A new holiday marketing report from social advertising automation platform Smartly.io points to a growing interest among consumers to use social media to aid their online shopping journeys. Specifically, 55 percent of respondents say they are open to making holiday gift purchases directly via a social media ad this holiday season.
Data from the firm’s new survey, conducted by Dynata, highlight consumers’ plans and preferences for this holiday shopping season, as well as how digital ads impact their decision-making. Forty percent of consumers say they will start shopping for holiday gifts earlier in 2022, and almost half of holiday shoppers have either already started shopping or are planning to start within the next month.
With a continued push toward e-commerce in mind, the survey findings—including year-over-year trends from prior studies—also reveal that Facebook continues to be the leading platform that respondents say they would consider making a holiday gift purchase from. However, since last year, YouTube has gained popularity over Instagram, rising 5 percent to 39 percent of consumers surveyed. TikTok is also increasing in popularity among consumers, with 24 percent saying they would consider purchasing holiday gifts from the platform, a 6 percent increase from 2021.
“For brands wanting to make an impact on consumers this holiday season, multi-platform strategies that tie-in discounts, personalization, and creator content across channels will be crucial,” said Lyle Underkoffler, CMO of Smartly.io, in a news release. “This data shows that there is a greater opportunity for consumers to discover, and even purchase, products and services from their social media feeds as long as retailers can deliver relevant, personalized, and creative ads.”
Additionally, inflation is having a profound effect on how consumers shop this holiday season. Our data shows that 1 in 5 consumers say they are unsure if or how their shopping plans might change as a result of the current economic climate. Further insights show there is an opportunity for digital advertisers to create new experiences and forge better connections with these consumers via the following:
Discounts, discounts, discounts!
For both 2021 and 2022, discounts were ranked as the number one thing influencing consumers’ decisions to buy products through digital ads. This year, due to market inflation, ads that offer discounts and coupon codes will be pivotal for brands looking to meet shoppers’ budgets and capture their attention this holiday season.
Making it personal
Personalization continues to be at the top of the list when it comes to attracting audiences online. Sixty percent of those surveyed rated an ad that is relevant or personalized to them as a deciding factor in purchasing holiday gifts from digital ads.
Be transparent and trustworthy
More than a third of respondents ranked a brand’s trustworthiness as a crucial factor in deciding whether to purchase gifts from a digital ad. As consumers become more focused on how brands use their data, this is increasingly important.
Collaborating with creators
Nearly 1 in 4 consumers get gift ideas from creators and influencers, and 66 percent of consumers say they are either somewhat or very likely to interact with a brand or its products based on content from an influencer or creator that they follow.
Embracing a multi-platform strategy
Eight in 10 (81 percent) Gen Zers are active on Instagram, compared to 47 percent of general consumers. Incorporating multi-platform strategies that leverage the strengths of each channel allows brands to engage and create genuine connections with their desired audiences, leveraging each individual channel and platform to the best of its abilities.
In a study commissioned by Smartly.io, Dynata surveyed 1,000 consumers to uncover year-over-year trends as well as take a closer look at when consumers are beginning to shop for the holidays and, specific to this year, how the economic downturn may affect their plans. Respondents were located in the U.S. and were over the age of 18. The survey was conducted in September 2022.