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A Marketer’s Guide to Holiday Shopping

A lot of things change during the holiday season: The air gets crisper, the days get shorter, and our waists get bigger. And with the kids off from school and lots of holiday prep to do, our daily routines and shopping habits begin shifting, too.

While these changes may make it difficult for advertisers to stick with the same strategies that have worked all year round, they also present brands with new opportunities. As shoppers start heading to the high streets and attending holiday parties, paying attention to location will be key. In order to reach the right audience at the right time, brands will have to catch on to consumers’ holiday habits, watching where they go and what they do this time of year.

We’ve got three tips for brands looking to cash in on sales this holiday season.

1. Listen to Mum.

Our research shows that when it comes to the holidays, mums still take on most of the work, from buying gifts to preparing the Christmas roast. While this isn’t good news for gender equality, it’s good to know for brands wanting to reach those in charge of the holiday spending.

And where can you find the queen of the Christmas castle during the holidays? Our research suggests she’ll likely be on her phone. In the UK, for instance, 92% of mums spend over 2 hours a day on their mobile devices.

Looking at smartphone behaviour, Blis can identify mums and find the perfect moment to target them with relevant ads. For instance, a brand can send her an ad about the Christmas sale that’s going on at a children’s clothing store right after she’s dropped the little one off at nursery.

2. Watch the snow fall footfall.

The internet has made holiday shopping a lot easier, but when are consumers browsing products online and when are they visiting the stores? Location data gives brands valuable insight into consumer shopping habits—especially on the biggest shopping days of the year.

If you’re looking to launch an online marketing campaign, for instance, the day before Black Friday is a good time to go for it. This is when you’re likely to see the highest rates of online activity and the greatest number of impressions. On Black Friday, however, brands are likely to experience lower impressions and clicks rates, as Santa’s helpers tend to shop in stores instead of online.

At the other end of the shopping spectrum is Cyber Monday, when we see Black Friday’s trends in reverse. This year on November 28th, you can expect some of your company’s highest CTRs, as last year saw traffic increase 60% compared to a normal day.

3. Don’t miss a single holiday party.

Traditionally, British marketers might only have paid attention to Boxing Day, while Spanish brands would have focused on the arrival of the Three Kings on the 6th of January. But in a global world, consumers are celebrating more than just the biggest holidays within their country’s borders.

While American Thanksgiving is not yet of global importance, Black Friday sure is. With so many American retailers offering discounts abroad, European brands will have to join the party if they want to compete.

But that’s not the only date advertisers should be thinking about. In fact, Black Friday often overshadows the latest addition to the holiday sale days: Manic Monday. Though many brands might not know about this date, which falls one week after Cyber Monday, research suggests brands should add it to their marketing calendars. Previous years have shown that on Manic Monday, online traffic tends to increase by 24%.

With all these new options for holiday marketing campaigns, retailers must not forget about the more traditional sale days. Though Black Friday has surpassed Boxing Day as the biggest online shopping day of the year, retailers can still expect their website traffic to increase by 21% on December 26th.

‘Tis the Season for Brands to Be Jolly

With the increasing popularity of online shopping and the advent of special days for sales, holiday shopping habits have become more complex. But these changing circumstances have also given brands new opportunities to reach their target audiences.

With insights based on location data, marketers no longer have to guess where consumers are going—or not going—this holiday season. And by using this valuable information to transform their marketing campaigns, brands can make the most of this most wonderful time of the year.

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