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Advertiser's Guide to Unwrapping Holiday Spend

Our research team conducted a creative study perfect for all brands to leverage for holiday planning.

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The State of Holiday

For advertisers, when it comes to holiday spending, the name of the game is balance. They want cost-efficient yet sales-performant campaigns, scalable and impactful formats, and to reach audiences that are on target and responsive. To help advertisers maximize their holiday budget, TripleLift conducted proprietary research in the U.S. and U.K. markets to better understand consumer spending patterns and the relationships audiences form with products and services through holiday advertising campaigns.

The Evolving Holiday Buying Season

While the holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier every year, buying time seems to get more and more abbreviated shifts in promotional calendars and supply chain delays have changed consumer spending patterns during the holiday advertising season. So, how can advertisers adapt to the evolving holiday buying season? Let’s find out.

Focus on features, and adapt to consumer behavior to drive growth

User-centric strategies have begun taking over holiday marketing. Retailers have capitalized on click-and-collect trends, buy now, pay later, and one-click checkout features. Moreover, mobile accounted for 61% of retail visits and 43% of spending. And, with mobile spending expected to grow to nearly 50% this year, advertisers must be agile, lean into features that enable mobile conversion, and build trust with the consumer. This omnichannel strategy can fulfill concerns and compel consumers to convert as early as possible.

Programmatic advertising takes holiday spend further

Offering marketers omnichannel formats, market fit, and opportunities for attribution modeling allows programmatic advertising to capture consumers efficiently and at scale. TripleLift's customizable formats are perfect for full-funnel campaign strategies that enable advertisers to engage consumers and ensure holiday budgets go further.

Consumer Personas of Holiday Shoppers

Early Shoppers

70% of U.K. Black Friday shoppers and 65% of Boxing Day shoppers do most of their shopping before Cyber-Week. These consumers prefer images with the product only versus images with the product in use. Consumers shopping earlier demonstrated a stronger affinity towards headline communication style; however, they didn’t shift in preference compared to December shoppers. More women than men are early shoppers, and despite shopping on Black Friday or Boxing Day have the same preferences in communication and imagery. However, Boxing Day shoppers have a stronger sentiment.

Cyber-Week Shoppers

18% of U.K. Black Friday shoppers do most of their shopping during Cyber Week. A great deal drives this shopper 6% more engaged and committed to headlines featuring an offer than headlines featuring a brand, garnering the same degree of attention from the consumer. Interestingly, targeted gifting headlines demonstrate the same success as Cyber Week shoppers and early shoppers. This style was the worst performer across early shoppers, representing over half the U.K. population. Images with the product in use only garnered more attention and success during this period.

The Late Shopper

More middle-income consumers (£20,000 to £44,999) fall within this segment. These consumers are interested in spending this season, yet, with inflation, have found it difficult to save. Creative performance across this segment illustrates this sentiment. The lack of engagement and commitment thwarted the success of headlines not featuring an offer or a brand. Imagery preferences mirror trends seen in early shoppers; however, this consumer is most interested in and committed to logo images.

Key Buying Times

While the share of spend continues to spread during the holiday timeline, there is no question that the essential buying holidays are still critical advertising opportunities. Successfully capturing consumers' attention relies on learning the fundamentals of consumer buying time, priorities, and perspectives.

Check our targeting cheat sheet for a more extensive breakdown of the stats for U.S. and U.K. holiday shoppers.