How to Reach the 4 Types of Holiday Shoppers

Boost holiday sales with insights on the Evergreen, Early Bird, Deal Seeker, and Last Minute shoppers.

It’s a chicken and egg situation. Did retailers start stocking holiday merchandise earlier to meet consumer demand or did consumers start their holiday shopping sooner because of earlier access to holiday products? Either way, the holiday shopping period has grown considerably, giving brands more opportunities to take advantage of this highly lucrative season.

Holiday plans should be in full swing, but there is still time for brands to adjust marketing programs to ensure the most efficient use of their holiday spend. To that end, a recent Think with Google article identified the four types of holiday shoppers; the Evergreen shopper, the Early Bird shopper, the Deal Seeker, and the Last Minute Shopper, providing insights into how they shop. We’ve broken down the most critical points to give brands the best chance of connecting with consumers over the holiday season.

Source: Think With Google

 

 

Who are they?

Evergreen shoppers make up the largest portion of holiday consumers with 39% of the total pie. The majority of them are Baby Boomers, a demographic that has been exposed to decades of consumer promotion. They require exceptional in-store activation to catch and keep their attention, and are seeking convenience, simplicity, and exemplary customer service. Boomers generally offer brands more loyalty versus other generations, so getting them on board early can mean long-term benefits.

When do they shop?

As the name indicates, these consumers actively shop over the entirety of the holiday season, from the end of October through to the end of December.

Where do they shop?

Contrary to popular belief, Baby Boomers are extremely digitally savvy. The Internet, including social media and video sharing platforms, is in fact their top source for product research, beating out TV and print by a substantial margin [1]. But while the bulk of their research is conducted online, 69% of Evergreens make their purchases in-store. This is a classic example of webrooming where consumers research products online before purchasing them at physical retail. Brands can effectively leverage this behaviour and convert more consumers through ensuring a consistent price across online and in-store retail, providing valuable information through customer service representatives, and delivering convenience through no hassle in-store pick-ups and returns.

 

 

Who are they?

Early Bird shoppers make up just over a quarter of total holiday consumers. Similar to Evergreen shoppers, the bulk of this group is also made up of Baby Boomers. They plan early and they plan ahead, hoping to beat the holiday rush.

When do they shop?

These are keen consumers who check off all the names on their shopping list before December even hits. It goes without saying that the most effective way to reach these shoppers is to get communications out early.

Where do they shop?

40% of the Early Bird’s time researching and purchasing products is through online channels. However, 65% of Early Bird shoppers make their holiday purchases in-store, making it integral to develop an omnichannel solution to engage these consumers. They are comfortable moving from the online to the offline world and demand a seamless shopping experience throughout their purchasing journey.

 

 

Who are they?

Deal seekers make up the minority of holiday shoppers, with only 13%. The majority of this group consists of Millennials with Gen Xers following closely behind. Importantly, many of these consumers are parents and will likely be shopping for kids, partners, and potentially aging relatives living within their household.

When do they shop?

Deal Seekers conduct most of their shopping when the steepest promotions hit the market – over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period.

Where do they shop?

63% of deal seekers conduct online research before purchasing a product and 54% visit multiple websites over the course of their research. With Millennials making up the bulk of this category, brands may find it effective to include opinions from social media influencers into their holiday campaigns. Millennials actively seek out real consumers offering authentic views. In fact, 82% of Millennials say word of mouth greatly influences their purchase decisions.” [2]

The majority of their shopping and research time (55%) is conducted online, while the majority of their purchases are conducted in-store (also 55%). Similar to their Early Bird counterparts, this demonstrates that Deal Seekers also have a propensity for webrooming. Brands can take advantage of this shopping behaviour through bringing digital elements in store, such as Mixed Reality and digital signage, and ensuring product prices reflect online information.

 

 

Who are they?

Making up 22% of total holiday shoppers, these consumers mostly consist of Gen Xers and Millennials in equal parts. Brands hoping to reach this shopper should ensure their online presence offers clear information related to pricing and performance. Gen Xers are especially prone to seek out comparison sites to ensure they obtain the best value for money, and are willing to splurge on items if they think it’s worth the cost.

When do they shop?

These procrastinators wait until the last few days leading up to and including Christmas to make their holiday purchases.

Where do they shop?

56% of Last Minute shoppers indicated an openness to multiple retailers or an uncertainty regarding where to buy products. This creates an opportunity for brands and retailers to position themselves as industry experts and put themselves front of mind.

Brands should also ensure online channels connect consumers with bricks and mortar locations to take advantage of this eleventh hour indecision. Over the past couple of years, mobile searches for “where to buy” actually peaked on Christmas Eve, with Christmas Day seeing the greatest amount of searches regarding “store hours” [3]. The quest for retail hours is telling, with 68% of last minute shoppers conducting their transactions at a physical store location.

In Conclusion

While brands might want to focus their marketing efforts between the popular Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, remember only 13% of holiday shoppers actually concentrate their shopping within this time frame. The majority of shoppers are actively purchasing holiday items throughout the season, starting as early as October – making it more important than ever to plan holiday communications sooner than previous years. With an understanding of the four types of holiday shoppers, brands should be in a good position to reach consumers when and where they shop and make the most of their holiday campaigns.

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SHOPPING HABITS ACROSS DIFFERENT GENERATIONS.

Sources

  1. Google and Ipsos
  2. Salesfloor.net
  3. Think With Google