The holidays will be here sooner than you think. The good news? Holiday shoppers are excited to get back into their favorite stores. But they'll also continue to hunt online for deals and inspiration. For brands and agencies, reaching new customers around the holidays is a top priority.¹
Consumers are eager to return to normal and more open to new shopping experiences. U.S. holiday retail is forecasted to rise nearly 3% and e-commerce sales are predicted to jump 11.3% to $206.88 billion.² E-commerce will account for a record 18.9% of total holiday season retail sales.³
According to our research, more than 60% of people say they want to try new brands and shop at new stores, and only 28% of those surveyed consider themselves loyal customers.⁴
The upcoming 2021 holiday shopping season is an exciting opportunity for your brand to connect with savvy shoppers open to new experiences and products. Here are seven ways brands can seize this moment.
1. Amp up awareness with custom content
Just how open are shoppers for something new when it comes to shopping? Very! More than 80% would like to see 360-degree views of products before buying, and nearly 75% want to discover new products by window shopping at virtual storefronts.⁵
From shopping experiences enhanced by augmented reality (AR) to AI-driven content feeds, technology can help transform the customer journey and make your brand stand out. Augmented reality ads in 2020 produced a 38% engagement rate and a click-through rate of just under 4%.⁶
Here’s an example of how you can use innovative technology to engage customers in a fresh way. Our RYOT Studios created a full 5G-powered campaign for Verizon’s 5G Holiday Market. Shoppers used their mobile devices to step into a holiday-themed Verizon store where they could interact with phones, watches and speakers in augmented reality. Guests could tap, spin, rotate and purchase products on the spot. As part of this special digital engagement, RYOT developed a gift guide article and custom videos.
2. Entice shoppers with great deals
While four out of ten shoppers say they plan to increase spending during the holidays in 2021, this doesn’t mean they aren’t price sensitive. Nearly half of the people in our survey identified themselves as bargain shoppers and 57% say brands that offer the biggest discounts will earn their loyalty.⁷ When it comes to finding deals, 62% believe the biggest bargains are online.⁸
Help your brand stand out during the holidays by offering discounts in creative ways that draw attention. One way to do this is through commerce ad placements that reach your shoppers across channels. Digital Native ads, mobile wallet deals, countdown counters and deal emails can expose products and resurface viewed items that a shopper has browsed, reminding them of what they’ve been looking at and give them an incentive to buy.
Make sure your content strategy includes engaging creative that is consistent and works seamlessly across devices and channels this holiday. Work with a partner that can help you develop, remix, amplify or innovate with your assets all within a DSP. Verizon Media’s in-house creative team can help you reach the customers you need this holiday season. Check out the showcase.
Expanding your reach and gaining millions of impressions is something every small to medium-sized business wants. An easy way to do this is through your Shopify store. Now available for Shopify merchants, connect your account to millions of impressions with Yahoo Product Ads. Now you can run Verizon Media Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) that regularly deliver 9x ROAS vs. standard native ads.⁹ For a limited time, new merchants can receive a $100 ad credit. Click here to learn more about this customer engagement tool.
3. Engage customers with new experiences at home and in-store
While using one screen is good, using screens on multiple devices is better. Including omnichannel screens for your brand’s holiday promotions is crucial to reaching and influencing new shoppers. Tap into these customers through premium CTV supply that can be enhanced with audience engagement through shoppable QR codes that drive audiences to take action.
Get more for your money. Working with Verizon Media means you benefit from our powerful partnerships with leaders like VIZIO. Your brand can maximize performance and access unique insights to drive targeting, incremental reach, optimization and measurement across platforms.
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) will be more important than ever this year and in the years ahead. According to research by eMarketer, DOOH marketing spend is expected to increase by almost 20% next year, yet over half of the advertisers we recently surveyed said buying DOOH is difficult.¹⁰ Verizon Media’s omnichannel DSP provides an all-in-one platform for DOOH forecasting, re-engagement and omnichannel measurement. With our exclusive partnership with Cooler Screens and other premium screen owners, you can meet your customers when they’re primed to buy, like in shopping plazas and grocery stores. Check out even more DOOH insights here.
4. Create new forms of customer loyalty
Who doesn’t need a little help shopping for loved ones? More than 40% say brands that make it easy to discover the perfect gift and simplify the purchase process will earn their hard-earned dollars.¹¹
Gift guides can boost discovery and move your products from awareness to consideration. And high-impact promotions such as editorial sponsorships help increase awareness and generate positive brand sentiment. Recently, we helped bring Walmart's "Days of Deals" campaign to life. Featuring the best home upgrades of the season, our RYOT Studio created branded shoppable articles and custom sponsorships that turned these household items into must-haves.
5. Boost ROI through personalization
Privacy is important to consumers. Yet, nearly 60% of shoppers aged 18-to-34 say personalized ads help them make buying decisions.¹² Smart and personalized shopping experiences captivate consumers, shortening the path to purchase across every stage of the purchase funnel. Personalization leverages data to control the conversation and content delivered to customers throughout their journey, across all digital channels — and even beyond.
A great way to engage and personalize messages for each shopper is through Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), enabling brands to target audiences based on their unique shopping patterns at key moments throughout the customer journey.
DPA powered by Verizon Media are highly creative, intuitive shopping experiences that are aware of a user’s distinct interests. DPA dynamically pulls creative from a brand’s product feed and serves it based on each user’s unique online shopping behavior. This enables advertisers to display relevant ads to prospects based on interests or re-engage high intent audiences like cart abandoners.
Stay awake for this. Last year, the mattress retailer Purple incorporated DPAs, resulting in a return on ad spend of 70% above its target benchmark across display, video and native ad formats. Purple now counts money instead of sheep.¹³
6. Inspire new forms of customer loyalty
Create an emotional connection with consumers. Three-quarters of shoppers say they'll spend their dollars with the brands that inspire them the most, and 57% get their inspiration from online media.¹⁴ Consumers are also more interested in buying from smaller businesses. Values matter, with 69% of shoppers saying they are looking to buy from brands that align with their values.¹⁵
Your brand can earn and retain customers by developing ways to build loyalty beyond discounting. With an overwhelming volume of content for consumers to sift through, Verizon Media can help your brand stand out with our immersive suite of advertising products. Take PUMA, for example.
After implementing COVID-19 precautions, PUMA needed a way to spark customers to return to their NYC flagship store, so they turned to us to help welcome back shoppers. We started by creating a Tap-to-Map digital unit, which consumers used to learn about the store’s opening and could view a direct route to their nearest store location. Through our mobile wallet, PUMA offered a 10% discount code to a shopper’s digital wallet. With a CPM 10x more efficient than past display campaigns and an 88% reduction in cost-per-click relative to benchmarks, PUMA created a relevant, value-add experience that ultimately—and safely—drove customers through their doors.¹⁶ Check out the case study for more details.
7. Measure effectiveness
It doesn’t matter if you’re a CPG, local or national retailer, household tech name, or popular auto brand, it’s critical that you measure your impact throughout the campaign.
A commerce campaign could have multiple goals, including increasing awareness, brand building, acquiring new customers, sales and retention. The best way to determine whether your ads are achieving these objectives is to tie them to relevant metrics. A fully unified, cross-device customer profile in your customer data platform is essential.
The Verizon Media ConnectID solution has 240M direct consumer relationships, making it easy for advertisers to buy, measure and optimize ads while enabling publishers to manage, monetize and navigate audiences—all without third-party cookies.
We don’t believe in set it and forget it. We’re here to support you during and after your commerce campaign, enabling you to be agile, adjusting campaigns with the most up-to-date and salient insights to drive sales.
Our Inflight Sales Analysis regularly provides near real-time purchase data insights so you can act on them quickly. For example, for CPG buyers specifically, our inflight analysis capabilities can help brands reach 60% more households, experience a +16% sales lift and 77% incremental ROAS.¹⁷ Plus, our new partnership with Catalina enables robust measurement capabilities for CPG advertisers in a cookieless world. The relationship allows for advertisers to utilize the interoperability of Verizon Media ConnectID and Catalina CPG shopper intelligence for seamless people-based marketing and measurement.
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Are you ready to reach shoppers at scale without sacrificing performance or trust? You need a reliable, efficient, and brand-safe solution that connects you to the shoppers you're looking for. We provide a better 360 view of your audience, built upon first-party data direct from millions of leaned-in shoppers and customer interactions across search, mail, commerce, content, and more.
Get a highly precise view of the shopper through massive scale, premium content and trusted data with Verizon Media’s commerce ecosystem. Utilizing first-person data from Verizon Media ConnectID enables you to activate and reach shoppers across the sales funnel via commerce content, ads and partnerships. Ask us how to achieve your goals during the holiday shopping season and all year long.
Contact us now to learn how we can make this year’s holiday buying season your best ever.
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