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Key Consumer Behaviors and Trends Driving This Holiday Season

by Lidia Ruelas, October 27, 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Consumer behavior and sentiment can have a big impact on holiday shopping, especially during a pandemic.
  • Advertisers need to quickly adapt their marketing strategies to align with changes in consumer sentiment and emotion.
  • A solid data strategy that can monitor content engagement across all channels and devices is a surefire way of staying ahead this holiday season.

Today’s brands understand that pivoting their marketing dollars to respond to the ever-changing consumer landscape is imperative to attracting and retaining new shoppers. But in the era of Covid-19, all bets are off, and the question of how consumer behavior will impact this year’s holiday season remains top-of-mind for every advertiser. 

We sat down with an Amobee Analyst to review recent data from our Brand Intelligence—a proprietary audience intelligence tool that analyzes digital content engagement and consumer sentiment historically and in real-time—to help you navigate consumer sentiment fluctuations and trends that might influence your current and future holiday planning strategy.

The holiday season could extend longer than usual

Historically, consumer behavior has demonstrated that nearly 20% of research and spending starts before November 1. This year, given pandemic-related complexities and the rescheduling of Amazon Prime day from mid-July to October, holiday shopping started early and is well-underway. Here’s what to expect:

  • Ecommerce will play a much larger role in consumer spending this season.
  • Advertisers need to prepare a data strategy to stay informed of shifting consumer buying intent. 
  • Given some of the unknowns in consumer spending, advertisers should plan to spend proportionally during the entire stretch of this unpredictable holiday season.

Kitchen appliances and technology products are still top categories for consumers

Prime Day helped set the stage this holiday season and racked in $30.5 billion for small and midsize businesses, a 60% increase year-over-year. Consumer spending in many traditional gift categories such as jewelry, fitness products, and vehicles have decreased since the onset of Covid-19. But technology and kitchen appliances still remain popular for consumers. Here’s what the data shows:

  • Users were more interested in shopping during Prime Day to purchase holiday gifts early, including headphones and work-from-home office products.
  • Kitchen appliances such as espresso machines, air fryers, instant pots, and brands like Le Creuset were among the most trending conversations. 
  • Online users are relying on technology gift guides this year more than ever for shopping ideas.
  • Users are heavily engaged with Amazon sales for their tech gifts, and this reliance is expected to increase as we get further into the season.

Holiday travel is still up in the air

Online engagement with airlines is picking up speed, especially based on some airlines’ commitment to leaving the middle seat empty and ensuring traveler safety. While holiday travel in the U.S. is currently unrestricted, data trends we’re seeing involving holiday travel sentiment include: 

  • Because of Covid-19, online users are fastidiously doing their research and learning about safety and the feasibility of holiday travel.
  • Domestic airline travel has a higher association with holiday travel than international travel.
  • Flight is a top holiday travel association over road trips.
  • Safety and social distancing are still top-of-mind concerns for travelers.
  • Affordable travel has one of the lowest associations with holiday travel compared to cleanliness, safety, and social distancing. 

Leverage all the consumer intelligence you can get

Get your finger on the pulse of digital trends by monitoring the ebb and flow of 60 billion content engagements a day, across all channels and devices, so you can respond proactively to consumer sentiment as it’s happening.

Contact us today at Solutions@amobee.com to learn more about how Amobee Brand Intelligence can help you better understand the behaviors and trends that are driving this holiday season and beyond.

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