Tis the Season for Programmatic Media Buying: Digilant Releases Holiday Shopping Insights Report

10/30/2018 - Mitchell Carey

Boston – November 1, 2018  Today, Digilant, a programmatic media buying services company, released a holiday shopping report that presents noteworthy data and insights on consumer retail behavior. This holiday season advertisers and media buyers need to make informed and strategic decisions that yield increased returns on digital ad spend, and Digilant wants to help.

As shoppers prepare for gatherings and gift giving, marketers can benefit  from campaigns that reflect the evolving purchase locations and behaviors of digital consumers. Although consumers are expected to spend an average of $803 between Black Friday (Nov. 23) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 26), it’s important to keep in mind that the 2018 holiday season features the longest possible shopping calendar of 33 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. With more time for shoppers to research and make last-minute purchases, shrewd advertisers will be managing media buying campaigns well beyond Thanksgiving Weekend to take full advantage of this year’s predicted 15.3% increase in Holiday eCommerce sales that will last through the end of December.

Highlights From Digilant’s Holiday Shopping Insights Report

  • With the rise of online and in-store deals throughout the holiday season, Black Friday’s prominence is diminishing and more people are beginning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Mobile and in-app transactions will account for 50% of all 2018 holiday sales.
  • 75% of shoppers start online whether or not they end up converting there or in-store.
  • Emerging technologies, such as blockchain, will begin to shape more flexible loyalty rewards programs for retail consumers.

Download the full report here.

Who’s Buying?

As the year comes to a close, consumers hold a positive economic outlook and plan to express their optimism by spending their disposable income. Deloitte reports that 78% of consumers plan to spend the same amount or more as they did last year on holiday shopping.

Although many are expected to head to department stores and log onto their favorite brand’s sites to find deals and grab gifts, this year’s shopping will lean slightly heavier towards females (51%) and will continue to shift away from Baby Boomers and towards Gen X and Millennials, who combined, compose nearly two thirds of all holiday shoppers (64%).

Amazon’s Role in Online Holiday Shopping

As consumers look where to purchase gifts, online shoppers have made their preference for Amazon clear. 2017 was a huge year for e-commerce giant, taking 4th place for US display ad buying and coming in as the number one e-retail provider for holiday shoppers. As of December 2017, Amazon reached over 183 million unique visitors a month according to Statista and had accounted for 37.53% of all U.S. e-retail sales. During the 2018 holiday shopping season, their reach will continue its ascent and digital marketers should take note of the opportunity it could present.

Even brands that do not plan to sell their products on Amazon can benefit from its immense and constantly growing retail data, as approximately half of all product searches start on Amazon.

How to Use Digilant Holiday Shopping Report for Smarter Media Buying?

It’s key for brands to align their ad buying strategies and creatives with the increasingly multichannel behaviors of their target audiences.

A few tips to optimize your 2018 holiday media buying campaigns:

  • Define your Attribution Model: Holiday Shopping means multichannel madness, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re appropriately measuring the impact of every channel through which your brand advertises so that you can gain valuable first-party insights for future campaigns.
  • Leverage Geolocation for Competitive Conquesting: The separation between the online and offline customer experience is becoming increasingly blurred. As shoppers travel with their devices to brick-and-mortar stores, consider targeting users who have visited your competitors’ locations.
  • Invest in Search: 76% of shoppers change their mind after researching an alternative product, so bidding on competitive keywords is essential to keep your brand top of mind.
  • Diversify your Inventory: As mobile increasingly becomes the go-to channel for researching and purchasing gifts and engagement rates skyrocket with video, try combining the two with mobile video to lift holiday conversions.

In a digital ecosystem where media buyers have to navigate more platforms, technologies, walled gardens, and nuances in consumer behavior, it is essential to take a holistic approach to execute effective campaigns during the 2018 holiday season. Digilant is here to help marketers take the first step. Download the entire Holiday Shopping Insights Report on Digilant’s website here.

About Digilant

Digilant is a programmatic buying company, designed for both agencies and brands. We connect people and technology to create a perfect blend of strategy, insight and efficiency that will elevate any marketing team to find massive success. We also support advertisers who are moving towards programmatic self-sufficiency by aligning with and training them on the right set of programmatic platforms and technologies.

Using MAIA – Marketing, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics – the harmonious combination of machine power and human expertise behind all things DIGILANT, we intelligently navigate massive data sets. MAIA enables marketers to use data as a currency to generate more efficient media buys, make better informed decisions, optimize and drive performance across all digital channels and campaigns.

Digilant is an ispDigital Group Company.  For more information, visit us at, read our blog or follow us on Twitter @Digilant_US.

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