Report: Consumers Already Experiencing Holiday Shopping Fatigue


The holidays always provide a boost in online and retail sales, and in attempts to leverage more revenue, many businesses began their campaigns earlier this year than before. However, data from content marketing and activation agency Cofactor suggests that pushing customers to shop earlier may be weakening big sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The data was collected between October through November from dozens of top 100 retailers like Target, Macy’s, Sears, Office Depot, and Toys R Us. All-in-all, 2,100 brands and 35,901 stores in the U.S contributed to the data.

Black Friday sales material has been launching earlier and earlier every year, with Best Buy launching as early as October 6. This trend has led to a six percent increase in visits to retail sites online during October compared to last year, and a three percent increase in time spent on leading retailer sites.

There was also a 39 percent increase in mobile traffic to these sites during October, and a six percent increase during November. Tablet visits were down across the whole survey period, from October right through Black Friday.

According to Cofactor, this increased activity led to a certain amount of consumer fatigue during the holiday weekend itself. Website traffic decreased 33 percent on Thanksgiving, and 34 percent on Black Friday. Additionally, time spent on sites by mobile users decreased five percent on Thanksgiving and traffic from tablets decreased by 48 percent on the same day, compared to last year. On Cyber Monday, there was a 17 percent increase in phone browsing, but a three percent decrease in overall time spent on the site.

While the increaseses in October may seem to indicate a boon, they have simply encouraged consumers to make their purchases earlier. In some cases, this data might be an indicating that some shoppers had decided not to bother with online shopping at all. And it may have been retailers that encouraged this behavior.

CoFactor CMO Jeff Fagel, who led the study, told SocialTimes:

Retailers have trained consumers to wait for a sale. To look the other way. To shop around. To ignore them. While the allure of Black Friday has lessened, customers love for deals have not.    Retailers released their holiday campaigns earlier and earlier, but shoppers lost interest.  In terms of response to these earlier efforts. October saw an early spike, but led to Consumer fatigue in November.  

Marketers who want to succeed today must understand the individual motivations, behaviors and varying paths to purchase of consumers first. From there, it’s up to marketers to customize content and stage cross-channel promotion in response to consumer cues versus former date-driven tactics. If they don’t, consumers will quickly move on to competitors who do.

Readers: Are you already feeling holiday marketing fatigue?

Image courtesy of Elliott Brown on Flickr.

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8 Steps to Knock the Socks Off Your Consumers This Holiday Season



Author: Lizzy Funk

From National Ice Cream Day to Thanksgiving to New Year’s—each and every holiday is an opportunity for consumer marketers to create campaigns that generate amazing results. And, as some of the biggest holidays of the year are approaching quickly—now is the time to get your campaigns ready. If you want to capture your consumer’s attention, it’s vital that your marketing incorporates fun, relevant, and personal messages and offers. Why? Because just about every company runs holiday-themed campaigns—which means your customer will receive a huge volume of offers and messages. To break through the noise, you need to make sure your offers and campaigns are set up to succeed!

Here are 8 steps to making sure your holiday campaigns are ready to knock the socks off your audience:

1. Start Early

Planning well in advance allows you to put extra time and thought into how you are going to launch an effective holiday campaign. Ideally you should start planning your campaigns at least 3 months in advance—but if you are behind (like a lot of marketers) you can still get back on track and create a campaign that dazzles your customers.

2. Segmentation

It is incredibly important to make sure you are giving the right offer to the right person at the right time and in the right place—especially during the busy holiday season. For example, as a loyal customer of my favorite clothing store, I expect to receive a special offer just for loyal customers in all of the places that I interact with the brand. You can segment by customer lifecycle stage, behaviors, persona, and specific demographics to make sure that you are delivering your fantastic offer just the way the consumer wants to see it and engage with it.

3. Timing

Which holidays are you planning to run programs around? Choosing the right holidays to build campaigns around is important. The holiday that you choose should feel relevant and fun for your audience and segments. It is important to consider if your target audience of consumers will expect to see your participation in a holiday. For example, it would be surprising for consumers if a brand like Target didn’t have a Black Friday campaign because they have in the past and other retailers like them run marketing campaigns around that holiday. The holidays you choose also impact the type of promotion or offer you create.

4. Offers

When it comes to choosing your offer, start by asking “What’s my goal?” This will help you choose the most effective type of offer to use. You should also research which kind of offers will motivate your customers to actually participate and enable your goal—this could be competitive research or it could be looking at your own past experiences. And finally, don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside of the traditional coupon. You can offer a contest, discount, tickets to an exclusive event, charity matching, limited-time offer, etc.

5. Personalization

Your consumers are savvier than you think—40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. Which may seem obvious because who doesn’t like to feel like a brand “gets you.” But the reality is, this is a critical component to getting your consumer to engage with your campaign. Make sure you are incorporating your customer data (this could be behavioral—based on what they have done or not done, or demographic—based on who they are) into the campaigns you are running.

6. Multi-Channel Plan

Especially during the holidays, your customers are EVERYWHERE—they are checking email on their phone, heading to the store to buy gifts (at 1 a.m. on Black Friday), getting inspiration from television ads, browsing the web for last minute holiday deals, etc. That means your campaigns need to be EVERYWHERE with them. Aim to create a campaign that is not isolated on specific marketing channels but instead tells a continuous story and meets the consumer where they are in their buying process—whether that’s just learning about you, or considering a purchase.

7. Reward Loyal Customers

Your loyal customers are you best advocates—meaning you should specifically reward them during the holidays. They will help you drive more revenue, referrals, and buzz—if you are thoughtful about recognizing and rewarding them. Be sure to build this aspect into any holiday campaign you create. This might mean asking them to share your campaign or program with their friends and then rewarding them for that behavior, or offering exclusive access before other customers, or giving them a bonus discount for being loyal as a part of your promotion.


And last but not least, HAVE FUN! The more creative, fun and innovative you are, the more you will stand out from the rest. There are endless holidays that you can build a campaign around and so many ways to creatively do it—think about Doritos video contest for their Super Bowl ad slot every year, or Netflix’s Fireplace For Your Home.

Check out our brand new ebook, 8 Steps to Creating an Effective Holiday Marketing Campaign, which provides tips, strategies, and techniques to help you build, launch, and measure your most effective holiday marketing campaign yet!

Create Effective Holiday Marketing

8 Steps to Knock the Socks Off Your Consumers This Holiday Season was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

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