What a year it’s been. The relationship between consumers and brands has evolved in ways that nobody predicted, or was prepared for. Yet we’ve seen tremendous resilience in advertising and purchase behavior. There’s no doubt that while several industries have felt the full force of COVID-19 (travel and restaurants in particular) – all have adapted, and many have thrived in the face of adversity.
So what will the holiday season look like? How will consumers react, and how will advertisers stay connected and competitive?
- Consumer spending will be similar to last year.
- Online shopping will play a much bigger role, particularly on mobile devices.
- Curbside and in-store pickup will dramatically increase.
- Most retailers will open their physical stores for the season, including on Black Friday.
- Streamers will be a highly desired audience.
Deloitte has predicted that while growth will be lower than in recent years, we should expect spending to be similar to 2019, which was the largest grossing holiday season on record.
73% of consumers say they will spend the same as last year or more (PowerReviews)
Traditional shopping patterns will be in flux as consumers change the way they shop, and what they shop for. We expect the season to last longer, punctuated by a high volume of sales events and promotions leading up to and beyond the Christmas holiday. Consumers will lean into online shopping and mobile will be the big winner as shoppers look to combine convenience and safety with deals.
64% of consumers will spend more online than they did last year (National Retail Federation)
Mobile shopping will see the biggest increases overall (43.3% growth), as consumers use phones and tablets to shop from home and while they wait in line for curbside and in-store pickup. Significantly more impulse and incremental buys are expected from mobile devices than in previous years.
A significantly larger portion of the audience will be online and for longer periods of time than ever before as consumers remain indoors and turn to screens for entertainment, information, and deals.
Connected TV, in particular, will see more families and adults 18+ watching programming on a daily basis. The pandemic has accelerated and amplified the audience size and time spent streaming video, making the streamer audience the most valuable audience to advertisers this holiday season.
Download our CTV Is for Everyone report for more details on streamers.
Home for the holidays
While this year may be different from years past, consumers will continue to look for ways to celebrate the season – most likely from the safety of their homes, where screens will play a major role in how they spend their time. This year, advertisers have an enhanced opportunity to connect in meaningful ways to make the holidays merry and bright.
For more information on how to reach holiday shoppers, visit www.spotx/ignite.
Paul Calderbank is the Senior Director of Marketing Insights and Innovation at SpotX, where he leads the development of sales-focused marketing material and is a senior custodian of the SpotX brand. He has an extensive background in media and advertising, including marketing roles at Gannett and Haymarket Media, and leadership roles at several ad agencies. He has served on the management team of a successful startup acquired by Oracle Data Cloud, where he went on to build and manage the Media & Entertainment consultancy team. Originally from Manchester, England, Paul currently lives with his wife and two children in Denver, Colorado.