Connected TV

Unboxing the Holidays

Summer holidays may be on your mind, but don’t forget that the biggest shopping season yet is right around the corner.

Unboxing the Holidays

4 Min Read

Ah, the holidays (better known as Q4). The best time of year to rest and relax, and spend some much needed time with loved ones – and if you’re an advertiser, your pivotal moment to expand your customer base, drive home conversions and revenue and make customers fall deeper in love with your brand. It’s no easy feat, but we’re here to make it that much easier for you to get your ducks in the row before the craziness really settles in. Today, we’ll share with you some of the must-know industry trends, and next week we’ll take a deeper dive into campaign strategy.  So, for now, sit back, sip that pina colada (it is summer holiday time after all!) and keep on scrolling for some recommendations that will help you hit the ground running. 

Holiday’s Greatest Hits

Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ are definitely on our list…but we’re not talking about holiday anthems here. This year’s holiday season looks decidedly different from last year, with total retail sales this year predicted to hit $4.33 Trillion (20% of these directly attributed to ecommerce and has steadily increased year over year). Meanwhile, total US holiday retail sales will surpass $1 Trillion. There’s a lot of money on the table, but which categories are the strongest contenders? Last year:

  • Building materials and garden supply stores – up 20%
  • Sporting goods – up 15%
  • Grocery and beverage – up 10%
  • Gift cards – up 19%, and 49% of gift-givers planned on buying them in 2020.

The biggest winner of them all was ecommerce, which saw increases by as much as 145%. We also saw an overall trend towards value and convenience – more than ever before in light of the pandemic. Any brand utilizing free shipping offers were certainly in for a treat:

  • 75% of consumers changed something about the way they shop.
  • 33% tried a new shopping method like delivery or curbside pickup.
  • Nearly one in three consumers shopped at a new retailer.

We also analyzed our own data across the MNTN network across all verticals and drove twice as many conversions through Performance TV in Q4 2020 versus Q4 2019. But, it wasn’t just the holiday season that was prompting these results, it was also the way in which they were communicating to their users, through Connected TV. We can’t say we’re surprised given the rise in viewership. Today, 80% of CTV viewers regularly watch ad-supported content, and 82% of US households own at least one internet-connected TV device – numbers which have been on the rise over the past few years.

Now that digital advertising’s secret is out, what advice should advertisers heed when setting up their CTV retargeting and prospecting campaigns? Keep on reading.

It’s Not the Early Bird Who Catches the Worm…

Advertisers who started their campaigns early last year and kept them running through January had the most to gain in terms of results. While we certainly encourage ramping up the activity closer to those big holiday dates, you’re missing out on potential new customers and residual activity on either side of those dates.

Secondly, while most advertisers aim to drive revenue and conversions during this time, it’s also an opportune time to drive upper and mid-funnel activity that will pay dividends in the long run – which is why Connected TV advertising is your best bet, since it is a true full-funnel solution. Here’s a closer look at how advertisers fared last year, who prioritized MNTN Performance TV in their digital marketing strategy. 

  • September: Advertisers who started their prospecting campaigns this month saw major boosts to order value and site visits, which drove month-over-month increase in site traffic (+198%) and site visits (+94%) in October.
  • October: Ready for retargeting? The last two weeks of October showed a 98% uptick in Performance TV retargeting campaign conversions versus the first half of October, as consumers started keeping their eye out for deals. 
  • November: The biggest month of them all! We saw order value increase 71% month-over-month as prospecting campaigns continued to drive brand awareness and set advertisers up to finish off the year with a bang. 
  • December: 51% of last-minute shoppers said they weren’t certain of what they wanted to buy when they started shopping. That’s a fair chunk of the population right there. We saw overall conversions increase by 38% the week after Christmas versus the week of Christmas. Keep your retargeting campaigns running this month with some sweet deals and you’re set. 
  • January: What we found very interesting last year was that advertisers who ran retargeting campaigns from September through January generated a strong ROAS. January ROAS outperformed both October and September by 21% and 16% respectively, and only dropped a few percentage points vs. November and December (to be expected).

Mark your calendars for next Thursday, as we’ll be sharing some creative and messaging best practices that will start you off on the right foot – with the annual guide to be released later this month.