2017 Holiday Shopping Insights & Stats for Marketers and Media Buyers – Infographic

The results are in from America’s biggest shopping weekend of the year and the numbers are bigger than ever!  According to Adobe, who predicted that Americans would spend $5 Billion this year on Black Friday, they actually surpassed that number in online retail sales reaching $5.03 Billion – up 16,9% over last year.  This comes after the record $2.87 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving.  Adobe analyses 80 percent of online transactions for the 100 largest web retailers in the country to come up with these stats.

Mobile Traffic Dominates Black Friday

This year, according to Salesforce 60% of traffic to retail sites came from a mobile phone device. This tells us that consumers are not just browsing on phones, as 42% of Black Friday orders were placed from a mobile phone. 2017 represents a huge shift to mobile and the first Black Friday where computers accounted for less than half – 49% – of all orders.

According to Adobe’s Revenue tracking index, on Black Friday, 54.3% of retail website visits and 36.9% of revenue came from mobile, with conversion rates for tablets up 13% year over year, and smartphones up 16.5% year over year.
With consistent mobile retail traffic and revenue since the beginning of the month, it’s time for all marketers to consider running mobile only programmatic campaigns. Because consumers have access to reviews, ratings, and suggestions at the tap of a button,mobile-driven micro-moments are grabbing the huge majority of consumer attention.  It’s important to get in front of that consumer at the right time with the right ad, on their device of choice, and create a fluid and intuitive buying experiences – all the way from the awareness stage to the point of purchase.

Mobile is also transforming the in-store experience for customers. In-store shoppers search for information online while in-store. For the most part, they’re using search engines but consumers also head to the retailer’s own site or app. This presents a powerful opportunity for retailers to connect with shoppers, whether by sending them a special coupon or thanking them for coming into the store —mostly using the opportunity to  prevent them from turning to the competition.

 

Getting Personal With Programmatic, 3 Buying Strategies for the Holidays – Infographic


It’s that time of year when consumers are being bombarded with advertising from all their favorite brands plus all the other brands that are trying to capture their shopping dollars.  For marketers, it’s the perfect time to work programmatic into your holiday media buying plans – so that you can reach specific audiences based on their current interests and behaviors.  With programmatic the consumer gets a more personalized experience – the right ad at the right time – resulting in a much better chance of converting them into a paying customer.
There are a couple of ways that programmatic advertising ensures brands can meet the unique needs of their seasonal shoppers when and where it really matters.

1. Data

One proven method of reaching customers on their seasonal shopping journey is leveraging first-party data for digital ad campaigns. The modern shopping experience is across devices, locations and is always-on. Utilizing the data that’s gathered directly from customers often translates to more accurate targeting capabilities and insights to what your audience responds positively to. When first-party data is added to third-party data and insights, marketers can create a well thought out campaign to ensure that their customers are receiving offers that will positively influence their shopping experience, in the right place and the right time, rather than add to the noise of online advertisements.  You can accomplish this by connecting your CRM data to your programmatic media buy.

2. Geotargeting

Programmatic advertising can help customize the experience for shoppers in physical stores through geotargeting. By targeting consumers with ads bytheir geographical locations, including ZIP code levels, brands have the power to develop hyper-localized ads to fit consumers’ exact preferences. These programmatic campaigns offer flexibility to taylor relevant ads to specific audiences, using data and analytics to make the necessary tweaks to maximize your holiday campaign performance.

Advanced programmatic geotargeting can be especially useful for holiday campaigns when paired with dynamic creative. Serving in-store promotions or product-specific ads to consumers within the zip code of store locations, advertisers can target those users who would most likely convert. With programmatic geotargeting, marketers can combine audience data filters with location signals to deliver timely ads that resonate with shoppers looking for specific holiday discounts or a particular product. These ads allow retailers to provide helpful details to consumers such as whether a product is in stock at a nearby store.

3. Personalization 

With programmatic advertising, you can remain agile and base your media plans on when, where and how your consumer wants to shop. You can offer shoppers product recommendations organized by the type of gift recipient – shoe lovers, sports fans, and more.  Then you can personalize that offer with a coupon to their local store.
You can marry customization with automation and offer consumers a personalized experience, whether is be a product that they might be looking for or a piece of advice through a native ad on a preferred social platform. Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year so marketers also need to consider social as party of their holiday media plans.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the attention of your consumers this holiday season.  Try getting personal with the right programmatic buying strategy.  Talk to us at Digilant to get started.

Calling All Marketers: 6 Reasons to Get on the Programmatic Buying Bandwagon for the Holidays


Despite what might be considered setbacks for the programmatic industry in 2017, like the YouTube ad controversy and the constant battle against “bots” and “ad fraud” – more and more marketers are investing in programmatic advertising. eMarketer estimates nearly four of every five US digital advertising display dollars will have been transacted programmatically in 2017, totaling $32.56 billion.  For 2018, programmatic digital display ad spending will climb to $39.46 billion, with 80% of mobile display ads being purchased programmatically — that’s up 21% from 2017.
So marketers can’t afford to not get on the programmatic bandwagon, if they want to be effective in getting their brand out in front of customers and prospects, the Holiday Season is prime-time for getting a running start.

 

6 Reasons You Should be Buying Programmatically ASAP


1. The world of advertising is moving towards Automation.  With more of the advertising display dollars being spent programmatic platforms than any other method, and huge advancements in ad technology, brands who continue to buy ads manually will fall behind their competitors who choose automation.

2. Personalization is now achievable though Programmatic.   Personalizing your marketing has always been a goal but now it’s a real thing through programmatic targeting tactics like geolocation, in-depth demographics information and dayparting, for example. And also more consumers are accepting of and are feeling more positively about a brand when their ads are personalized.

3. More Data!  With marketers being tasked to analyze and optimize on hundreds of different data points about their users, programmatic platforms can use this data to create detailed behavioral profiles of existing customers and even prospects.  This data can then be used to enable tactics like lookalike modeling and contextual targeting which gives advertisers the ability to create a more personalized media plan for their Holiday campaigns.

4. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) really works.  DCO technology enables marketers to use programmatic platforms to deliver on the promise of serving relevant and custom advertising to the consumer and capture their attention.  This also gives marketers the opportunity to have their best performing creative be served more often.  Studies have shown that DCO ads can have up to 50% higher post-click conversion rates over standard display ads – delivering overall better results than non-dynamic creative.

5. Make Storytelling a reality by reaching the right audience.  Today’s customer expects a journey, an experience, a story from their advertiser or brand.  With the accuracy of programmatic targeting and the sophistication of ad-tech platforms, there is finally the potential to deliver this.

6. More scale equals more opportunity.  With more consumers adopting ad blockers, every opportunity to get in front of potential consumers needs to be maximized.  Programmatic provides the scale that most marketers need to get in front of the right consumers at the right time, especially during the Holiday season.

 
 
Anyone in the marketing role knows that the holidays are a crucial time for ads, which means that the market is flooded with advertising, but not all of it is optimized for the best results.  In addition to getting on the programmatic bandwagon, here are some other things marketers should be thinking about:

  • Creative eye-catching images and well-written ad copy that is most relevant to your target audience.
  • Your ad should directly link to the product you want to sell, saving time for the customer.
  • Have a strong call-to-action; make it time-sensitive!

 

 
 
To find out more about programmatic buying tactics and shopping habits this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s ‘Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.’
 
 

3 Key Digital Media Consumption Trends for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

  • Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are now driving a boost in Thanksgiving weekend e-Commerce with more conversions now happening on phone.  People use their phones to to preview products and prices; retailers like Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us encourage shoppers to test the product in-store but skip the huge holiday lines and crowds by buying from their web site. It is bringing us one step closer to frictionless commerce.

Shoppers now research products on their mobile devices even earlier, with some of the largest “converted cart sizes” occurring weeks before Black Friday. Thanksgiving Day has grown into an e-Commerce holiday as some retailers are making a statement – inspired by negative consumer sentiment about stores being open on the Holiday – by being closed to allow their own staff to celebrate the day with their families. This has pushed a higher volume of shoppers online also creating a big spike in shopper activity after 4 pm on Thanksgiving, just after the average eating hours.  With these statistics in hand, digital media buyers can plan their programmatic campaigns using specific time of day targeting for their mobile campaigns, and also creating mobile specific messaging and creative for the “window shoppers” who start shopping on their commutes to and from work much before the actual Holiday.

eMarketer is predicting that digital holiday sales will increase a record 11.5 percent this year, compared to a 17-percent increase in 2016. What’s more, large traditional retailers like Walmart are trying to boost e-Commerce sales in order to compete with Amazon, possibly pushing more shoppers online.  eMarketer also predicts that an additional driver of  “e-Commerce will be the continued growth of m-Commerce sales — particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.”

  • Video Advertising is on the Rise

“In 2015, U.S. agency and marketing professionals said they spent, on average, $5.6 million on digital and mobile video advertising,” according to eMarketer, “A year later, they spent an average of $6.8 million, and this year [2017] they anticipate spending an average of $9.4 million.” Consumers expect content to be available in video form, with 50% of consumers who look for a video of the product before visiting the online store. Studies show that a user is 25% more likely to lose interest in retail content if it isn’t in video format. 51.9% of marketers say that video offers the best ROI (return on investment) and that consumers themselves much prefer video content to any other type.

Knowing the trend in video investment and consumption, it’s important for programmatic media buyers and marketing teams to implement platform pixels with their social and paid media buys and begin building audiences way ahead of the holidays, which can then inform the remainder of a Holiday media buying strategy.   Another tactic to consider is extending campaign durations to start way before the Holiday period. More than half of users who clicked on Cyber Weekend sales ads usually had a first touch prior to Thanksgiving, so it’s important to ensure that retargeting efforts during the 2017 Holiday Season are reaching users who may have clicked far in advance of the actual Holiday promotions.

  • Social Media Will Have a Big Impact on Gift Buying

Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year. One-third of all Americans will be influenced by social this year, and 30 percent of people surveyed by Sprout Social said that they planned to post about gifts they received on social media. In addition to people posting about their presents on social, Sprout Social also predicts that the average retailer will receive more than 3,000 social messages during this holiday season–approximately 30 percent more than last year.  According to the report, 56 percent of the messages retailers receive in 2017 will require retailers to take action, a 15 percent increase compared to the 2016 holiday season. Regardless of the increased customer service type postings through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, response times and rates on social remain stubbornly low.   Brands and retailers should consider investing more heavily in resources for social customer-service efforts to keep more happy users and spenders on their site.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

Peaks and Valleys, Getting Ahead of Black Friday & Cyber Monday Media Buys

NRF research data tells us that more than 50% of holiday shoppers start researching gift ideas in October or earlier, so when planning your media spend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday it’s important to plan ahead and start early.  Some retailers start leaking their Black Friday promotions in October! The big spike in Black Friday ads that consumers usually keep their eyes on starts at the beginning of November. Last year retailers such as Best BuyWalmart, and Target all leaked their promotions on November 9th.  Knowing when consumers are going to begin their search for Black Friday deals is key for making smart decisions about when and where to target media spend.

2016 A Record Year for Black Friday Spend and Traffic

In 2016, online retailers experienced a huge traffic peak on Black Friday, with 220% more sessions than an average shopping day. And even with the additional discounts, Black Friday sales still totaled $3.34 billion spent online (a 21.6% increase from 2016 spend).  Cyber Monday sales in 2016 also broke records, bringing in $3.25 billion and a 155% traffic increase becoming the biggest day in the history of U.S. ecommerce.  These numbers are inclusive of the top retailers like Walmart and Amazon, but plenty of smaller businesses also benefited.

Knowing the peaks and valleys of last year’s retail calendar and traffic is key in creating the right media plan for the 2017 holiday season.  With more Americans spending time browsing for retail items on their phones it is also important to factor in mobile creative and spend into a media plan; as most people will shop around on their devices, and either make a purchase, or move to their laptops and desktops to checkout.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

Insights on How to Pace Your Holiday Media Budget

More and more Americans plan to get an early start on their holiday shopping. And they also plan on spending more.  The big question for advertisers and media buyers is when?  Figuring out how to pace your media buys to optimize both time and budget is tricky.

Nearly half (45%) of Americans plan to start holiday shopping before November, with one in four starting before October. Retailers are capitalizing on this earlier start: Nearly 80% indicated they will begin holiday marketing efforts earlier this year.   So how do you distribute your ad spend, without missing out on any revenue opportunities?

 

Three Buying Periods that Advertisers and Media Buyers Should Plan for.

Early November through to Cyber Monday.

During this time period, shoppers are looking at larger purchases, to make sure they get the “big gift” like a gaming system or a trendy toy before it sells out. This year retailers plan to start their Black Friday deals a week or 2 before Thanksgiving Day, expanding into 2 weeks of deals. Consumers plan to spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday (Nov. 24) to Cyber Monday (Nov. 27) shopping weekend, up 47% from last year’s average of $505.  Advertisers need to get in front of consumers even earlier than past years to make sure they are top of mind for those big ticket items as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer single-focus days.

Early December to the third week of the month.

Shoppers are out shopping for smaller-ticket, higher-volume items for family, friends and co-workers. Cyber Monday allows for “Bounceback Tuesday”: with accumulated cookie pools from shoppers who weren’t yet ready to purchase their big-ticket items, make Tuesday an amazing data day for retargeting.

The final week before Christmas.

The last-minute scramble to find the right gift and have it be delivered on time. Amazon’s promotion of two-day and even same-day shipping is pushing that deadline ever later as retailers like Target match their speed.  This year’s holiday season gives shoppers an extra Saturday before Christmas Eve for last-minute shopping. It would be wise to set aside a media buying budget for last-minute promotional activity to encourage impulse buys during that final week.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

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