Key Takeaways for Marketers From Criteo’s Virtual Holiday Series

Updated on October 5, 2020

Holiday season is already upon us, and it promises to be wildly different from years past. Marketers have an overwhelming number of factors to consider as they build their 2020 plans, including the potential impact of Amazon Prime Day, in-store versus ecommerce consumer comfort levels, ensuring their supply is ready to meet shopper demand, and more.

Here at Criteo, we recently hosted a series of six sessions to help brands, retailers, agencies, and publishers stay on top of the changing landscape with data-backed insights and tactics they can—and should—incorporate into their strategies right away.

Here are a few highlights and takeaways from each session:

Session 1: Consumer Behaviors to Expect this Holiday Season: How Will They Shop if Stores are Closed?

  • According to data from NPR, June 2020 represented the first month since the start of the pandemic when shoppers spent more than they had a year earlier—a very positive trend for the holiday season.
  • Consumers will continue buying from brands they discovered during the height of the pandemic. A Criteo survey from May 2020 revealed that 39% of consumers discovered a new online store during the peak of COVID-19, and 83% of those consumers said they plan to continue purchasing from new stores they discovered.
  • When it comes to where consumers will purchase this holiday season, buy online, pick up in store or curbside pickup should be part of your holiday strategy. Data from Signifyd shows that BOPIS orders more than doubled globally in June 2020.

Session 2: From Push to Pull: How Brands Can Plan for Earlier than Expected Shopper Demand this Holiday Season

  • Be Early. More than any previous year, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around what holiday 2020 will look like. Brands need to capture the consideration phase of their shoppers by investing early, while also locking in early sales.
  • Be Flexible. Brands need to be able to adjust in real-time. Utilizing tools and platforms that can adjust to rapidly changing marketing conditions when needed is essential.
  • Be Visible. With massive shifts to ecommerce still happening, being where shoppers are matters. Nearly half of all marketers (49%) who attended this webinar say they are planning on starting their digital marketing plans earlier this season—and they’ll be spending more.

Session 3: Capturing the Omnishopper: App, CTV, and Customer Data Holiday Strategies

  • According to a live poll during our Holiday Virtual Series, 60% of retail marketers said shopping on a laptop/desktop is currently their favorite way to shop. At the same time, they said that shopping via apps and in-store is still very relevant to them.
  • Karen Ring of Magnite, shared that according to their data, ”Thirty-nine percent of consumers added an additional streaming service in the past six months,” making CTV an essential part of marketer’s holiday strategy this year.
  • Ben Roodman of Appsflyer said that his company’s research shows a 55% greater share of buying users among apps from retailers with stores, compared to online-only ecommerce apps, demonstrating that store brands who invest in app marketing can drive strong performance.
  • Sherene Hilal from Bluecore spoke about the difference between informed buyers versus promotion-driven buyers. For informed buyers, the key is to personalize every message to existing customers to inspire repeat purchases. For promotion-driven buyers, it’s crucial to acquire new customers by using the key attributes of your retailers’ best shoppers to spend wisely and manage acquisition costs.

Session 4: Fireside Chat with Reprise Digital: Creating an Impactful Brand Experience Across Channels

  • When it comes to brand experience, Will Margaritis of Reprise Digital noted that, “Brand experience is every single touchpoint. Everything you are doing offline should fit your online or ecommerce channels.”
  • Will’s best advice for keeping brand experience consistent? All foundational, strategic planning should be done together. No channel should be planned in a silo.
  • Three tips for this holiday season: 1) get a handle on your supply chain (and have a backup plan), 2) tie together your online and offline analytics and 3) think beyond just the final sale.

Session 5: Preparing for the Peak Season: The Supply Side of Your Holiday Strategy

  • Enable all formats – Native. According to Criteo data, native consistently contributes 10-20% of added sales for top advertisers in the Americas. As more and more Criteo clients are beginning to switch on Native, the window of opportunity to get an advantage for Black Friday is narrowing – we recommend enabling native soon to get a head start on your holiday campaigns.
  • Remain competitive. Consumers continue to turn to online shopping even as states are relaxing lockdown restrictions. We anticipate a surge of online shoppers in Q4 as big box retailers start running promotions as early as October. Having competitive bids from now till the end of the year is critical for staying visible.
  • Revisit Inventory Blocks. According to the Pew Research Center, 89% of Americans get at least some of their news online. Running campaigns on news websites ensures that the open internet and qualitative media gets funded – this means information that is accurate, fact-checked, and reliable.

Session 6: How Location Data Can Help Marketers Optimize for an Exceptional Holiday Season

Covid has a massive impact on retail, but as Drew Breunig from PlaceIQ explained, physical stores are starting to reemerge, and if you’re a mutlitchannel retailer, you’ll want to be sure to come up with strategies for your brick-and-mortar location. At a high level, the three macro trends to being a successful physical retailer include:

  • Be Cheap: Consumers are trading down for more affordable options. Even if not directly impacted, a recession mindset has settled in.
  • Be Close: Without their usual commutes, shoppers are staying close to home. Even international vacations have been swapped with local road trips.
  • Be Safe: Low-touch or outdoor venues are more resilient than others. Consumers are willing to venture out, but they care about conditions. This is where buy online, pick up and store can be your retailer’s key differentiator.

For the full experience, view any or all of these sessions on demand here.

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