Study: Shopping Habits Are Consistent Across Channels

by , Jan 27, 2010, 5:50 PM
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Over the holidays, shoppers in search of deals didn't discriminate between channels, according to new research from display ad provider Eyeblaster.

"For marketers, knowing that consumer habits online mirror the offline channel shows that the combination of display advertising and e-commerce resonates with the end user," said Gal Trifon, CEO and co-founder at Eyeblaster.

For its research, Eyeblaster analyzed conversions from more than 10 billion impressions and thousands of ads that were served in North America during the holiday season.

The top three online shopping periods imitated offline spending habits with the highest conversion rates occurring from November 30 to December 2 - i.e., Cyber Monday and the Tuesday and Wednesday following it; December 19 to December 23 -- the five days preceding Christmas; and December 28 to December 30, a.k.a., after-Christmas sales.

Still, consumers were less inclined to shop online during the holiday itself as conversions hit their lows on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.

"This research also highlights the unique potential of addressable advertising in making digital channels even more effective conversion producers."

In addition, during Cyber Monday, conversions increased by 15.9% from the previous day conversions -- reaching their all time high on the Monday following Christmas.

What's more, while consumer behaviors remain consistent across channels, Eyeblaster outlined several unique opportunities that digital channels present marketers, including targeting based on-site behavior; sequenced messaging with tailored ads according to projected path to conversion; and coupling the buying power of ad exchanges with the real time bidding potential of demand side platforms.

Overall, U.S. holiday shoppers spent $29.1 billion between November and December of 2009, which represented a 4% increase in seasonal spending year-over-year, according to new research from comScore.

According to comScore, Tuesday, Dec. 15 ranked as the heaviest online spending day of the year -- and of all time -- at $913 million. It also represented one of nine individual spending days to surpass $800 million during the 2009 holiday season. The heavy spending on this day represented a surprise total on the heels of a somewhat lower-than-expected $854 million spent on "Green Monday," Dec. 14, 2009.

Thanks to aggressive retailer promotions, Cyber Monday -- Monday, Nov. 30 -- ranked as the second-heaviest spending day of the season, the highest it has ever ranked on this list, with $887 million in spending, according to comScore.

For Eyeblaster's research, conversions measure users who have browsed the advertiser's Web site after viewing an ad and have signaled their intent to purchase or have completed the purchase online.

Conversions represent a range of actions an advertiser would like the consumer to take, which can include downloading brochures, submitting a form or completing a transaction online.

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