How to reach (and win) deal-seeking holiday shoppers this season

Sarah Bradley / November 2018

For those of us who follow shopping behaviour closely, the holidays are always an exciting time. This year, we’re keeping an eye on the four types of Canadian holiday shoppers that we’ve identified: evergreen, early bird, deal seeker, and last-minute shoppers.

With Black Friday just around the corner, let's shine a light on the deal seekers: who they are, how they shop, and the best ways to reach them this time of year.

Who are deal seekers?

Simply put, deal seekers love a bargain. It may not be their only motivation, but an irresistible deal is often what closes the sale. That's why deal seekers are most active during the classic bargain weekend, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

TwG_CA_Deal Seekers nugget #1

Of the deal seekers who did most of their shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 60% said they chose the retailer they purchased from because of price or promotion.1

How do deal seekers shop?

Because they're driven by sales and savings, deal seekers tend to comparison shop and dive into research online. A little more than half of Canadian deal seekers said they visit multiple websites before settling on what to buy and who to buy from.2 So be ready to capture these tireless browsers, wherever they're looking.

Canadian deal seekers are also a mobile-heavy group: 4 in 10 use a mobile phone to shop even while they're in a store.2 Overall, half of deal seekers’ online purchases are made with mobile.3

How do I reach deal seekers?

Make sure you're ready on mobile, of course. But beyond that, try reaching deal seekers with these tips:

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Don't just focus on gifts. Surprisingly, deal seekers aren’t just looking for the best stocking stuffers for friends and family; they may be holding out on items they had been considering purchasing for a while, waiting for the right time to buy. In fact, 64% of Canadian deal seekers say they're shopping for themselves, even during the holidays.2 “I think all year of stuff I want to look for on Black Friday, both for me and my family and for gifts,” one survey respondent said. “For sure, if we are wanting something electronic, like a TV or game console, it's worth it to wait for Black Friday.” So don't undermine your message by talking only about gifts; focus on the value of the deal and let the deal seeker decide who they want to shop for.

Keep them updated. Deal seekers may prefer to do their Black Friday shopping online, but local retailers have the opportunity to win customers if the shopper knows that the item they want is in stock nearby. Canadian deal seekers want both a good deal and immediate gratification, with almost half saying they want the items they are shopping for quickly once they decide to buy.2 What’s more, 46% of Canadian deal seekers say they always do research or check digital sources before heading to the store, and 47% wish retailers would do a better job of sharing inventory information.2

Be efficient. Deal seekers want the best deals, but they also want to cut to the chase. They consolidate their shopping to this short window to help them find the best purchase for them — and they do it quickly. In Canada, mobile searches for “Black Friday” + “deal(s)” (such as “Black Friday TV deals” or “best Black Friday deals”) have grown over 100% in the past two years.2 And more than 60% of Canadian deal seekers say they research before they buy to make the best decision.2 If you have a good understanding of demand for Black Friday-Cyber Monday, the deals your customers are searching for, and can respond quickly, you'll do well.

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