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3 Types of Holiday Shoppers & How to Reach Them

Sep 16, 2023

Make the holidays the most successful time of year by understanding three types of holiday shoppers.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most significant shopping events of the year, and they’re approaching fast. 

But with so many brands blaring their messaging at full volume, it can be very difficult to break through the noise. Email marketing sends are at an all-time high, Instagram and TikTok are saturated with sponsored posts, and podcast episodes might as well be one paid ad.

All of this begs the question: How do you rise above the competition?

Driving Holiday Sales with Streaming TV Ads

The rise of cord-cutting, streaming platforms, and Performance TV has reopened the silver screen as an indispensable marketing channel that companies can no longer ignore.

With more and more consumers watching their shows on connected devices, Performance TV advertising platforms have used this as a reason to advance their functionality. Now, with the right platform, marketers can precisely target the right audiences on TV — just like they do on channels like search and social. 

And it's about more than just knowing where they are. Performance TV also gives a detailed understanding about who they are, when they like to shop, why that is, and what they value. When you understand the values and behaviors of different types of shoppers, it’s easy to know how you can use your advertising to really get in their minds.

In this blog post, we'll break down the three types of holiday shoppers you should get to know: the On-The-Fly Shopper, Early Shopper, and Last-Moment Shopper.

The On-The-Fly Shopper

On-the-Fly Shoppers don’t buy all their holiday gifts in one trip, but rather shop throughout the season. 

Your goal is to engage this kind of shopper at the very beginning and continue exposing them to your brand throughout the holiday season to remain top-of-mind. By starting your holiday campaigns early (at least by early October), your brand gets a head-start to make an impression on On-the-Fly Shoppers and use retargeting strategies to continue putting your brand in front of them. 

Because they’re more inclined to purchase gifts when the mood strikes, or when they see something they like, it’s critical that they remember who you are. 

On-the-Fly Shoppers might be less likely to keep a strict shopping list or budget than other types of shoppers. A memorable campaign will pique their attention, but you can also use incentives to keep their attention. Whether that’s a promotional code for 20% off; a free, value-add product; or a “buy one, get one for yourself” offer, give them a reason to buy from you the first time — and then again and again.

The Early Shopper

According to the National Retail Federation, 61% of consumers start their shopping by early November. That’s up from previous years, indicating that more and more people are shopping earlier. 

Early Shoppers are the holiday season’s planners and strategists. From meticulously researching products to comparing prices to reading reviews, their goal is to finish shopping as early as possible. They typically would prefer to buy all gifts at one or few stores, rather than shopping around, so if you engage them right, you can capture all or most of their holiday spend.

Like with On-the-Fly Shoppers, you’ll reach Early Shoppers by starting your holiday campaigns early. The difference is that you don’t have time on your side with Early Shoppers. Once they’ve finished their shopping, that’s usually it.

That’s why your Performance TV campaigns should focus on showing Early Shoppers how they can get all (or most) of their shopping done with your brand.

Advertising to them well in advance of the shopping events, paired with detailed information, takes out extra legwork they’d use to search for products and price drops. Your Performance TV campaign should underscore the efficiency and convenience your brand offers them to make their decision process easier.

Offering early-bird discounts and exclusive deals is another effective way to incentivize early purchases.

The Last-Moment Shopper

Last-Moment Shoppers might find holiday shopping daunting, or they might be waiting to see what sorts of discounts emerge closer to the holidays. They might just simply not know what to buy. 

Whatever the reason, their time and attention spent on shopping snowballs as the holidays catch up with them. Your goal shouldn’t be to reach this shopper early, but rather to reach them later and with convenience in mind.

Engage Last-Moment Shoppers by making it easy for them to start and finish their shopping in one trip. They usually prefer online shopping, but this can be an issue if they wait too long and miss shipping deadlines. If your brand can solve this problem for them, it’ll be more likely that you’ll earn their business.

Your Performance TV campaigns should highlight how they can get all (or most) of their shopping done with your brand (like with the Early Shoppers) — while also catering to their needs. Offer extended store hours on the days before a holiday, free in-store pickup for online orders, or overnight delivery to catch their eye (and their wallet). 

The easier you can make their experience, the more inclined they’ll be to spend with you.

The Most Successful Time of the Year

Understanding the diverse behaviors and values of holiday shoppers is essential for any brand looking to make a significant impact during the holiday season. Crafting tailored Performance TV advertising strategies for each shopper archetype allows you to capture their attention, engage them effectively, and ultimately drive conversions.

As these shopping events approach, remember that a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. By recognizing the unique characteristics and preferences of On-The-Fly Shoppers, Early Shoppers, and Last-Moment Shoppers, you can optimize your advertising campaigns and make the most of this annual retail season.