3 steps for building a last-minute holiday marketing strategy

November 10, 2021 | By: Awilda Hancock, Sr. Marketer, Tentpoles and Holiday

Holiday shopping peaks during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but consumers will continue shopping well into December. There’s a big opportunity to reach shoppers who are waiting until the last minute to purchase the perfect presents.

Since we're already in Q4, the idea of setting up a holiday marketing strategy for post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday may seem daunting. But don't worry. Here’s how you can create a marketing plan for the last month of the holiday season.

The post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday opportunity

The holiday gifting season is going to be big. According to eMarketer, the 2021 holiday retail sales forecast is projected to be $1.1 trillion dollars1—which, for context, is more than the GDPs of Singapore, Portugal, and South Africa, combined.2 But when will shoppers be making those holiday purchases?

Amazon Ads and Kantar recently conducted a survey of 500 US consumers to learn more about how they’re planning to shop for the holidays in 2021. The majority—67% of respondents—said they planned to complete their gift shopping after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you do the math, that’s $737 billion dollars in retail sales for the post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping period, alone. On Amazon, 17% of shoppers research and browse after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and 27% still make holiday purchases.3

Why haven’t those shoppers selected their gifts yet? Our survey found that 16% have no idea what they plan to buy, and 56% have a general idea, but need more information.4

The takeaway: The post-Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season is potentially a large opportunity when brands can connect with holiday shoppers. Even as they’re decking the halls and preparing the latkes, many shoppers have yet to check every gift off their lists. This is a good time of year to reach shoppers with holiday marketing campaigns.

'Tis the season to be generous

The holiday season is known as a time of giving, and shoppers confirmed this sentiment to be true. This year, consumers are inclined to think of others and support causes that matter to them.

From our survey, we learned that 80% of shoppers are more likely or highly likely to shop for others vs. a non-holiday period.5 And 43% of shoppers said that they are more likely or highly likely to donate to a charitable cause during the holidays.6 In addition, 1 in 3 shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand that promotes social values.7

Shoppers want to know what a brand stands for, and whether that aligns with their personal values; shared values create a level of trust between shoppers and brands. If shoppers are choosing between two brands, they’re more likely to buy products from a brand with similar values to their own. With this being the season of giving, it’s an important time to let your customers know what causes you support and believe in.

3 steps for building a holiday marketing strategy

As we get closer to the holidays, how can brands connect with shoppers amid all the fun and festivities? Here are three steps for building a post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday marketing strategy.

1. Expand your reach

First, make sure you’re reaching shoppers looking for inspiration for their purchase decisions. Help shoppers visualize the product they’re considering buying, and how their recipient will use it. Streaming TV ads are a great way to do so. Or reach consumers when they have Mariah Carey holiday songs turned up—Amazon audio ads are another way to connect with customers throughout the holiday season.

2. Increase consideration through real-time interactions

Imagine being able to directly talk with brand-aware shoppers, who are ready to buy, about what makes your product unique and why it would be the perfect gift this holiday season. That’s what Amazon Live helps your brand do. With Amazon Live, brands can engage with shoppers in real time and help drive consideration through interactive, shoppable livestreams. Plus, livestreaming is an ideal medium for communicating your brand values, since you’re connecting authentically with shoppers in the moment.

3. Re-engage shopping audiences

When shoppers are on the hunt for the perfect gift, they look through dozens of items, read scores of reviews, and watch product videos. They try to get as much information as possible so they can feel confident about the gifts they ultimately buy. But because they’re doing so much research, they may not remember all the products they saw. Which is why re-marketing, with advertising solutions like Sponsored Display, is key for staying top of mind with audiences who discovered your product while browsing.

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are marquee holiday shopping events, the season lasts another month. The end of November through December offers brands an important chance to connect with holiday shoppers to help them find the perfect gifts. Start creating a holiday marketing strategy and learn more about these holiday insights and tips in the infographic below.

Interested in learning more about advertising for the holiday season? Visit our collection of online courses on using sponsored ads and Stores in your holiday marketing strategy.

Sources

1 How retailers can start planning for the 2021 holiday season
2 World Bank 2020 GDPs
3 Amazon internal, 2020.
4-7 Kantar Quickfire survey US. 500 participants who have shopped during the Q4 2019/2020 holiday season and plan to do so in 2021.