Retailers believe that early birds and primetime shoppers are the most important holiday audience. Procrastinators? Not so much.
According to a recent Nanigans survey of 100 US retail digital advertising decision-makers, 94% said they launch holiday ad campaigns by early November to target shoppers early on in the season. Very few introduce ads in late November (6%), and December wasn’t even mentioned.
That’s because only 5% of advertisers concentrate on shoppers who have left their holiday shopping for the third week of December. Instead, retailers get an early start, with close to one-third (28%) launching digital ads in September. An additional 30% start in October, and the same amount start in early November. A bulk of digital advertisers try to reach shoppers before Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The study concluded that advertisers take this approach because “competition in late December is too high,” and prioritizing earlier and primetime shoppers maximizes seasonal profits.
That said, 30% of retailers surveyed are dissatisfied with their holiday ad campaign return on investment (ROI), which indicates room for improvement. Retailers may be missing out by effectively ignoring those who put off shopping until the last month of the year.