There’s no better time of the year to connect with consumers than the holiday shopping season — from the moment the very first Christmas ad launches all the way through to the end of the year. With evolving online habits rapidly affecting both digital and physical retailers, we want to help retailers craft a solid omnichannel strategy. So, we’ve pulled together the data points that every marketer should be aware of.
1. 1 in 10 holiday season shoppers start thinking about gifts before summer
With 11% of shoppers planning their Christmas spending months before the holiday season begins, the window of influence for gift ideas is widening.1 Although holiday shopping season will naturally be the focus of most campaign efforts, pre-season presents an opportunity to reach potential shoppers and build brand awareness in a less crowded landscape.
2. 34% of holiday season purchases are decided on while shopping – and digital touchpoints play a key role in-store
While two-thirds of holiday season purchases are planned, digital platforms still influence shopping decisions.2 In fact, 34% of holiday season purchases are decided on while shopping, and 40% of holiday season shoppers who make decisions in-store use their smartphone for research as they shop.3 Make it easy for shoppers to find information as they browse your store, and they might be more likely to buy.
3. Price and promotion are 13% more influential during Black Friday week
Price and promotion become even more significant during Black Friday week. Their impact on purchase decisions rises from 37% to 42% during this busy period within holiday shopping season.4 Focusing on price and promotion in your creative and audience strategies can optimise sales in this period.
4. 38% of Christmas shopping has already been completed before Black Friday
Shoppers are increasingly buying their presents earlier than ever, with over a third buying before Black Friday.5 In addition, 83% of holiday season shoppers also start thinking about their planned purchases two weeks or more before actually buying.6 Your campaign may need to start earlier than you think to effectively engage this audience of early birds.
5. 88% of online video users research gifts on YouTube during the holiday shopping season
Nearly all online video users watch YouTube during the holiday shopping season to help with planning their Christmas present purchases.7 Plus, with Vlogmas – the festive trend where YouTube creators post one video every day during December – quickly catching on, there are an ever-growing number of opportunities to connect with shoppers.
6. 85% of holiday season shoppers use multiple channels to research presents
The vast majority of holiday season shoppers use multiple channels – such as Search, in-store and video – to inform their purchases.8 The average number is four channels, but 7% of shoppers use as many as eight channels: PC/tablet Search, smartphone Search, online video, store visits, website/app, paper leaflets, digital flyers, and even phoning retailers.9 If your strategy still prioritises one or two traditional ways to connect with consumers, there’s a chance you’re missing a big market.
7. 46% of UK shoppers watch product review videos
The rise of product review videos has given consumers an entirely new way to consider purchases. This is especially useful to shoppers considering big-ticket purchases. With nearly half of UK shoppers already watching reviews and another 17% planning to start over the next year,10 engaging the reviewer community is becoming a must for brands.
8. Most millennials turn to online Search before their in-store shopping trips
Online research is even more important when it comes to millennials, with 86% using Search compared to 68% of total shoppers.11 That said, over a third are more likely to be unsatisfied with online delivery options.12 If millennials are your primary purchaser, offer them a seamless online experience with highly-focused Search results and a multitude of delivery options to build trust and loyalty.
9. More shoppers watch online videos related to their shopping after Christmas
Interestingly, shopping-related online video viewing is at its highest after Christmas week.13 Consider, for example, gift recipients watching how-to videos to use their brand new gadgets. Furthermore, while conversion rates during shopping occasions increase towards Christmas, they continue to increase after Christmas.14 With that in mind, it’s important to consider your touchpoints throughout your campaign, from summer to the New Year. With shoppers looking to spend their Christmas gift money after the big day and hungry for those post-Christmas sales, it can pay to engage with them well after the holiday season.
10. 72% of holiday season shoppers who use Search also visit a store
Almost three-quarters of shoppers who use Search during the holiday period also visit a store at some point.15 Their online research is mostly focused around pricing (39%), in-store information such as stock numbers (36%), product information (24%) and images or videos (16%).16 With 37% researching while visiting a store,17 it’s key to provide shoppers with essential information on digital – and make it easy enough to research while browsing. Be sure to provide them with easy online access and a strong, free WiFi connection in-store to help them along the way.