The 2021 holiday season has the potential to be the biggest ever, with more consumers planning to splurge on gifts and feeling hopeful about gathering with loved ones following time apart. Here are our top tips to capture demand and bring the holiday cheer back to Aussies this year as retailers hustle to get a seat at the table.
Last year’s holiday season was one of the first times most of us ever had to question whether we’d be able to celebrate with our loved ones in person. Luckily, Aussies are feeling more optimistic this year, with 88% thinking Christmas 2021 will hold the same importance as last year or even more.1 In spite of ongoing uncertainties with lockdowns and the pandemic, they’re excited for the upcoming festivities and hopeful about spending time with family and friends.2
These signs indicate that Aussies are gearing up for a bigger holiday season to make up for lost time and bring back the festive spirit. And it’s not just friends and family looking to gather together — retailers are rushing to snag a seat at the table and capture pent-up demand. With more players expecting to show up this holiday season, here’s how to secure a spot.
1. Get your name on the guest list
There are only so many spots available, so it’s essential to be early to ensure you have a seat at the table when peak season arrives. Aussies are thinking about the holidays earlier than ever. Last year, about 1 in 5 started thinking about gift ideas as early as March.3 We also saw fewer last-minute shoppers in 2020 — a trend that’s likely to continue this season as Aussie retailers offer deals earlier in November and online shopping during Cyber Weekend continues to grow.4
But, getting your name on the guest list isn’t just about showing up early. It’s also about effectively staying top of mind with shoppers, which is more important than ever as brand loyalty wavers: 77% of Aussies have tried at least one new retailer in the past year, and most have tried more than five new retailers.6 Use YouTube to help build brand consideration and loyalty earlier, and ensure you’re achieving frequency goals by setting frequency caps and sequencing your video ads.
The more you can influence gift discovery in advance and build brand loyalty, the more likely you’ll be able to win that invite — and keep your brand name on the guest list for years to come.
2. Strategically choose your seat
When peak season arrives, it’s important to choose a seat where you can best engage with guests. For retailers, this means snagging a spot next to omnichannel shoppers.
These high-value, high-return consumers are thoughtful about their purchases and like to narrow down their options before making a trip to the store. Last holiday season, Aussie shoppers searched online ahead of at least 9 in 10 in-store purchases, and all age groups reported researching online before making a purchase.7 In fact, Google Search is the top source of information for consumers doing their holiday shopping, followed by store visits.8 Use omnichannel automation and smart bidding to capture holiday season demand, and provide new fulfilment options like curbside pickup to reduce friction during the shopping experience.
It’s also important to note that Aussies may have been more conservative with their Q4 spending in 2020 due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. This year, 84% of Aussies surveyed told us they’ll spend either the same or more during the holidays, meaning the size of the prize will be bigger than ever.10
3. Leave room for dessert
After scoring an invite and enjoying the festivities, it’s time to start thinking about dessert — or the summer retail activity that happens after the main event.
Once the holidays are over consumers start looking forward to the summer. Shopping during this time is centred around two key categories: stocking up on the right gear for summer activities and purchasing new items for oneself and family.11 The back-to-school season is one of the sweetest things on the table for retailers who stick around.
So, how can retailers keep their holiday season momentum going into the summer months? While Aussies tend to spend less time watching TV during this time, YouTube audiences remain strong.12
With over half of YouTube views happening on mobile devices, retailers still have a prime opportunity to connect with Aussies while they’re out socialising and enjoying the nice weather.14 Leave some extra room in your budget to take advantage of the summertime, and top off your holiday feast by driving even more conversions and sales.