As Cyber Week approaches, we see the rise of a deal-seeking mindset most closely associated with the holidays: shoppers hunting for deals and prioritizing quality and value.
While deal-seeking is typically associated with the traditional, peak deal period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (that is, “Cyber 5”), insights show it’s become an always-on mindset throughout October and November. That means brands have a longer opportunity to connect with deal seekers than ever before. To help multiply your wins, here are three ways you can position the shopper at the forefront of your marketing strategy.
1. Go beyond Cyber 5
Last year, 70% of shopping-related search volume containing “black friday” happened in October and in the days leading up to the day itself.1 And, according to a Mastercard analysis conducted by BCG, in 2022, U.S. consumers spent as much in the three days post Cyber Monday as they spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.2 In other words, shoppers are starting to make purchases earlier in the season, purchasing more, and extending their shopping window well beyond Cyber 5.
For retailers like Ulta Beauty, being there for the always-on deal seeker can make or break a holiday season. “Understanding shopping patterns, customer activities, and planning across the entire season is critical to maximize our revenue for the holidays and beyond,” says Cherie Yates, manager of search at Ulta Beauty.
YouTube creator AllyiahsFace also sees this mindset within her community of subscribers. “I notice that my shopping-specific videos get lots of views early on in the season, and then the impact ... becomes apparent towards the end of the holiday shopping season.”
2. Help shoppers build wish lists
A misconception about deal-seeking is that it’s impulsive, but only 26% of holiday purchases were impulsive the week of Cyber 5 in 2022.3 More often what we see are deliberate deal seekers: engaged, savvy shoppers who do their research early and are ready to pounce when the price is right. So much so that 85% of shoppers who plan to shop online typically have tabs open when waiting for sales to begin.4 And, to research and plan, we see them using Google properties, such as YouTube and Search.
On YouTube, 93% of viewers say the platform provides all of the information they need to make a purchase, according to a survey conducted by Talk Shoppe.5 YouTube creators, like sneaker enthusiast Seth Fowler, are seeing the platform’s benefits for shoppers firsthand. “My longer-form videos really allow people to sink their teeth in,” Fowler said. “For example, some of my shop-alongs at outlet and thrift stores have this build-up element that a shorter format just wouldn’t capture as effectively.” This content makes the otherwise overwhelming task of research fun and entertaining, and shoppers engage with it over the course of the holiday season.
On Search, daily volume for shopping-related searches containing “deals” grew by over 2,300% the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to September.6 Search not only helps the deliberate deal seeker find good discounts but also provides shopping tools that help them feel confident in the deals they’re getting, including price insights and a virtual try-on tool.
With shoppers building their holiday wish lists early in anticipation of deals, retailers can take advantage by getting in front of these deliberate deal seekers now.
3. Differentiate from traditional discounts
While shoppers are focused on deals during this time of year, it’s really about gift giving. In our research, we found that shoppers care more about finding a perfect or thoughtful gift for a family member or close friend than they do about finding the best deal.7 Think about how you can differentiate your offerings beyond traditional discounts to help shoppers find the right gifts and purchases.
While offering steep discounts is enticing, you can also win them over by helping them find gifts for everyone on their list. Other strategies, such as displaying ratings and offering free delivery and returns, can surpass the effectiveness of a discount by 10% in a given product category.8
Finally, AI-powered solutions, like Video action campaigns and Performance Max campaigns can help you keep up with shoppers and stay ahead of the predictable, while keeping up with the unpredictable. Consider local inventory ads and product feed annotations as part of your marketing strategy to help your products stand out to shoppers while they’re hunting for deals.
Nailing all of this will also set you up for the determined shopping mindset — shoppers with a lot to do, in very little time.