First-party data to shine in golden quarter, retailers told

shopping 1Marketers are being urged to lean on first-party data to optimise their digital ad campaigns ahead of the most important quarter of the year, with online channels set to dominate consumer shopping behaviour in the run-up to the festive period.

According to global adtech firm The Trade Desk, 8 out of 10 UK consumers plan to do their Black Friday shopping online, while half (51%) say they will do their Boxing Day shopping online and a similar number (53%) report they will do the same over the winter holidays.

And despite numerous reports insisting Brits are slashing festive spend, the research also shows that 42% of Brits plan to spend more on winter holidays, Black Friday or Boxing Day shopping.

Ahead of the peak shopping season, 32% of consumers say they have started to save ahead of time, while 31% have created a budget ahead of time.

The data reveals an opportunity for marketers to launch effective advertising campaigns in the run up to the most important quarter of the year and influence consumer decisions.

However, brands have also been warned they could waste hundreds of millions of pounds in digital adspend during the seasonal period by ignoring tried and tested methods to simply repurpose TV ads for digital channels.

Trade Desk vice-president UK Phil Duffield said: “The golden quarter sees heightened purchasing intent from consumers. But as they’re overloaded with new ads over the festive period, brands will need to be deliberate with the content they serve.

“First-party data ensures marketers are delivering optimised and targeted omnichannel campaigns across channels to remain front of mind for consumers and deliver a positive cross-channel experience.”

According to the new data, TV – both linear and streaming – is a top way consumers engage with media content throughout their week. But they are also spending a significant portion of their week listening to podcasts and streaming music.

The Trade Desk study coincides with the publication of Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2023 Report, which shows Black Friday will signal the start of this year’s festive shopping season with 57% of UK consumers planning to shop for Christmas gifts this year, up from 47% in 2022.

When asked why they are going to shop on Black Friday, Brits cited financial advantages (chosen by 85% of 2,000 surveyed) over any other reason, followed by the day offering better deals and prices for buying gifts (69%).

Sitecore insists this is important data for brand marketers, given that consumers also say they will be buying cheaper (77%) and fewer (69%) gifts this festive season. This means Black Friday might be the only chance for cash-strapped Brits to have a merry Christmas. Of those who are shopping, 74% will do so online, reflecting a preference for convenience and speed.

Sitecore vice president of corporate marketing Hannah Grap commented: “This festive season is looking to be another slow one for retailers across the UK if they don’t make the most of this year’s Black Friday.

“Consumer priorities are about putting food on the table rather than putting presents under the tree, and so brands must provide the deals and discounts many expect of Black Friday as well as ensure they have the right technology in place to be able to provide personalised content and experiences for shoppers. This will help them tempt consumers to spend the very little they’ve put aside this festive shopping season.”

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