A Guide to Holiday Shoppers

by Brent Williams on December 19, 2016 Comments Off on A Guide to Holiday Shoppers

The question isn’t whether or not consumers will wait until the last minute to finish their holiday shopping; the questions are where will they be and how can brands/retailers get their attention?

Whether it be a matter of circumstance or a tradition of procrastination, one thing we know is that some consumers will brave the cold, late December nights to finalize their holiday shopping.

Some brands and retailers monitor their inventory in real-time, which allows for strategic promotions aligned with best-selling or overstocked items. However, knowing which items to push is only half the battle. In order to influence an over-saturated consumer’s buying mind they must receive the right promotion, with the right messaging, at the right time.

By organizing 2014-2015 holiday shopping statistics, we created a Holiday Shopper Profile intended to equip marketers with helpful data points guiding their “last push” holiday sales promotional campaigns. Here are some key insights and action items pulled from the overall holiday shopper profile:

One out of ten holiday shoppers plan to wait until 12/23 to finish their gift shopping.

While holiday marketing campaigns may start well before the event-date, there is opportunity to capture last-minute buyers through targeted messages appealing to their situation. Looking more closely at WHY these consumers hold-off on their shopping can help creatively produce marketing content that speaks to the different types of shoppers. 

For those still shopping after 12/7, online sources (71%) are most commonly used for purchases; followed by “big box” retailers (50%) and department stores (31%).

Knowing where shoppers will be during times of expedited purchase decisions will present last-minute revenue opportunities, and identifying the most popular purchase channels will help ensure campaign compatibility. By tailoring marketing content to the purchase medium and the individual shopper, messages are more likely to be received positively.

Men (22.6%) are more likely than women (15.1%) to start their Christmas shopping in December. 

Holiday marketing efforts typically start popping up after the summer season. Producing marketing content geared toward women, delivered via channels commonly used by women, may result in a better return on investment. Part of the effectiveness of a marketing message is reaching the right consumer at the right time. If men typically wait until later in the year to start their holiday shopping, it may be a good idea to hold off on male-focused targeted marketing campaigns until later in the fall season. 


Click on the image below to see our full “Holiday Shopper Profile” infographic, and we encourage you to contact us for more actionable insights:


Share this post:


Brent Williams is Brand Development Manager at MacKenzie Corporation. His optimism is contagious, and he brings a unique energy to all of his projects. While Brent carries an “outside the box” mentality, his ideas are conceptually based on his formal business education and extensive work experience as a Research Consultant for top-tier organizations such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, Red Bull USA and many others.

Brent WilliamsA Guide to Holiday Shoppers