4 Advertising Takeaways From the 2016 Holiday Season

The 2016 holiday shopping season was the strongest season yet, with 16% growth in sales from 2015. In this post, we’ll look back at a few of the trends that made this most recent holiday shopping season so unique and what marketers can learn from it to apply to their strategies this year.

1. Traffic to retailers was split evenly between the desktop and mobile, but more sales were generated on desktops. Mobile devices accounted for 31 percent of sales, and desktops generated 69 percent, according to Adobe’s estimates. (Source)

The verdict? People researched on their phones, but purchased on their desktop computers. Marketers should be present on both mobile and desktop platforms, but they should keep the buyer journey in mind when developing a digital advertising strategy that engages users across both mobile and desktop.

One way to do this is by using Engagement Cards at the end of your videos to send viewers to an experience that coordinates to where they’re at in the buyer journey. Send desktop users straight to purchase with a Traffic Driver card.

traffic driver card

Alternatively, nurture mobile viewers in “browse” mode with more short video content with a Video Explorer card.

video explorer card

2. According to a survey, 95% of millennials said they researched items online before buying in-store, compared to 85% of total internet users. (Source)

Millennials rely on technology and mobile as part of their shopping experience, especially around the holidays. No matter where they end up making a purchase, online is their first place to research brands and products. It is important for brands to engage users early on in the buying cycle and maintain viewer interest with video stories that address product need, product category, brand awareness, and the product’s competitive advantages.

3. According to ad sales intelligence firm MediaRadar, Amazon led the way among big retailers in increasing their digital holiday advertising spend. The e-commerce giant increased digital ad spend during the early holiday push by 224 percent year over year. (Source)

Amazon had a huge increase in their digital ad spend during the holiday season, which led other retailers to also increase their budgets for holiday advertising spend. With this strategy, Amazon declared 2016 as their “best ever” holiday season, selling millions of Alexa devices and enough 4K TVs to reach the peak of Mount Everest more than nine times.

Digital is where the customer is. For marketers to stay ahead of the game during the key seasons, it’s important to plan budget beforehand for digital advertising and consider the competition.

4. The holiday shopping season doesn’t end at Christmas. Many brands offer even better deals after Christmas and many consumers have returned to make after the holidays. (Source)

Holiday shopping is no longer limited to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it certainly doesn’t end with Christmas. As brands continue to offer new deals, consumers continue to shop even after the holidays are over. Therefore, it is important for brands to not let digital advertising tail off too early and continue their video ad promotions between Christmas and New Years by retargeting audience with different offers based on the data they got earlier in the customer ad journey.

We learned a lot from the 2016 holiday season, and we can keep these lessons in mind and we look towards 2017. Want to learn more about planning your seasonal campaigns? Check out our 3 Best Practices for An Amazing Holiday Advertising Campaign!

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