Holiday Shopping Trends


Travel Tech

As much as 40% of annual sales are concentrated in the last two months of the year for some retailers. Understanding the unique purchase path consumers take when shopping during the holiday season is critical for marketers to ensure they maximize sales.

Through an expansive research methodology, Yahoo! aimed to discover more about today’s consumer path to holiday purchase, and how it is being affected by e-commerce, mobile, and advertising activity.


  • Pre-Holiday Survey: 1,500 respondents
  • Holiday Shopping Survey: 2,707 respondents
  • Post-Holiday Shopping Survey: 3,161 respondentsYahoo! on-site behavioral insights, from a potential audience of 180 million monthly visitors, 3.1 billion searches and 50 billion ads

Marketer Implications

Reaching Consumers during the busy Holiday Season

  • Create an early and consistent presence to engage with early bird shoppers.

Shopping and browsing starts much earlier than buying, with nearly one-third of holiday shoppers are browsing in September.

  • Make sure to standout by implementing targeting and premium sponsorships.

Last year, almost 40% of all retail display impressions were served in Q4. To standout from the competition, marketers need to choose big, bold advertising positions and to align with holiday content where consumers are more open to retail messages.

  • Make sure your price-conscious consumers feel like they are winning.

Consumers are budget-conscious and many are seeking deals. 2 in 5 consumers said that they will spend more time researching online in order to find a good deal.

  • Marketers can help alleviate consumers’ stress by providing shopping and gift guides.

Finding gifts is ranked as one of the top holiday stressors, and specifically shopping for significant-others is the most stressful.

Technology’s influence on the Holiday Season

  • Understand the power of mobile.

Smartphone growth continues to be strong, and two-thirds used their mobile devices for holiday shopping during the 2011 season.

  • Reach consumers in-store right before purchase.

Consumers are using their mobile phones in the store to research products and find last minute ideas. 69% said that they would use their smartphone for holiday shopping 2.

  • Use deals to generate interest and leverage different redemption tools.

Nearly one third of consumers surveyed have said they’d like to receive holiday deals via their mobile device.

  • Create experiences that serve both the online and offline shopper.

Growing 15% in one year, E-commerce continues to become more popular. However, online sales are still a minority of total retail sales.

Post Holiday Shopping: The Holiday season is being extended

  • The holiday shopping season doesn’t end in December.

On average, consumers spent $235 after the 2011 holidays3. Even before the holidays have started, over 60% of consumers were already looking forward to post-holiday deals.

  • Advertisers should recognize the feeling of indulgence.

70% of post-holiday shoppers are shopping for themselves. These shoppers are also looking for gifts for close relatives and significant others3.

  • Post-holiday consumers are driven by sales and the best deal.

Over 70% say they are motivated by big sales, deals and discounts and bargain-hunting was the top mood descriptor of post-holiday shopping.

  • Message to consumers who are using the internet to find post-holiday ideas and deals.

More than half of post holiday shoppers rely on emails from specific retailers, while more than 1 in 3 search for deals online.


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