Best practices for reaching last-minute customers this holiday season

23 November 2021 | By Jareen Imam, Sr. Content and Editorial Manager

Holiday shopping peaks during major shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). But there’s a continued increase in gift purchases after this time frame.1 This window is known as the gifting season. And since shopping continues beyond BFCM, brands have the chance to develop omnichannel marketing strategies to bring awareness and consideration to last-minute holiday shoppers looking for the best gifts to buy.

According to e-marketer, the holiday shopping season for 2021 is estimated to be a big event for customers. This year’s holiday retail sales forecast is projected to be $1.1 trillion dollars.2 But some brands might be wondering when those sales will actually be made. In a survey done by Kantar and Amazon Ads, 67% of respondents said they planned to complete their gift shopping after BFCM.3 Even holiday shoppers’ purchase consideration and intent continues to grow after BFCM. For example, 17% of shoppers are still researching and browsing up to four weeks after BFCM and 27% are still purchasing.4

$1.1T


2021 holiday retail sales forecast is projected to be $1.1 trillion dollars.2

67%


67% of respondents said they planned to complete their gift shopping after BFCM.3

17%


17% of shoppers are still researching and browsing up to four weeks after BFCM and 27% are still purchasing.4


So, why do some holiday shoppers wait until December to purchase gifts? Awilda Hancock, Amazon Ads global vertical marketing lead for Amazon’s major shopping events, like Prime Day and the Holiday season, said during Amazon Ads’ 2021 unBoxed conference, that some shoppers delay making gift purchases because they don’t want to buy the wrong thing.

“I’ll be honest. The reason why I procrastinate in buying gifts during the holiday season is mainly because I have very little idea on what to buy. There’s a lot of options to choose from, but also there’s the fear of what if I get the wrong gift?” Hancock said.

quoteUp“I’ll be honest. The reason why I procrastinate in buying gifts during the holiday season is mainly because I have very little idea on what to buy. There’s a lot of options to choose from, but also there’s the fear of what if I get the wrong gift?”quoteDown

This sentiment is common for some last-minute holiday shoppers. Sixteen percent of holiday shoppers have no idea what they plan to buy – while 56% have a general idea, but need more information.5 This is an opportunity for brands to help inspire customers along their holiday shopping journeys.

Videos can help inspire holiday shoppers

Shoppers looking for gift-giving ideas are likely gathering more information to make the best decision. One of the ways brands can inspire these shoppers is by helping them visualize how products could be used. Brands can help shoppers make more informed decisions through videos, which can show the product in action and even convey the product’s intended audience. Amazon’s Streaming TV ads can help brands share their message with relevant audiences. According to Ipsos research that Amazon Ads commissioned, audiences pay the most attention to advertising within streaming video content during the prime time period in the evening (8 – 11 p.m. 29%) or early evening (4 – 8 p.m. 26%).6 This could be a way for advertisers to engage last-minute holiday shoppers who are still deciding on gift options. Giving shoppers a clear idea of the product through the power of video storytelling is just one way brands can help make shoppers feel confident that they’ve found the right products.

8 – 11 p.m.
29%

4 – 8 p.m.
26%

Audiences pay the most attention to advertising within streaming video content during the prime time period in the evening (8 – 11 p.m. 29%) or early evening (4 – 8 p.m. 26%).6

Reach holiday music listeners this season with audio

Brands can also connect with audiences beyond streaming TV content. For instance, during the 2020 holiday season, listening on Amazon Music’s ad supported tier spiked around Christmas time.7 As audiences listen for their favourite music this holiday season, brands may consider reaching last-minute holiday shoppers through Audio ads. Whether audiences are baking cookies in the home or running errands for the holidays, Audio ads can help brands engage holiday shoppers during off-screen moments.

Increase opportunities with brand-aware shoppers

Once brands build awareness through audio and video ads, they may want to increase consideration with last-minute shoppers by standing out in their category. With Amazon Live, brands can engage with shoppers in real time and drive consideration through interactive, shoppable livestreams. Through Amazon Live, brands can provide shoppers with the information they need to make confident purchasing decisions. In addition, Amazon Live can help brands communicate their values, mission, and story, which may help inspire last-minute holiday shoppers.

Re-engage audiences looking to buy the perfect gift

This holiday season, brands may want to consider not just reaching new customers, but also re-engaging existing ones. Even after conversion, there are still opportunities for brands to connect with existing customers to help drive loyalty and even to reach those who have yet to purchase their last-minute gifts. Using Sponsored Display for holiday marketing, brands can re-engage audiences who have already discovered them. When customers are researching gifts, they may not remember what products they already came across because there are many product options online. Remarketing with Sponsored Display could help brands stay top-of-mind with audiences who discovered products while browsing.

As last-minute holiday shoppers look for the right products, brands have the chance to make the shopping process a lot easier for customers. With Amazon Ad solutions like Streaming TV Ads, Audio Ads, Amazon Live and Sponsored Display, brands can reach, engage, and drive consideration to help shoppers find that perfect gift this holiday season.

1 Amazon Internal Data, US, 2020.
2 “How retailers can start planning for the 2021 holiday season,” E-marketer, US, 2021.
3 Kantar Quickfire survey, US. 500 participants who have shopped during the Q4 2019/2020 holiday season and plan to do so in 2021.
4 Amazon internal data, US, 2020.
5 Kantar Quickfire survey, US. 500 participants who have shopped during the Q4 2019/2020 holiday season and plan to do so in 2021.
6 Ipsos research, Amazon Ads, US, 2020.
7 Amazon internal data, US, 2020.