How Retail Brands Can Win The Holidays with Zero-Party Data

As the holiday season approaches, retail brands and advertising agencies are gearing up for the most critical time of the year. However, this year poses unique challenges due to increasing inflation rates and fluctuating consumer spending habits. To capitalize on the anticipated 4.5% surge in retail spending, expected to reach $1.328 trillion during the 2023 holiday season, advertisers need to strategically tailor their messaging to resonate with target audiences. This approach will not only enhance their ability to captivate consumer attention but also give them a competitive edge in outshining rival brands. 

To navigate through these economic headwinds and intense retail competition, advertisers must find innovative ways to ensure their campaigns are effective and yield maximum results. One such solution lies in the untapped potential of zero-party data.

The Value of Zero-Party Data During Economic Challenges:

In times of economic uncertainty, understanding consumers’ needs and desires becomes paramount. Fueled by the persistence of inflation, consumers are embarking on their quest for holiday gifts earlier than ever, seeking out deals and discounts to navigate the economic terrain while brands are working to adjust strategies accordingly. Advertisers using traditional methods of data collection are missing out by not having a pulse on rapidly changing behaviors and preferences. 

Zero-party data fills this void by giving brands access to valuable information provided directly from their audience. We help brands do this by collecting feedback within the brand’s ad unit through methods like surveys within or at the end of an ad experience. Asking consumers questions about who they’re shopping for, product preferences, or if they’re even in the market for said product enables advertisers to glean valuable insights during peak shopping season. They can then leverage this data to make informed decisions about product offerings, pricing strategies and promotional activities that resonate best with their ideal target audience.

From the consumer’s side of things, brands using this zero-party data approach during holiday campaigns has also helped transform the ad experience into a science of personalization. Allowing the viewer to customize their own brand experience to better match what they’re in the market for is a win-win. As major shopping events like Amazon’s Prime Day and Black Friday loom, the strategic leverage of zero-party data has emerged as a game-changer for advertisers and consumers alike.

Prioritize Personalization This Holiday Season

Here’s a prime example of how retailers can incorporate zero-party data approaches into their holiday campaigns to achieve multiple goals. We worked with a retailer looking to drive awareness and purchase intent among holiday shoppers in the U.S. and Canada.

At the awareness level, we distributed the brand’s holiday video ad both online and across premium CTV channels to inspire customers to shop both online and in-store. For the CTV viewers, we were able to target them with additional display ads later on to keep the brand top-of-mind.

As for the online video campaign, we integrated one of our Image Surveys asking the viewer for whom they were shopping this holiday season. This was important because it helped facilitate shopping by driving the respondent to a landing page with gift ideas specific to their choice while also providing the brand real-time insights around consumer shopping habits to keep in mind for potential future holiday campaigns. Lastly, consumers’ answer options segmented them into zero-party audiences for later display retargeting. 

But, there’s even more that we did for this campaign. After video completion, we added our Likert Survey asking them how likely they were to purchase the brand this holiday season. This helped the brand measure purchase intent, enabling the team to optimize toward the creatives and distribution tactics that drove the most lift in intent.

We then retargeted mid-high intent (3-5 stars) respondents with display ads to drive shopping. Then, to reach even more people, we used our proprietary AI technology, VoiceAlike™, which enabled us to scale these audiences further by using machine learning to predict survey responses for people who didn’t answer the survey question. We also suppressed low intent audiences (1-2 stars) in order to optimize the campaign budget towards people more interested in the brand.

As a result, we were able to reach 16.1M consumers for them, achieved at 91% viewability rate, an 89% video completion rate, and a 2.2% absolute lift in purchase intent. Not to mention, we were the #1 performer of CTR out of 20 other partners and were the only partner to measure lift. 

Building Long-Term Customer Relationships Beyond the Holiday Season

But it’s important to remember that these kinds of campaign successes lend themselves to more than just the holiday season. This time of year also presents a crucial chance for brands to connect with fresh consumers and cultivate loyalty among their existing ones. By obtaining consent-based data from their customers, brands can perpetuate enduring relationships by delivering pertinent content, enticing promotions and meaningful experiences throughout the entire year. This tailored yet privacy-friendly approach not only cultivates customer loyalty, but also customer trust. 

Continuous engagement with relevant and valuable content maintains the brand’s presence in consumers’ minds, ensuring that they think of the brand not just during peak shopping seasons, but all year round. In this way, advertisers can build a community around their brand, where consumers feel valued, understood and eager to engage on an ongoing basis. By demonstrating an unwavering commitment to addressing individual preferences and aspirations, advertisers can transform initial transactions into lasting relationships, creating a sustainable foundation for growth and success.

Advertisers must adapt their strategies to stay competitive during the holiday season. Zero-party data emerges as a powerful solution, offering valuable insights and enabling personalized campaigns that resonate with consumers on a deeper level.

At ViralGains, we can help you leverage your ad campaigns to navigate economic challenges and create impactful, data-driven and successful campaigns, not just this holiday season, but all year round. Reach out to us at for a free proposal or to see other case studies of holiday campaigns we’ve run for clients!

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