Black Friday to dominate holiday ad budgets, leaving little for last-minute shoppers




  • Just 5 percent of the retailers plan to focus spend on late-season shoppers. according to a Nanigans study.

    Black Friday to dominate holiday ad budgets, leaving little for last-minute shoppers

    A new study out this week from ad platform Nanigans suggests that most retail marketers plan to prioritize their digital advertising spend on Black Friday — and ignore late-season shoppers.

    Nanigans partnered with Advertiser Perceptions to survey 100 retail marketing leaders about digital advertising for the holidays.

    25 percent of ad budgets spent Black Friday weekend. The study found that 64 percent of marketers will have ads running by Halloween, and most (94 percent) by early November. Most retailers who will spend a full quarter of their digital ad budgets from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Black Friday gets most of that spend, with 63 percent of retailers saying that Friday is their focus. Only 20 percent of brands plan to spend more on Cyber Monday.

    Little left to target last-minute shoppers. Only 5 percent of the retailers surveyed said they focus spend on late-season shoppers.

    “Retailers don’t focus much of their holiday ad spend on last-minute shoppers, which could be a missed opportunity as it’s a pivotal time to generate brand exposure,” Nanigans said, noting almost half (47 percent) prioritize early-season campaigns, 48 percent focus on prime-season buyers, and just 5 percent target late-season shoppers.

    Amazon gaining spend share. Retailers are still spending the most at Google (21 percent) and Facebook (18 percent), but Amazon (15 percent) is coming up fast behind.

    “Nearly half of U.S. consumers now start their product search on Amazon, meaning the retail giant offers an attractive model for brands hoping to capture the attention of active buyers during the 2018 holiday shopping season,” said Ric Calvillo, CEO and co-founder of Nanigans. “However, retailers’ decision to pump ad spend into Amazon may be shortsighted. The company has built an ecosystem that makes it both an attractive ecommerce ad platform and a retailer’s top competitor.”

    In a survey released this week by CPC Strategy, Amazon topped the list of sites consumers said they’ll use to shop for holiday gift shopping this year.

    Why you should care. The Nanigans data highlights the importance of Black Friday to retailers’ holiday success, but also suggests that distributing budget more equitably throughout the shopping season could help retailers pick up more sales — and possibly at cheaper CPMs when there is less media buying competition.

    E-commerce sales are predicted to see double-digit growth this year, but is Cyber Monday as dated as its name? The report notes that marketers’ lower investment in Cyber Monday may indicate that they “believe brick-and-mortar retail still plays a significant role in total holiday season revenue, or that Cyber Monday is an antiquated concept for consumers accustomed to regularly shopping online year round.”


    About The Author

    Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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