Research: How Holiday Trends can shape your Digital Media Strategy
Michael Froggatt is Principal Research Analyst at Sizmek. In his role, Michael is responsible for providing thought leadership for Sizmek customers as well as the advertising industry as a whole.Through a research conducted by Sizmek, Froggatt brings the latest trends for next Holidays and Christmas, the most important season for advertisers and brands worlwide.
Without a doubt, Q4 and specifically the holidays are the most important season for a large swath of advertisers throughout the world, and digital media is becoming an important venue for both branding and purchases. In 2013, despite a condensed shopping season due to Thanksgiving falling relatively later in the year, online sales for November and December combined increased 8.5 percent over 2012 while Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales grew 20.6 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.
This year, Christmas falls on a Thursday. With the holiday later in the week, employers are more likely to give additional paid time off, allowing consumers to use their extended weekend to shop for those missed items on their shopping lists after the actual holiday. This is an important opportunity for consumer facing brands to make their products stand out and give a final boost to the season's sales.
To help advertisers understand the opportunity and optimal timing, Sizmek analyzed total impressions and conversions during November and Dec. 31, 2013 in North America. As expected, impressions peaked several days before both a late
Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and a midweek Christmas (Wednesday) last year, while conversions indexed highest on Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving (Dec. 2) and the Tuesday (Dec. 30) after Christmas. Apparently, consumers were turning online to complete those holiday shopping lists after spending the holiday weekends with family and friends.
The chart above is a snapshot of indices of daily impressions and conversions for November and December 2013 -- the line at 100 is the average for the period analyzed.
Another way to think about this data is as indicators of activity for both advertisers and users; impressions for advertisers and11/13/2014 How holiday trends can shape your strategy onversions for users. For days such as Dec. 2 and 30, there is more than a 10-point gap between the indices of impressions and conversions, indicating under-exposure. For best results, advertisers should deliver more impressions during periods of high user activity, such as the post-holiday online rushes of Cyber Monday or days after Christmas.
Rich media, especially high impact formats like pushdown and other expandable banners, is a powerful tool to reach consumers and drive brand awareness amid the flurry of holiday activity online. In order to guide advertisers during the 2014
holiday season, Sizmek compiled and reviewed 1,400 holiday campaigns from 2013, consisting of more than 30,000 ads and 16.3 billion impressions, to find out what formats and features performed better than the general 2013 benchmarks.
Rich media, especially high impact formats , is a powerful tool to reach consumers and drive brand awareness amid the flurry of holiday activity online
In general, internet users are more likely to dwell on rich media ads and for longer periods during the holidays. According to our own research and confirmed in a recent Yahoo! study, the dwell time metric is an important indicator of both relevancy and user engagement. Another finding shows that video starts and completion rates both jumped, meaning more users both sawand watched the ads to completion.
internet users are more likely to dwell on rich media ads and for longer periods during the holidays
Therefore, we recommend advertisers use these higher-impact rich media units to boost the performance of their holiday campaigns. As an example, here is a preview of a home screen takeover Sizmek served for H&M that allows users to browse How holiday trends can shape your strategy through apparel options for H&M's Christmas campaign.
Last year, online holiday spending broke records despite (or maybe because of) the shortened shopping period between a late Thanksgiving and a mid-week Christmas. This year, advertisers can make sure they grab a larger slice of that growing pie, both online and off, with cleverly planned, timed, and executed holiday campaigns.