A Deep Dive Into Holiday Shopper Behavior

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Tis the season. It’s the time of year when shoppers are pulling out their boots to dig out the car, piling the kids in, and heading to the mall where they’ll inevitably circle the parking lot trying to find a spot. OR, they’ll be on their mobile device scrolling on the couch.

NRF research shows that this holiday season could see sales as high as $720Bn. If 2017 is an indicator, mobile will be a huge component of shopping, as 2017 saw more than 56% of traffic coming from mobile. As shoppers look for the perfect gift, brands are looking to make the perfect connection. What are the best ads to serve through the season to capture attention? And how can digital deepen connections to your target demographic?

Before answering these questions, brands need to know the profiles of savvy online shoppers. How do you connect with the last minute consumer? Is it different to reach an eager shopper that is relaxing on the couch on Thanksgiving after having completed all of their holiday gifting? Teads has created audience personas based on data we reviewed from the 2017 holiday season about shopper behavior. The shoppers fall into 4 personas:

Early Edward is a shopper who gets a jump on holiday shopping, starting well before Black Friday by researching products and seizing promotions that arrive earlier in the year. An Early Edward is out and about shopping between November 2nd- November 30th. In fact, 55% of internet users start holiday shopping no later than Black Friday; 23% are more than halfway done with shopping by Black Friday.  

What about those shoppers who start their search later in the season? Perhaps a Festive Felicity or a Late Lucy? Both of these types of shoppers have missed the sales opportunities and are in crunch time. Felicity is looking to trusted publishers for great product ideas while Lucy is deadline shopping with no publisher loyalty. How can you target both of these shopper personas? Simple. Festive Felicity reacts to smart branding opportunities. A tactic to use would be a re-targeting plan. For example, if she’s bought a leather wallet, maybe re-target her with other luxury products. Late Lucy, on the other hand, is impulse buying and deadline shopping. They’re normally rushing around, shopping between December 10th- Christmas Eve. A clear and easy call to action, such as online, pick up in store, or click and collect, will be the most effective way to grab their attention.

Just because the holidays are over does not mean holiday shopping is. Beginning in January, holiday shoppers are spending those gift cards, exchanging gifts and capitalizing on the post-holiday sales. According to research, the Saturday after Christmas is the ninth busiest shopping day and the day after Christmas is the fourth busiest day. How can you target these Indulgent Ians? Advertisers should look into long-term branding and retargeting items from Christmas shopping. During this time, December 26th- January 20th, consumers are looking at the items they didn’t buy but may do so now.

There’s lots of noise during the holiday season. Consumers can easily become overwhelmed with advertising during this period so make sure your advertising is standing out and grabbing the attention of the consumer. To learn more on what each key media moment looks like for different people, download the Seasonal Shopper Guide.

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