American Marketer


Online search, omnichannel retail are top tools for holiday shoppers

November 16, 2018

Consumers use mobile and desktop devices for holiday shopping


Brands needs to start targeting consumers for the holidays in October and November, as this is when they claim to start their gift shopping.

About 20 percent of consumers start their shopping in October, 30 percent in November and only 11 percent in December, says a new survey from Oath. While online has become a significant source of holiday sales, most consumers shop both in-store and online during the season.

Oath surveyed 1,000 consumers on their holiday shopping habits.

Millennials and mobile
Fifty-nine percent of millennials are shopping both online and in-stores, but a large portion are only purchasing online, at 23 percent.

Only 13 percent of millennials are only shopping in-stores along with 11 percent of Gen-X and 15 percent of baby boomers.

The majority of consumers in all generations are researching online but purchasing the item in stores, in a practice known as webrooming. Click and collection follows close behind, and then seeing products in stores but buying online.

Sixty-one percent of millennials use their mobile devices to find the perfect gift, while 50 percent of Gen-Xers and 32 percent of boomers do the same.

Holiday shopping will use in-store experiences for 2018. Image credit: Neiman Marcus

The majority of shoppers cite online search as a useful tool in helping them complete their holiday lists, at 47 percent. Twenty-seven perfect cite emails from retailers and 20 percent say products in articles.

Ads in social media feed rank at the bottom of the list, with only 15 percent saying this was useful in holiday shopping.

As the holiday season approaches, luxury brands can help deliver the customized shopping experiences consumers crave through search.

New data from Google shows that consumers are open to new brands as they seek out presents for their friends and loved ones, making search a valuable tool in driving discovery. As gifters look for guidance during what can be a stressful time of year, being visible on search engines is one way to drive traffic and sales as well as establish new customer relationships (see story).