Summer is over. Time to trade our pool floats for Pumpkin Spice Lattes as we prepare for the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the season for splurging—and with holiday sales reaching nearly $692 Billion in 2017, the stakes are higher than ever. PebblePost surveyed consumers to gain new insight into 2018 shopping preferences, and we’ve uncovered five key trends to help guide marketers to a very happy holiday.

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1. Consumers Give Thanks for Good Ads

Retailers everywhere will be competing for consumer attention this holiday season. One way to stand out from the crowd is to give consumers what they want. According to our survey, consumers believe some ads are just more effective than others. In fact, 25% believe that direct mail marketing is the most impactful form of advertising during the holidays. The survey shows that nearly 75% enjoy receiving mail, especially when it references a relevant brand or product. This holiday season, why not reconnect with interested consumers by delivering a timely, meaningful message at home via Programmatic Direct Mail®?


2. Ho Ho Hold Your Horses

The holiday season runs from November to December, and with only 61 days to drive sales, it makes sense that marketers would want to start advertising ASAP. However, it’s important to note that consumers don’t necessarily want to see holiday ads until at least November. Right now, consumers are still mourning the loss of summer. The school year is just getting started, and we haven’t even celebrated Halloween yet. Our advice to marketers this season: Cool it with the holiday creep. Over 50% of consumers plan to wait until December to buy the majority of their gifts. And many will only spend a few days to a week researching gifts before purchasing. So, give them a little time to transition from one season to the next.


3. A Personal Touch Means So Much

Today’s consumers want and expect personal experiences—especially during the holidays. Personalization increases relevance, creates trust, and builds lasting loyalty among customers. Over 20% of shoppers like receiving reminder ads that feature products they recently viewed online. Nearly 40% want retail recommendations based on their location; and 55% enjoy receiving discounts from their favorite stores. When marketers know what consumers want, they can deliver value and create stronger relationships to drive more sales.


4. Snow Much Fun to Buy and Save

Why are consumers shopping later in the season? Many are simply waiting to scope out the best deals. Price matters, especially when you have a lot of gifts to buy. According to our survey, nearly 20% of shoppers will buy for at least 11 people, including family, friends, neighbors, clients, and co-workers. And a whopping 34% plan to buy gifts for themselves this season. To stay within budget, 40% of shoppers will wait to purchase most of their gifts on sale.


5. Get a Sneak Peak at Their Shopping List

During the holidays, the perfect gift can come in all shapes and sizes. This year, consumers have their sights set on Electronics, Jewelry, Apparel, Footwear, and Entertainment experiences. Nearly 25% of shoppers plan to spend up to $1,000 on gifts this year.


Retailers, get ready: Gift spending is trending, so make sure you steal your share this season.

For more consumer insights, download our 2018 Holiday Infographic.

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