The calendar says it’s still summer, but the shopping data is clear: the holiday buying season is already upon us.

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other winter festivities around the corner, shoppers are gearing up early for the holiday season—well before the leaves have fallen. Economic uncertainty, concerns over shipping delays, and the popularity of early-bird deals are causing shoppers to fill their carts quicker than ever before.

For digital marketers, this early surge is an invitation to innovate your strategy based on the most notable holiday shopping trends.

What Marketers Care About in 2023

The GPT Revolution

GPT technologies are shifting from experimental to essential. A sizable 17% of consumers have already turned to ChatGPT for product research and inspiration, while 10% intend to use these platforms to build their holiday shopping lists.

Across markets, brands and retailers are also taking note of this new tech’s powerful impact.

Using both AI-driven insights and customer data, marketers are finding greater ease in creating personalized shopping experiences that add value and increase brand loyalty. This means more automated marketing campaigns, conversation site searches, and human interaction chatbots.

The Social Media Drive

If you think emails are your strongest tool, you might want to think again.

Half of consumers claim they’re more likely to visit a website after spotting an ad on social media, as opposed to the 39% lured in by promotional emails.

The YouTube Factor

YouTube might be known for its viral sensations, but it’s becoming a viral sensation itself in the world of retail. Research shows that 80% of consumers turn to YouTube for shopping ideas and a staggering 89% trust recommendations from YouTubers.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The holiday season often conjures images of last-minute dashes and frantic clicks, but for 74% of consumers, that’s old news.

Planning has taken center stage as shoppers gear up for the holidays, with 50% of consumers starting their holiday shopping before November rolls around.

How the Economy Is Shaping Holiday Shopping

The Rise of the Sensible Shopper

Uncertain economic times breed cautious consumers.

66% of shoppers expect brands to ‘read the room’ and provide a customized shopping experience that meets their unique needs and expectations.

What’s more, to save money, two-thirds of shoppers say they’ll buy holiday gifts on sale this year.

The Value-Driven Consumer

Coupon codes are almost as sought after as the perfect gift, with 82% of shoppers hunting for them before making a purchase.

Retailers, too, are buckling up, with 67% expecting consumers to dig deep for discounts this season.

How COVID-19 Is Shaping Holiday Shopping

BOPIS Continues to Gain Traction

BOPIS, or buy-online-pickup-in-store, has gone from a niche pandemic service to a consumer demand. With 39% of consumers choosing retailers that offer BOPIS, this not-so-new way of doing business has emerged as the new shopping standard.

Online Shopping Continues to Dominate

The pandemic catalyzed an already growing trend towards online shopping. In 2020, U.S. consumers expected to spend two-thirds of their budget online.

Three years later, this trend shows no signs of reversing.

As the 2023 holiday season approaches, nearly half (47%) of consumers plan to execute most of their purchases online. Concerns about health and safety fuel this online pivot for 48% of consumers, while roughly a third (29%) find online shopping simply more convenient.

The Variety Fatigue Epidemic

A cornucopia of choices can be both a blessing and a curse.

Call it “variety fatigue,” but when faced with endless options, consumers are veering toward mid-priced items—like jackets, with 77% of all orders expected in this category.

For many marketers, beating this swarming variety fatigue can feel like an impossible battle. But, by reaching the right audience at the right time, you can help reduce all the clutter and ensure that your messages both resonate and stand out amidst the holiday marketing noise.

Additional Holiday Shopping Trends for Consideration

As holiday marketers, these additional numbers are some you simply can’t afford to ignore this season:

Get Started With Digital Remedy

At Digital Remedy, we offer comprehensive digital media solutions to capture your holiday shoppers throughout their gift-getting journey.

With our hands-on support, you can connect with all your eager buyers across their unique consideration points, equipped with behavioral insights on reach and frequency, site visits, and page views.

As your performance marketing partner, our expert team will aid your holiday marketing campaigns through:

Looking to elevate your holiday campaigns? Let’s chat.

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As the weather gets colder, holiday digital marketing campaigns are just heating up. For digital marketers and the businesses they serve, the holiday season is the most profitable time of year.

According to RIS news, annual holiday retail sales will increase between 4% and 6% during the 2022 holiday season, with sales projected to total between $1.45t and $1.47t.

As a digital marketer, it’s your job to get customers to add your products to their holiday wishlist—so that you get a share of these profits.

But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need millions of dollars to run a successful holiday campaign.

Equipped with research on 2022 holiday shopping trends and insights, you can beat economic challenges this season and optimize your holiday media buying strategy.

Shopping Trends to Be Aware of During the 2022 Holiday Season

Consumers are Looking to Buy Early and Save

As shoppers expect inflation to continue through the holidays, saving money on purchases is top of mind for many. This, along with ongoing supply chain issues, has led to consumers buying early and spending less.

These unideal buying circumstances will lead to consumers looking to take advantage of early deals—like Cyber Month and Black Friday—in efforts to avoid last-minute inconveniences such as shipping costs and scarcity of goods.

For these reasons, you should roll out your client’s unique selling propositions and promotions earlier than ever before.

Shifting Shopping Preferences

In the age of Amazon and eBay, most might assume online shopping is dwarfing retail, but in the last few years since the pandemic, this hasn’t been the case.

After 2020, when people were confined to their homes and relied on online holiday shopping, consumers are now eager to get out and get deals in person.

Still, both forms of shopping will be highly profitable this holiday season—with potential online discounts and sales playing a significant role in what form of buying consumers choose.

2022 is the first time Amazon held Prime Day twice in one year. An annual discount event launched in 2015, Prime Day gives Amazon customers a 48-hour window to take advantage of thousands of sales on their website.

Experts believe these convenient online deals will continue to stimulate the e-commerce market and heavily influence buying habits.

Even with all the benefits online shopping offers, brick-and-mortar stores will still account for a significant percentage of holiday sales. One of the main reasons is that consumers are worried that supply chain issues will cause their online orders not to arrive in time for the holidays.

The Rise of CTV Campaigns

Our 2022 Holiday Season Trends & Insights report shows that omni-screen consumers create unique opportunities for connected TV campaigns, with a third of customers saying they shop online while watching TV.

Combine this with the more than 80% of 25-54-year-olds that are CTV users, and you can see why knowledgeable digital marketers are using CTV campaigns to reach their target audiences this holiday season.

Marketing Tips to Create a Successful Holiday Campaign Strategy

Get a Headstart on Planning and Media Buying

With worries about supply chain issues causing buyers to make purchasing decisions earlier than in years past, it’s essential to formulate your campaign strategy early and test it months in advance.

It’s also recommended to launch a pre-holiday brand awareness campaign to ensure your audience is familiar with your product before it’s even time to make purchases. This will allow you to get a head start on your competition and see which media channels your target audience responds best to.

Promote Limited-Time Holiday Deals

Consumers are on the hunt to save wherever they can, whether that’s on shipping costs or product price points.

Limited-time offers—especially online and in CTV campaigns–compel consumers to purchase early because they create a sense of urgency.

This sense of urgency, combined with an increased interest in saving, creates an opportunity for you to increase sales revenue and boost your brand awareness.

Pro tip: Keep your offer simple and easily accessible. If consumers have to go through a multi-step process to secure your offer, they are less likely to convert.

For example, offering your promotion through a QR code in a connected TV commercial is a great way to promote your holiday deal, especially among audiences who are watching with phones in hand. With performance OTT platforms, your KPIs are also extremely trackable—helping to make your campaign flexible throughout the holidays and ensure your ad dollars are being spent most effectively.

Follow Up with Post-Holiday Advertising Campaigns

When done correctly, your holiday marketing campaign can have benefits that last long after the snow melts away.

If you design a successful advertising campaign, you will gain new customers who are familiar with your buying experience.

According to Digital Marketing Community, these customers you retain will have even more value in the following year’s holiday campaign. Their familiarity will make them even more inclined to convert on other offers.

Improve Your Media Buying Strategy With Digital Remedy

As a digital marketer, your holiday season may often feel like a stressful run-around—with late nights spent tracking campaign performance and retargeting to ensure you see results—but you deserve a gift just like everyone else.

Digital Remedy offers a full suite of ad solutions that can provide you with advanced targeting capabilities and comprehensive performance reporting. Specific capabilities our platforms offer include:

Digital Remedy’s solutions can be your Swiss Army Knife this holiday season—helping your agency or brand to navigate the ever-shifting advertising trends.

Speak with a member of our team to learn more about the capabilities our platforms offer.

In 2022, holiday retail sales are predicted to increase by 4%-6%. Holiday spenders are looking to capitalize on early deals to avoid the last-minute rush. Rising inflation, combined with a plethora of economic, inventory, and supply chain challenges, will shape consumer behavior. Consumers have different expectations of retailers, with affordability and product availability being top concerns.

As advertisers grapple with these external factors, the need to understand and maximize advertising performance is more important than ever. Shifting shopping habits and preferences may make connecting with consumers seem impossible; however, with the right targeting and attribution, and a strong omnichannel strategy (delivering messaging across numerous media channels, including TV, streaming/CTV, and social media), brands can effectively reach new customers and retain current ones this holiday season. 2022_Holiday_Trends_Stack

Download our latest report for more on:

Download the full report to learn how the current state of the economy will affect how and where consumers plan to shop, and the important role ads will play in the evolving consumer journey.

Digital Remedy provides comprehensive campaign performance reporting and data-driven capabilities to help advertisers and agencies connect with target audiences at the best time this holiday season. Interested in learning more? Speak to a member of our team today. 

From supply chains to in-store shopping, the 2020 holiday season is going to be drastically different compared to previous years. The holiday season is a critical period for many retailers and brands. Though online shopping has been growing for a while, it has been significantly accelerated by the pandemic.

An increased focus on health and safety, combined with financial concerns, is shifting the way consumers spend their holiday budget—leaving advertisers wondering what the 2020 holiday season look like and how they can effectively reach consumers based on their new buying behavior.



When Will Holiday Shopping Start?

Black Friday has long been considered the unofficial start to the U.S. holiday shopping season, though retailers have been pushing holiday advertising and promotions earlier for the last decade or so in an effort to maximize sales in an increasingly competitive retail space. This year, 59% of consumers will start their holiday shopping before the 1st of November.1


How Will Consumers Shop?

Safety concerns, convenience, and preference for online shopping driven by increased usage in recent months are top reasons that consumers are choosing to do holiday shopping online. 85% of U.S. consumers now expect to do most or all of their holiday shopping online, with 48% intending to do so via their mobile device.2

The COVID era has led to a significant increase in curbside pick-up shopping, both in terms of demand and the volume of retailers offering it. Contactless and cross-channel shopping options have become a necessity for retailers.




Rethinking Media Strategies

Understanding buying intent is going to be critical this holiday season. As the holidays quickly approach, marketers need to ensure they are reaching the right audiences with messaging that will turn (virtual) window shoppers into buyers.


Looking for more industry trends? Stay updated on more insights from Digital Remedy by following us on LinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.



  1. Dynata/ChannelAdvisor survey: 1,001 active U.S. consumers across all age groups, states, and ethnicities, August 2020.
  2. IAS, August 2020, Consumer Study on Holiday Shopping Habits.
  3. Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast
  4. PowerReviews Holiday Consumer Survey 2020
  5. Dynata/Redpoint Global survey: 1,000 general U.S.-based consumers over 18 years of age

What’s Going On? Changing Shopping Behavior

This year, amid a U.S. presidential election and global pandemic, we’re entering the most unusual holiday season any of us have experienced before. With the pandemic serving as an accelerant to online purchasing, and operations and fulfillment in many sectors already stretched as a result, sellers are bracing for some busy, and potentially chaotic, weeks ahead. Many advertisers—now tasked with getting ahead of the customer, whose shopping has started earlier and earlier in recent years—are wondering how they’re going to reach target consumers given their new newfound buying behaviors. The 2020 holidays will truly test retailers’ flexibility and adaptability. Where e-commerce and retail have previously played different roles in the customer shopping journey, this holiday season these two worlds will converge. An increased focus on health and safety, combined with financial concerns, will result in a shift in the way consumers spend their holiday budget.




Consumer Spending on the Mend?


The pandemic has greatly affected consumer spending across all income brackets. Though consumers may not be completely putting the brakes on gift spending, they are planning to spend less than they have in previous years. About 22% of consumers said they’ll compare prices more than usual, while 21% said they’ll be giving fewer presents to family members this year. The share of U.S. consumers planning to spend $300 or less on gifts has increased over 2019.1

One in five consumers said they’re worried about finances. Unsurprisingly, these financial concerns will directly translate to the type of gifts people buy. Most plan to give practical gifts, like those that can be used at home, or fun or entertaining gifts. In early August, 59% said they planned to buy gifts from their go-to brands, while 51% planned to explore new brands when shopping for holiday gifts this year.2


Not Business as Usual


This year will be one of the most promotional holiday seasons ever, especially in the apparel industry, due to excess inventory in stores that closed. These factors should translate to the largest online holiday shopping season to date across the e-commerce industry. However, most things have been thrown for a loop— consumer demand is fluctuating, inventory forecasting has become unpredictable, and supply chains are challenged. While some fortunate brands have experienced a surge in sales, overwhelming their supply chains, others have had to close stores and furlough employees as sales decreased. 

More consumers are shopping online. For consumers, the acceleration toward digital has shown them the benefits and ease of online shopping, particularly in categories they previously might not have considered buying on the web prior to the pandemic, such as groceries and household essentials. 

In 2019, U.S. holiday retail sales increased by 3.7% to about $1.01t, exceeding $1t for the first time. This year, eMarketer projects sales from e-commerce to grow 13.9% to $157b during the holidays, while Deloitte pegged digital sales growth during the period at somewhere between 25% and 35% year over year, generating between $182b and $196b.

According to the 2019 Adobe Digital Insights Holiday Recap report, 84% of online holiday season growth came from smartphones. While smartphones contributed a third of all holiday spend last year, actual buying metrics were quite different than shoppers coming from desktops. In fact, smartphones served more of an information tool than a buying one. Completing the buying process lagged compared to desktop metrics; 3.0 v. 5.9 checkouts per 100 visits with higher cart abandonment: 50% v. 33%.



It’s the Most Competitive Time of the Year


As more consumers spend time with digital content, advertisers in turn will compete for screen space. Achieving visibility will be crucial for brands for a successful holiday season. With the season starting earlier than ever, the annual spike in delivery demand will last even longer than usual, making it that much more challenging (and important) to stand out. Advertisers should start promoting sales earlier to take full advantage of less competition and avoid shipping bottlenecking in November and December. The weeks leading up to the traditional holiday shopping season that have been previously overlooked by advertisers are a valuable opportunity to build brand awareness and keep brands top of mind among online consumers.



New Ways of Shopping


Providing an optimized, seamless digital customer experience will provide retailers with the advantage needed to withstand the current holiday season. Innovations in e-commerce and advanced technology are creating a frictionless experience for online shoppers which is especially important given consumers’ concerns about their health and safety. There has been a jump from fast to free shipping, and even an introduction and experimentation of drone deliveries. With online shopping expected to surge through the end of the year, alternative purchase methods could help brands connect with consumers and sustain sales demand. Different click and collect options include:

Buy online, pick up in-store surged 259% YoY in August 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of August, about three-fourths of the top 50 U.S. store-based retailers offered curbside pickup, according to Coresight Research, an advisory and research firm that specializes in retail and technology. The convenience of touch-free shopping will likely cause permanent shifts in consumer behavior.  

Additionally, QR codes, the little black and white squares that rose to popularity in the early 2010s, are making a resurgence in an increasingly contactless world. QR codes offer a touch-free way for brands to interact with customers who may be nervous returning to stores, and retailers are desperate to do just that.



How are Retailers Impacted?


Given the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, tone and messaging of advertisements are more important than ever. Consumers want reassurance from brands they trust. Advertisers will be doubling down on feel-good campaigns and end-of-year sales to make up for lost revenue and foot traffic during mandatory stay-at-home orders. Retailers should focus on addressing the customer service issues that will arise this season, particularly with the spike in online shopping. Improvements to e-commerce or mobile capabilities, as well as curbside pickup and returns could help attract shoppers. 



While different aspects of the entire retail industry have been affected, lowered media ad rates and increased organic site traffic, as a result of consumers turning to online shopping more, have actually helped alleviate some pressure for smaller retailers and direct-to-consumer brands that faced challenges regarding online customer acquisition even before the pandemic. Direct-to-consumer brands should focus on aligning logistics, making sure items are in stock and improving shipping capabilities, so products arrive on time and customers are happy.

With e-commerce predicted to overtake in-store shopping this holiday season, Target got an early start on its digital deals by announcing a new holiday kickoff called “Target Deal Days”, which will run in-store and online, where consumers can find “Black Friday” pricing on items from October to December. The sales specials began on October 13, the same day Amazon Prime Day launched. Target Deal Days is the retailer’s response to Amazon’s digital sales dominance, helping it attract online customers looking for low prices. Though Prime Day typically occurs in the summer, the pandemic pushed it back, opening up a new opportunity for competitors like Target to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season to run digital sales of their own.



Prime Time


Amazon’s decision to move Prime Day from mid-July to October 13th and 14th threw an even bigger wrench into an already rocky season. This move has resulted in a different focus: de-emphasizing products for summer and back-to-school, and making the event an early lead-in to this year’s holiday season. Electronics, home fitness, toys and gaming, beauty products, and home goods are expected to be top categories this season. 

In its first-ever forecast for Prime Day, eMarketer expects that Amazon will generate $9.91b in sales worldwide, including $6.17b in the U.S. Heightened pandemic demand for eLearning, in-home entertainment, cooking, and sanitation products—once mundane categories—will resonate in a way they never would have previously.



October is the New Black (Friday)


Black Friday is historically the unofficial kickoff to holiday shopping, with many consumers even starting on the night of Thanksgiving following their family dinner. However, larger chains have, to an extent, canceled Black Friday this year. Big-box stores—including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, JCPenney, and Foot Locker—started announcing as early as July that their brick-and-mortar locations will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. Retailers typically offer their biggest Black Friday deals over Thanksgiving weekend, but now they’re starting them earlier so shoppers don’t crowd stores all in a single day, creating a potentially dangerous situation during the pandemic. This year, 59% of consumers said they expect to start their holiday shopping online before November 1st.3



Reaching Consumers


Traditionally, marketers often look at last year’s holiday trends to understand how to plan this year’s holiday advertising campaigns, but looking to the past won’t be enough to prepare for the 2020 holiday season, advertisers need to be strategic with their media plans. Choosing the right channel that will help advertisers stand out among all of the noise will be crucial to surviving this year’s pre-holiday shopping season. Industry experts expect to see paid search, social, and OTT/CTV being utilized this season—as more consumers, especially in younger cohorts, move away from traditional mediums like television and toward streaming platforms. The consumer path to purchase starts with search, mostly on their mobile device. 57% of consumers turn to search when they don’t have a brand in mind, and 91% of searches on the Microsoft Search Network were non-branded in the 2019 holiday season.4 

Authentic, personalized experiences, optimized content, and advanced audience targeting are key but winning consumer hearts will require reaching them in the first place (and holding their attention long enough to make a connection). With many holiday shoppers avoiding physical stores to some degree, advertisers can look to meet consumer needs by focusing their marketing efforts on placing contextually relevant digital ads in safe and suitable environments. The good news is consumers still value advertising. 89% of consumers reported that they find online advertising important in discovering new products and promotions, while 31% said they believe that they are more receptive to ads during the holiday season.5

Now is the time for advertisers to reevaluate media plans and reallocate spend from low-performing channels and invest those dollars in channels that deliver the biggest ROI. But how do you know what is best? Advertisers looking to increase sales, attract new customers, improve conversion rates, and bridge the gap between retail and online should consider a partnership with Digital Remedy. Our 20+ years of experience and innovative media solutions will set brands up for a successful holiday season by identifying the best media types to boost ROI, effectively connecting brands with consumers across devices and screens, and continuously optimizing campaigns based on real-time measurements across customer journey touchpoints.



Flip, the Digital Remedy Approach


Flip is a competitively intelligent OTT/CTV ad platform, which allows advertisers to optimize their campaigns in real time—pinpointing exactly where conversions and revenue are coming from—to effectively maximize ROI and drive future marketing decisions. By measuring and breaking out delivered impressions across the following variables, Flip identifies and optimizes towards the best performing variables, shifting budgets appropriately including publisher, channel, device, creative, geo-location, daypart, and audience.




Use the following links to learn more about Holiday Shopping Trends and how you can reach the right audience at the right time using our cookieless targeting capabilities and innovative Flip solution.


The Way We See It


David Zapletal – Chief Innovation & Media Officer

“It’s imperative that advertisers have the proper media mix and balance of various channels in order to reach target audiences. The right mix should focus on prospecting and ultimately closing the customer. With this in mind, prospecting from social while utilizing narrow datasets and then following the future customer through other channels, like display, will lead to the best ROI. As advertisers consider targeting tactics, it’s important to remember that not all contextual targeting is created equal, as some providers look for simple keywords on a page or url instead of looking at the full content of the page. Advertisers with a strong digital strategy prior to COVID-19 now have a significant advantage and will dominate the retail space moving forward—providing consumers with new experiences and fueling the growing preference of online shopping.”





  1. eMarketer, October 2020, “Consumers Plan to Spend Less on Holiday Gifts This Year”
  2. Morning Consult, September 2020, “How COVID-19 Is Changing the Holiday Shopping Season”
  3. ChannelAdvisor Survey, August 2020
  4. Microsoft Advertising, October 2020
  5. Integral Ad Science, September 2020, 2020 Consumer Study on Holiday Shopping Habits