This holiday shopping season is turning out to be unlike any we’ve ever seen before. Consumer demand is through the roof, while container ships are clogging up ports worldwide – augmenting an already-long list of supply chain woes. Savvy consumers are seizing opportunities to buy sooner rather than later – and eagerly snapping up electronics, toys, and other giftable goods as soon as they see them – even though annual Black Friday sales are still weeks away.  

To capture their fair share of this consumer spending fervor, marketers must remain top-of-mind, which, of course, requires advertising.  But they need flexible advertising solutions that can keep up with the pace of this season’s dynamic marketplace. Thankfully, digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising offers just that.

Read on to learn how digital OOH can help you steady the ship this holiday shopping season.  

We’re seeing unprecedented consumer demand.

Global pandemic notwithstanding, the consumer outlook is exceedingly positive this holiday season.  With income rising in general, the balance sheets of many households have never been stronger, and consumers are eager to shop till they drop. According to the Roku and Harris Poll 2021 Holiday Survey, individual spending could hit record levels as consumers plan for significant growth in their holiday spending.  The survey found that 36% of shoppers plan on spending more this year than they did in 2020. This is in line with McKinsey data, which forecasts a 7% increase in 2021 Q4 consumer spending over 2020, and a 9% increase compared with 2019. This increase is anticipated across all ages and income groups. Everyone, it seems, is eager to spend and spend some more.

This is in line with McKinsey data, which forecasts a 7% increase in 2021 Q4 consumer spending over 2020, and a 9% increase compared with 2019. This increase is anticipated across all ages and income groups. Everyone, it seems, is eager to spend and spend some more.  

Due to anticipated shortages and delays, consumer behavior is changing.  

There is, however, a proverbial fly in the ointment.  McKinsey surveyed 2,095 shoppers in the United States about their 2021 holiday spending intentions, and found significant shifts in consumer shopping behavior. In particular, brands and marketers should take note of the following...  

Customer loyalty is waning.

First, consumers are more likely than ever to switch brands or retailers, especially if items are unavailable.  “Among the 60 percent of consumers who have faced out-of-stock products in the last three months, only 13 percent say they waited for an item to come back in stock,” the McKinsey survey reports.  “About 70 percent switched retailers or brands instead.”  Spurred by fears of shortages, longer shipping times, and unexpected supply-chain challenges related to COVID-19, anxious shoppers are loosening their brand loyalties. This means that brands and retailers will need to work hard to maintain relationships with their best customers.

Omnichannel commerce is growing.

Consumers are also embracing omnichannel commerce to a greater degree than ever before – bouncing between websites, apps, and in-store shopping for both inspiration and purchasing.  This has implications for marketers’ (already troubled) cross-channel measurement and attribution strategies.  It’s also a good reminder that an effective media mix is a diverse media mix.  It’s more important than ever to ensure you’re reaching consumers throughout their day and throughout their purchase journey.  Digital media alone won’t cut it this holiday season.

Flexible ad formats can help marketers keep up

Unsurprisingly, supply chain issues are making some marketers weary about booking media campaigns to support holiday shopping.  But, as noted, advertising is critical to maintain top-of-mind awareness as consumers become increasingly fickle and disloyal this season. Given the steep competition this year – coupled with consumers’ newfound willingness to shift from preferred brands and retailers – marketers simply cannot afford to let their campaigns go dark for long.  

So what’s a marketer to do?  Ensure that your media plan provides flexibility – that’s what.  Now more than ever, fast-moving marketers require more flexible campaigns and timelines.  

In particular, here are three strategies to ensure maximum campaign control, so you can survive this hectic holiday shopping season unscathed…

1) Ensure you have creative flexibility with digital OOH.

With supply chain challenges and delivery backlogs, it’s very likely that at least one of your products will become out of stock at some point this holiday season.  Digital OOH allows for easy creative swaps and updates, so you can shift your OOH creative messaging to promote items that are currently in stock, should the need arise.  

2) Leverage dynamic creative to automatically adjust creative messaging.

Digital OOH enables creative flexibility, which is a fantastic safeguard.  But you can take that protection up tenfold with dynamic creative.  Shrewd marketers are taking advantage of dynamic creative to adjust their ad messaging based on their internal sales data.  By triggering automatic creative switches when stock counts get too low, they can be sure not to waste dollars promoting items that are unavailable.

(Looking for a true ninja move? Once inventory begins to tighten, display the number of available units directly in your ad to create an even greater sense of urgency.)

3) Maximize flexibility with programmatic digital OOH.  

While static OOH advertising often requires long-term commitments and booking holds well in advance, programmatic digital OOH provides advertisers with unmatched flexibility and granular control over their media campaigns.  With AdQuick DSP, marketers can simply pause – or even end – a campaign if they run out of supply.  AdQuick DSP makes it easy to schedule, optimize or pause campaigns in just minutes — so you can make changes seamlessly and immediately as supply or situational contexts evolve.  

Though this holiday season will pose numerous challenges for retailers striving to hold onto their customers, it will also bring a unique opportunity to capitalize on unprecedented consumer demand.  Don’t let this massive opportunity pass you by. Speak with one of our strategy experts to learn more about how digital OOH and AdQuick DSP can help you maximize your revenue this Q4.


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