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Social Media Perceptions Leading into Holiday 2020

Robert Rothschild Sep 17, 2020 9:00:10 AM

This holiday season will look different than any holiday season before. For brands, that means it’s time to create a captivating and seamless digital experience for consumers that are turning online for their holiday shopping.


To get a better understanding of what exactly shoppers are looking for this year, we surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers to understand preferences and behavior around social media ads. The results indicate that consumers not only recognize social media presents a new way to find gift ideas, but is also an easy and convenient way to purchase them. Let’s take a closer look at what we learned.

Increasing Social Media Spend

The global pandemic has moved much of the world online, accelerated the digital retail space, and altered the path to purchase. As consumers spend more time immersed in their feeds, brands need to reach consumers where they’re scrolling the most: social media. In fact, the Smartly.io survey found that:

  • 37 percent of consumers have purchased holiday gifts directly from social media ads 
  • 57 percent of holiday shoppers feel social media ads help them source new gift ideas
  • 46 percent are expecting to find holiday gifts from an ad on social media this year 

This underscores that retailers who previously relied on brick-and-mortar sales need to embrace omnichannel strategies and social advertising to make their 2020 holiday campaigns a success.

What Consumers Want Now

When asked about the top factors influencing their decision to buy a product through a social media ad, 45 percent of U.S. consumers said relevant or personalized ads matter most to them, followed by factors such as discounts (39 percent), and customer testimonials (20 percent).

To capture consumer attention, brands need to rapidly test and iterate to drill down and find the winning creatives that resonate with their audiences and drive the best performance. Buying journeys are unique to each individual customer, during the holidays perhaps more than ever. Personalization can help you identify elements that drive a difference in your holiday campaigns.

This Year’s Top Gift Categories

While shopping motivations may be different this year, we found that consumers are still gravitating to the same categories as last year. In fact, apparel & accessories (19 percent -- 17 percent last year) and electronics (16 percent -- 15 percent last year) top the list of categories U.S. shoppers are most likely to purchase via social media ads, followed by beauty/wellness (8 percent) and home goods (8 percent). 

This year-over-year consistency is good news for brands who have been navigating a tumultuous landscape in 2020. However, it’s good to keep in mind that consumers’ mindsets have shifted as well, presenting a new opportunity for brands to interact and impress digital customers this  holiday season.

To learn more about how Smartly.io can help you move the needle this holiday season, check out our eBook here.

Additional findings from the study include:

  • 43% of U.S. consumers feel they are most likely to see relevant holiday ads this season on Facebook
  • 30% of U.S. consumers plan to purchase gifts from social media ads this holiday season
  • 34% of U.S. consumers who have purchased holiday gifts from social ads, clicked an ad on Facebook
  • 38% of U.S. consumers expect Facebook to have the best ads for holiday gifts this season
   Coronavirus Social Marketer's Resource CHECK IT NOW <https://www.smartly.io/covid-19-insights-hub-social-advertising>
Author
Robert Rothschild

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