Want to win the holiday? Start early

Report

Want to win the holiday? Start early

Summer is now behind us, which means you’re likely finalizing your holiday campaigns – and need to decide where to focus your efforts.

It’s tempting to dedicate the majority of your marketing resources to the busy Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday period, but most holiday shoppers are active from October through the end of December. If you’re mainly (or only) targeting those days, you’ll miss the chance to connect with most of your potential consumers.

New Canadian research has revealed key information about holiday shoppers’ behaviour. They are browsing and purchasing over longer stretches of time, and it’s more important than ever for you to be there for them earlier in the season.

This report goes in-depth on four types of holiday shoppers – Evergreen, Early Bird, Deal Seeker, and Last-Minute Shopper – and offers new insights into how to best help them navigate the biggest shopping moment of the year.

Hero Image
26 % Early Bird 39 % Evergreen 22 % Last Minute 13 % Deal Seeker

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n=703 Early Birds, n=351 Deal Seekers, n=1048 Evergreen, n=609 Last Minute

Timing is everything

Meet the four types of holiday shoppers, each with their own unique behaviours:

Evergreen

This customer spreads out their shopping over the whole holiday season

Early Bird

This customer gets most of their shopping done early in the season

Deal Seeker

This customer does most of their shopping during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period

Last Minute

This customer puts off most of their shopping until the final push before the holiday

Pre-Holiday Black Friday-Cyber Monday Peak Holiday Final Push Post-Holiday

Up to Nov 22

Nov 23-26

Nov 27-Dec 20

Dec 21-25

Dec 26-Jan 1

Early Bird

Last Minute

Deal Seeker

Evergreen

Evergreen

Early Bird

Deal Seeker

Last Minute

Pre-Holiday

Up to Nov 22

Black Friday-Cyber Monday

Nov 23-26

Peak Holiday

Nov 27-Dec 20

Final Push

Dec 21-25

Post-Holiday

Dec 26-Jan 1

Boomers plan ahead, Millennials hold off

We compared the four shopper types with key demographics to determine how you can best reach Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and Parents. You can see here how these groups span across the different shopper behaviours – your holiday campaigns should, too.

Less likely to be

More likely to be

85

Millennials

97

Gen Xers

113

Boomers

95

Parents

100

Less likely to be

More likely to be

100

85

Millennials

97

Gen Xers

113

Boomers

95

Parents

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n= 770 Millennials, n=918 Gen X, n=799 Boomers, n=749 Parents

Holiday shoppers in the Age of Assistance

Regardless of their shopper type, Canadian consumers’ expectations have risen rapidly. Today’s shoppers are:

Curious

0

%

Say they always do research before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice

Demanding

0

%

Wish retailers would do a better job of sharing inventory information

Impatient

0

%

Want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday shoppers 18+ who shopped in previous 48 hours n=2711

Man looking at his phone.

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n=609 Last Minute

First they research, then they buy

Canadians are spending a significant portion of their time researching, browsing, and purchasing online. In some cases, it’s more than half. We found that even Last-Minute Shoppers will do this — they now spend 39% of their shopping time online.

% of time spent Shopping Online

% of time spent Shopping In-Store

Evergreen

38% 62%

Early Bird

40% 60%

Deal Seeker

55% 45%

Last Minute

39% 61%

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n= 770 Millennials, n=918 Gen X, n=799 Boomers, n=749 Parents

They surf, watch, and search

We asked shoppers how they prefer to do their online research, so you can consider where to focus your efforts to get the best results. Here’s how Canadians are browsing before they buy:

Evergreen

46

%

Early Bird

48

%

Deal Seeker

63

%

Last Minute

44

%

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n=703 Early Birds, n=351 Deal Seekers, n=1048 Evergreen, n=609 Last Minute

Man looking at his phone.

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n=351 Deal Seekers

Smartphones guide their shopping journey

Mobile plays an integral part in holiday shopping, even when customers are in the store. You’ll see here that the numbers are significant, indicating that mobile should be at the core of your holiday strategy.

Used their mobile device to shop/browse

Used their mobile device while in store

0 25 50 75 100

Evergreen

0

%

0

%

Early Bird

0

%

0

%

Deal Seeker

0

%

0

%

Last Minute

0

%

0

%

100
75
50
25
0

Evergreen

0%

0%

Early Bird

0%

0%

Deal Seeker

0%

0%

Last Minute

0%

0%

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shoppers n=703 Early Birds, n=351 Deal Seekers, n=1048 Evergreen, n=609 Last Minute

They’re on mobile, and they’re ready to buy

Holiday shoppers are now comfortable with online and mobile purchasing — particularly Deal Seekers, who are most likely to rely on their smartphones to shop. It’s essential to ensure that your mobile experience is frictionless.

% of Purchases In-Store

% of Purchases Online

% of Purchases Online via Mobile

Evergreen

69% 31% 37%

Early Bird

65% 35% 37%

Deal Seeker

55% 45% 52%

Last Minute

68% 32% 39%

Source: Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, CA, Holiday Shopping Occasions n=3417

For more consumer insights, check out these resources on Think with Google Canada: