December 15, 2021

Six strategies to help you win with consumers this holiday

The pandemic transformed how the world shopped — for good. Brands can stand out in today’s crowded digital marketplace by building smart strategies around these shifts in consumer behavior.

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by Iván Markman, Yahoo Chief Business Officer

This year, the holiday shopping season is poised to rebound from the uncertainties and anxieties of 2020. Retail spending in physical stores is expected to grow more than 6% year-over-year, while e-commerce prepares for an astounding 18% growth.

The pandemic transformed how the world shopped — for good. Brands can stand out in today’s crowded digital marketplace by building smart strategies around these shifts in consumer behavior.

1. Enhance the overall shopping experience

As more consumers buy online, they seek digital shopping experiences that excite and inspire. They want to see 360 views of products and try before they click to buy — experiences now available through AR and VR. They want relevant advertising, which brands can offer thanks to improved customization and data targeting with CTV ads.

Discovering discounts can also be a delightful experience for the digital shopper. With native advertising formats, brands can highlight products shoppers previously browsed through, along with ones they have yet to discover.

2. Capture attention, everywhere

For most customers, shopping will continue to combine in-store and digital, so an omnichannel approach is critical.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) helps brands target shoppers both on the go — with, say, a digital billboard while waiting for a train — as well as when they are in a store. Brands can merge online and offline experiences to connect consumers with holiday promotions in real time. Now, more DOOH inventory is available programmatically, enabling deeper targeting and greater impact.

3. Boost ROI through personalization

Ultimately, most consumers are fans of personalization. In fact, 80% say they’re more likely to purchase if a brand provides personalized ad messaging.

To thrive in the post-cookie era, brands should harness their first-party data, take advantage of second-party data from trusted partners, and, with support from tech partners, lean into cookieless IDs such as hashed emails or logins.

By activating these strategies, brands can continue to take advantage of powerful, personalized formats like Dynamic Product Ads and Dynamic Creative to develop tailored campaigns. Consumers understand the data-value exchange — it’s up to brands to strike the right balance.  

4. Connect shoppers with great deals

Deals and discounts become increasingly important during periods of economic uncertainty. They’re especially important to Gen Z, whose buying power has skyrocketed. Online shopping accelerates deal discovery by facilitating browsing in multiple browser tabs or devices. To further support deal discovery, marketers should consider cross-device and cross-channel advertising, including native and dynamic creative.

5. Build around in-store shopping

Savvy brands and retailers can transform a smartphone into an in-store shopping buddy. For example, mobile ads can serve as dynamic coupons, with mobile-optimized branded content that consumers can save in mobile wallets. Or, brands can present shoppers researching store openings with an option to navigate to the nearest store location. It’s time for retailers to think beyond the in-store experience and consider how omnichannel advertising reflects today’s hybrid shopping reality.

6. Leverage in-flight analysis tools

Fear of inflation and higher prices, along with global supply chain constraints, have convinced 40% of consumers to “shop and spend earlier than they did in 2020.”

Marketers can support planning by turning to in-flight sales analysis tools to log campaign performance and conversions during live campaigns more accurately. Then, they can leverage that real-time data to manage and optimize inventory.

As consumers adjust to today’s shopping reality, brands should follow suit. This holiday season, ensure that your strategy incorporates omnichannel experiences, deeper engagement and unique touches of personalization to help you meet shoppers in the new digital era.

To learn more about how Yahoo can bring your brand to life in new, exciting ways for younger shoppers during the holidays and all year long, let’s connect today.

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