4 Digital Advertising Trends and Insights Holiday Shopping

In terms of digital advertising results, many marketers find the holiday season to be fairly volatile. Advertisers consistently make New Year’s resolutions to be better prepared for the holidays next year. Over the last several years, we’ve collected our top five tips and insights to make you more successful in digital advertising this holiday season.

4 Digital Advertising Insights For The Holiday Shopping Season

Digital advertisers who run ads long before the holiday season tend to out-perform advertisers who only turn their ads on for the holidays. According to the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast, roughly 49% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. Further, a full 19% are “early bird” shoppers who start in September or earlier. That means about half of your potential audience could no longer be in-market for your holiday promotions by the time Black Friday arrives. You don’t have to have your Black Friday promotions running all month in November, but you should have some ads running to capture these early holiday shoppers. 

On that topic, make sure your promotional calendar for Q4 is ready at least a month in advance and that all of your creative for each promotion is ready several weeks before going live. When digital advertisers scramble to get some creative up and running, it leads to lower quality ads and poorer performance. By getting all of your promotional material ahead of time, your ads can get approved by the platform, your targeting strategy has time to be refined, and your stress level will hopefully be lower.

Know what motivates your customers to purchase

A promotion is only as good as the consumers it motivates to purchase. Each business is different in products and services, but we can apply some high-level digital advertising truths across the board. Here are the top three influential factors for consumers, based on Google Shopping data:

      • Lowest price for an item
      • Free shipping
      • Sale / discount / promo (percentage or $ off)

Set your site up for a quick checkout process

With all the options to shop online, make sure your site makes it easy for the consumer to purchase quickly. If it does not, your potential customers will likely find something similar and purchase from another site. Based on our agency’s internal data from Google Analytics, here are the top website issues that send your potential customers running for the hills.

Long Load Times

Attention spans on social media platforms are short. If your site takes more than three seconds to load, consumers will leave and go back to reading their News Feed

Difficult Checkout Process

You worked hard to get the consumer to initiate a checkout just to have them abandon the process. So close, yet so far. Keep the checkout process simple and transparent with no hidden fees, especially shipping costs.

Not Mobile Friendly

This point seems obvious, but we have seen several sites where the product pages are optimized for mobile, but the checkout pages are designed for a desktop experience. Keep the content/noise on your site to a minimum and provide a clear path to checkout for your customers.

Prepare for a lot of competition for your ad space online

Every year, Facebook warns advertisers that CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) will increase around Black Friday and not come back down until after the New Year. While you can’t control how many other digital advertisers are competing for the same consumers as you are, you can control your ad strategy going into the holiday season. 

Mid-October to mid-November is the sweet spot for maximizing your ROAS. Take advantage of early holiday shoppers and build brand equity going into the holiday season. If you do not want to put out a promotion in this time frame, you can build excitement and anticipation so that when you do release your big promotion, you have a leg up on your competition. 

Utilize the months prior to test, test, and retest

How do you know what ad creative, copy, and promotions resonate best with your target audiences? Test! On Facebook, Dynamic Creative and Split Tests are great for A/B testing these variables. In addition to the A/B test, make sure you analyze all of the breakdown data such as age, gender, platform, and geographic location. What works best for 18-35-year-old males in Texas may not be the same as 45-54-year-old females in Minnesota.

Plus, all of the major social media platforms report that advertisers who run ads long before the holiday season tend to out-perform advertisers who only turn their ads on for the holidays. The platform builds historical data on who your best customers are and optimizes your ads. 

These insights are not limited to the holiday season. Apply them ahead of any big promotions or sales initiatives to ensure your digital advertising campaigns perform at their best. 

If you are looking for help on your digital advertising strategy, ADM is available to assist. Accelerated Digital Media partners with businesses to drive long-term, sustainable growth. Our team has been working in social media marketing since it first debuted. We provide deep insight into best practices, recommended strategies, & upcoming beta tests. Reach out to us if you’d like help with your digital advertising strategy.

Tellef Lundevall

CEO, Accelerated Digital Media