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BizReport : Advertising archives : October 21, 2016

Expert: Where retailers should focus this holiday season

With less than a month until the Thanksgiving Weekend and the official start to the holiday shopping season, one expert offers retailers advice on where to focus their advertising efforts for the remainder of the year.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Mobile has shown quite the uptick for digital shoppers over the past 2 years, do you expect this holiday season to be even more mobile-forward?

Courtney McKlveen, Vice President & Industry Lead, Retail, Travel & QSR, Yahoo: Definitely! The key is creating value or utility for consumers via mobile, whether through an app or mobile web-based experience that makes shopping easier and more fun, given there are so many options in the marketplace. We know consumers are using their mobile devices more and more as part of their shopping experience. In our latest holiday shopping study, we found that one in four shoppers visit a retailer's website from their mobile device.

Kristina: How can merchants adjust their strategy to better compete with retail giants like Amazon, Target or WalMart?

Courtney: Retailers of all sizes can take advantage of search and native advertising this season to connect with potential customers and make sure their products and special offers are top of mind.
It's important to think about the experiences or personality of each brand and ensure this shines through in the ad creative, especially in native ad environments, where consumers are open to exploring a product and will ultimately transact.

Despite price pressures being razor sharp, consumers still demand immediacy and value in all parts of their shopping journey. Retailers must think about the unique value they bring to the marketplace. Data is critical -- both a retailer's customer data and a publisher's first-party data -- to make better and more efficient media-buying decisions.

Kristina: Where should merchants focus their resources this holiday?

Courtney: First and foremost, marketers should plan to engage shoppers early this holiday season. Don't wait until Thanksgiving or December to launch your holiday campaigns, and start a dialogue with consumers. Consumers are doing their holiday research now and making purchases much earlier, not just around Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Retail marketers should create engaging and relevant content, and begin their campaigns early to build ample time to deliver strong brand experiences and influence purchase decisions.

So much is happening in the research phase, it's important for marketers to consider the story they tell and how they create a lasting dialogue, not just a connection when a consumer is about to transact. This is about storytelling across the funnel -- where consumers spend their time in lean-forward and lean-back environments.

This season, retailer marketers need to think about working collaboratively and pushing partners to test and learn with them, so that campaigns leverage best-of-breed data, content and technology to support the story.

Tags: 2016 holiday marketing, 2016 holiday spending, advertising, Yahoo

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