Holiday Shopping is Changing — Here’s How to Prepare Yourself as an Advertiser

Holiday season is the biggest time for retailers

Our readers might not yet have recovered from Turkey treats from last week’s Thanksgiving celebrations (and the shopping that followed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!), but for app advertisers, it is time to get started on tackling the next part of the Great Big Holiday bonanza!

It is no secret of the trade that Q4 is the busiest season for retailers, both online and offline. For app advertisers, this means a huge opportunity awaits each year, and mobile is a gift that keeps on giving!

OpenX and The Harris Poll recently released the 2018 Consumer Holiday shopping report, that dives into consumer shopping habits. Consumers are already signaling strong confidence in the economy, with 80% consumers expected to spend the same amount or more on gifts as they spent last year.

And yet, the landscape for holiday shoppers is significantly changing. We dig out the top 4 trends from the report that advertisers must look out to prepare themselves ahead of the holiday season!

Consumers, especially millennials, are shifting away from linear TV

1. Traditional TV is Declining in Popularity

Consumers, especially millennials, are shifting away from linear TV, with 1 out of 4 consumers reporting they no longer watch any commercial TV programmes. This, in turn, means that advertisers will have to adapt to reach consumers where they are and how they are consuming content, which increasingly is their mobile! Key to learning here is to have an omnichannel marketing strategy that doesn’t rely heavily on television.

2. Mobile Emerging as First-Screen for Holiday Shopping

Shifting from traditional TV means more and more users are consuming content on their mobile. The data from OpenX and The Harris Poll suggests that at least 55% of consumers are spending 3 hours per day on their mobile devices. This alters the shopping habits as well. As mobiles emerge as our primary screens, consumers are also using their personal devices to spend their holiday budgets online and via mobile. 65% of consumers and 85% of millennials are expected to use their mobile devices to research holiday shopping.

3. Ads Matter, Especially When Targeted in Nature

Consumers tend to perceive advertising more favorably when it is targeted to them based on what stage of the user journey they are at. The study found that over 50% of consumers learn more about new products through online ads and 30% use online ads to find gift ideas. Close to 60% of users stated they were more likely to click on targeted ads. For advertisers, this is a great opportunity to reach out to relevant users and turn them into customers. Key is in following the user journey closely and serving ads based on the desired action expected.

4. Mobile Video is Growing

Mobile video is growing in popularity, and the study suggests that 75% of users are more likely to watch a video ad if they could get a retail discount on a product in exchange for watching the ad. This statistic is higher for millennials. Mobile video is a compelling format for branding, as well as performance marketing because it is highly engaging and converts well. Additionally, it’s 100% visible and usually pre-cached, so videos play without interruption, even with weaker internet connections.

Making Holiday Advertising Work

Connecting with the right customers and activating them is the key to mobile advertising success, particularly in the holiday season. Customer expectation increases during the holiday season, particularly for the new users who are just getting introduced to your app. Use this time to connect with new users, activate them to become customers and re-engage them. App advertisers who understand how to break through the noise to reach out to the users most effectively will be the ones for whom the holiday mood will last long even after the season!

Diksha is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.