Blog Post

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 5]

10/27/2020 - Sierra Ducey

The 3 Holiday Shoppers of 2020

The traditional holiday shopping profiles are usually categorized by timing (early birds, December shoppers, and last-minute shoppers), income, gender, and/or spending levels. However, if we’ve learned one thing over the past few months, this year is anything but traditional. With the changes in consumer behavior, advertisers need to think beyond these traditional segments. 

This year, it’s important about your audience based on the driving factor of this holiday season: online shopping. 

It’s safe to bet that despite gender, typical spending levels, or when they’re shopping, all of these groups will have one thing in common: they’ll be shopping online more than they ever have in the past. It’s important that you meet these groups with offers and advertisements that fit their needs and their comfort level with online shopping. Digital-savviness usually (but not always) mirrors age groups pretty well, so thinking about audience segments in this way will be helpful this holiday season. We’ve outlined 3 different audiences and how best to reach them with digital advertisements. 

Digital Natives (Zellenials/gen z)

Gen Z and digital natives have almost grown to be synonymous terms. Touted as the generation that grew/is growing up with technology, the internet, and social media at their fingertips – these tech “addicts” are now high school and college-age. Their purchasing power – which is already estimated at $143 billion in the US will only continue to grow as this generation does. 

This group along with younger millennials and tech gurus are more digitally savvy, weary-er of false information, and slightly more skeptical of brands. But it’s not all bad news! They are also more brand loyal, more concerned about a brand’s mission, more likely to listen to peer & influencer reviews, and also more likely to interact with your brand online (when compared to other generations). Building rapport with this group will help your brand in the long term as this group actually has a nearly 10-year customer lifecycle preference. Kickstart a multi-year relationship with them, as their income and spending habits increase.

If your product is geared toward these digital natives, start thinking outside the box. This group toggles between platforms discovering products and brands so having an omnichannel marketing platform is essential. Here are a few ways to reach and target these digital natives: 

1. Shoppable Ads:

Where other groups might be a bit skeptical of buying directly through social media, the overwhelming majority, 69%, of Gen Z is interested in purchasing via social media. Because they’re spending so much time on apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, taking them to the point of purchase directly from the post they’re looking at is a game-changer.

2. Youtube Ads

Youtube is the most visited website for those 18-24. This visual-first group is drawn to motion. Video ads in general are a great way to reach this audience as they watch on average 68 videos per day.

3. Influencer marketing

Authentic reviews and opinions are key for this audience. More than half of Gen Zers trust an influencer they follow on social media and just under a quarter of them report having made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer. If you’re interested in leveling up your digital strategy for this group, influencer marketing might be a good way to go. 

Digital Adaptors (Millenials/Gen Y)

This next group of shoppers aren’t digital duds – they have spent the majority of their teenage, young adult and now adult lives on social media and the internet so they know a thing or two. This on-the-go group might have children or a family so making things easy, quick, and seamless is key for this group. Their desire for ease of purchase is clearly indicated by their shopping preference, over half of consumers ages 19-37 have Amazon prime and the group voted Amazon as the #1 app they can’t live without. 

Where can you reach digital adapters?  


80% of mothers in the US who use Pinterest. So, the audience is already there and this holiday season parents will be searching more for at-home, kid-friendly DIY projects. Use this discovery-based platform to showcase your products to this audience. 

2. Amazon

Advertising on Amazon is a great investment to reach this audience. But you also can take it a step further. Utilizing Amazon’s contextual, lifestyle, in-market and lookalike targeting across third-party publishers to reach your audience outside of the Amazon bubble

3. CTV

Are there two terms more synonyms than millenials and cord-cutters? Okay, maybe there are. But in all seriousness, this generation really did pave the way for OTT and CTV and these are still their preferred methods for TV viewing. 86% of millennials watch their favorite TV shows via CTV.  Target this audience across Youtube TV, Hulu, Roku and others as they stream their favorite holiday movies. 

Digital Learners (baby boomers)

We’ve all either heard about or been witness to older generations taking over Facebook. 75% of Baby boomers have Facebook and this demographic shares 20% more on the platform than any other age group. So, when thinking of your digital strategy, don’t count this group out. They might not be digital natives, but once they get the hang of things, they’re more than willing to give it a try. 

1. Omnichannel Strategy

Remember those different points of gathering options we discussed in our online shopping blog post? Those are extremely important for this generation. Digital learners aren’t averse to shopping online (92% of baby boomers shop online!), however, they do prefer to still be able to pick up in-store. Two-thirds have tried BOPIS and, of those, 63% said it improved their overall shopping experience. Letting them know that you offer these preferred options will sway this audience in favor of your brand. 

2. Facebook Advertising

Here’s a no brainer – meet your consumer exactly where they are. Facebook is the preferred social media platform for digital learners and not only do they spend time on the social platform, they are more willing to share, engage, and post on the app. Although this generation is less likely to buy directly from social media, this is still a great way to garner brand awareness and interest.  

Interested in learning more about what we can expect from holiday travel this season? Read more in Part 6 of our holiday blog series here.

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

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