  • Electronic stores 31.8%
  • Apparel and accessories stores 28.4%
  • Grocery stores/​supermarkets 24.6%
  • Local small businesses 11.9%
  • Drug stores 10.7%
  • Special stores 10.2%
  • Fabric/​craft stores 8.4%

Black Friday still rules as the busiest day for in-​store traffic with 75% of shoppers visiting these locations. Over a third of shoppers, 35.8%, didn’t get to the store until 10:00 a.m. Further, 25.4% of shoppers went into the stores by 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, showing they want deals, but they also want a good night’s sleep. About 40% of shoppers went to stores on Small Business Saturday. By Sunday, fatigue was clearly setting in and only 17% of shoppers went into stores. Thirty-​five percent made purchases online on Sunday. Perhaps they couldn’t find what they wanted in stores, and decided to place their orders through e‑commerce. This behavior also indicates that SEM and SEO campaigns should be in good shape for the holiday weekend.

Advertising continues to influence shoppers. Last year, advertising flyers ruled, according to NRF data cited by Digilant analysts:

  • Advertising flyers 49.2%
  • Retailer emails 36.8%
  • Online search 33%
  • Facebook accounts 16.2%
  • Brick/​mortar stores 12.2%

With average consumer spending of $289.19 taking place over last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, your clients should be poised to make their holiday campaigns count this year to capture their share of the market. By balancing their media spending across traditional and digital channels, they can target the various audiences they want to influence. Remind them that last year’s e‑commerce sales of $1.93 billion over Thanksgiving still largely came from desktop computers (60%), but smartphones (27%) and tablets (13%) played a role as well. This year, e‑commerce sales from smartphones will likely increase 57.8%.