Retailers to Advertise Online Deals Early in the 2018 Holiday Season


The 2017 holiday advertising season is history for your clients. Before we get too far away from that frenzy of activity, it’s a good idea to recap which advertising strategies worked and what didn’t. Internet Retailer analyzed the season from a digital perspective. You may want to share the details with your clients.

Consumers spent a lot more money shopping online during the last two months of 2017 than they did in the previous year. Analysts tracked sales on the Cyber 5 Weekend which extends from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. The 15% sales increase over 2016 amounted to total sales of $19.62 billion.

Your clients may not have experienced those kinds of increases. In fact, they may be complaining that retail giants like Amazon are too hard to compete with. While Amazon did capture over 37% of online sales in November and December of 2017, that figure is lower than what they scored for the entire year, which was 38.6%.

There is opportunity for your clients. One way that retailers can compete with the likes of Amazon is to emphasize in-​store pickup during the final few days of the holiday season. Online-​only retailers have to institute a cut-​off date for online orders to ensure timely shipping. Your local clients don’t have that problem. They can lay the groundwork now for an end-​of-​the-​holiday-​season promotion that targets last-​minute online shoppers. Consumers who want that gift in time will go to the local store for pickup.

Your clients can get a jump on 2018 holiday sales by targeting early shoppers. Analysts report that consumers drove up online sales from November 1 to 23, 2017 by nearly 18% over the previous year. Your clients’ ad campaigns should encourage shoppers to look online or in stores early to get the best selection of size, style and color for a variety of products. Advertising a price discount in November can be an additional incentive for shoppers to visit your clients’ retail channels.

There’s no substitute for being present on mobile. While desktop orders drove 67% of online sales during the 2017 holiday season, smartphones accounted for 23% of the total or $25 billion. If your clients haven’t taken a look at their mobile sites, now is the time to do so. Offer to help them work out any issues so they’ll be ready to take orders from holiday shoppers in the fall.

In addition, paid search marketing is a must. Not surprisingly, when Internet Retailer queried online businesses about their holiday marketing plans, search loomed large. In fact, over half, 55%, said paid search accounted for a significant portion of their holiday marketing budgets.  Your clients will be interested in exploring the new, more efficient forms of search, like the visual Product Listing Ads.

Ask your clients how soon they’ll be ready to meet with you to discuss online advertising plans for the 2018 holiday season.

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.