Sep 6, 2023

Unwrapping 2023 Holiday Shopping Trends: A Gift to Marketers

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…


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:

  • Brand loyalty is reigning supreme, with a significant 69.9% of U.S. shoppers sticking to familiar names this holiday season.
  • One lost package is all it takes—45% of consumers vow to never shop again with a brand that misplaces their order.
  • Free returns aren’t a perk, they’re an expectation. A staggering 81% of shoppers insist on no-cost returns.
  • Speedy delivery lures shoppers online. 77% would forsake in-store shopping if they were promised free 1-2 day shipping.
  • Spontaneous splurges mean extra money in your wallet. 59% of 2022 consumers found themselves doing more online gift shopping than they’d originally intended.

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:

  • Inventory and customer segments: Create the perfect campaign by segmenting your audience based on gift-giver data groups (e.g., parents of young children, online high spenders, etc.) Then, segment your shoppers based on their shopping list locations (e.g., Amazon, Target, etc.) and target them through the most appropriate holiday inventory (e.g., holiday movies, curated site lists, etc.)
  • Creative solutions: Quickly get shoppers to buy what you’re selling through creatives with shoppable product carousels. Using OTT-based QR codes, you can also drive consumers to your site or store with coupons or promotions delivered in an engaging, attention-grabbing ad format. Then, repurpose your high-performing social creatives to run programmatically and at scale, with fast activation turn-around times.
  • Measurement and reporting: Use browsing behaviors to update your ad content, reminding gift-givers of the perfect gift they found but didn’t yet buy. Tap into TV insights and connect the performances from your linear and CTV campaigns to understand the holiday shopping journey like never before.

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

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