Insights On the Holiday Shopping Trends 2023 Has in Store

By: Zephyr Jaeger

October 10, 2023

According to the data, it’s literally never too early to start preparing and executing your holiday season marketing plan. 


Black Friday, Cyber Monday, free shipping on orders over $100, deals on deals on deals on deals on…is your head spinning yet? Because ours sure are. While it may feel like the holiday shopping season is still ages away, the marketing talking heads are all highlighting the importance of being ahead of the holiday shopping game — like, way ahead. 

Let’s dive into what the e-commerce gurus have to say to businesses about preparing for the holiday shopping trends 2023 has in store, and what it means for your marketing efforts as we inch closer to the busiest shopping season of the year.

The Sooner, The Better

That’s the trend. 

Based on the holiday marketing trends 2022 delivered, being prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone simply isn’t enough. Projections based on last year’s numbers say that 50% of shoppers will start shopping before November. 

Plus, per a recent Forbes article, last year’s November shoppers were shifting their spending by a whole month to October. While there will always be last-minute shoppers out there, the trend toward online shopping has allowed the masses to get ahead on their holiday shopping by a lot. 

As this trend has happened before, advertisers across the board have started trying to meet shoppers where they are and are launching campaigns and deals well in advance. In 2021, advertisers jumped into action in mid-October. Last year, this surge in holiday shopping advertising happened just after Labor Day. 

Be prepared for a competitive market now that we’re well into October.

Research’s Role in Your 2023 Holiday Marketing Plan

On the topic of earlier shopping and purchasing, it’s crucial to note that data shows shoppers aren’t quite as impulsive as we might have previously thought. The earlier shopping trends are related to how thorough many shoppers have become; they’re doing in-depth research to find the best deals on the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts for their loved ones. 

Thanks to Cyber 5 deals (Black Friday through Cyber Monday), savvy shoppers know when the best discounts are likely to be and tend to search out their desired items and leave tabs open waiting for deals to arrive. Clueing them in as to what deals may apply to which items can help your brand and products stay sharp in their minds as they consider where to buy this holiday season. 

E-commerce Makes The World Go ‘Round

Okay, so it’s not exactly a secret that online shopping has skyrocketed over the last several years, egged on in a big way by the coronavirus pandemic. Per some FTI Consulting data, it’s projected that 42% of retail sales growth this year will be from e-commerce. That said, e-commerce’s expansions have actually helped to increase in-store purchases — or rather, online purchases to be picked up in person, such as Target’s drive-up option. E-commerce has become a catalyst for the entire shopping industry, allowing it to evolve in ways we’ve never seen before. 

Turning to advertising numbers for a moment, it’s of note that, in 2022, holiday campaigns for Black Friday drove more online conversions than foot traffic conversions. The ease of the internet is appealing, especially when people are viewing the majority of these campaigns while already online. 

When ads are seen while the viewer is surfing YouTube videos, for instance, all they need to do is click a couple of buttons to snag a deal, make a purchase, then sit back and relax while waiting for their goods to arrive. We’ll dive into this more in our next section. 

Data-Driven Advertising 🤝 Results 

Speaking of holiday shopping ads on platforms such as YouTube, data-driven advertising has become a go-to for targeting consumers in a personalized and effective way. Last year, there was a marked increase in connected TV (CTV) advertising spending that focused on holiday shopping campaigns. Many advertisers are taking data-driven advertising even further by delving into the realm of ZTV, or zip-code targeted CTV advertising. Local Inventory Ads employed using an omnichannel strategy are highly effective in this area, especially for driving online purchases of in-store store items. 

When you work with an agency like Fishnet that specializes in advertising tactics and that leverages the latest tools to make it happen, you can take advantage of strategic targeting that drives results throughout the holiday shopping season. 

However, there’s an important next step. Beyond using data-driven advertising to target consumers, advertisers are also using data-driven metrics to track results and give insight into what is and isn’t working. To increase the effectiveness of this tracking, advertisers are leaning toward platforms that offer return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) metrics to help track their campaigns. 

Fishnet’s Two Cents On Holiday Shopping Preparedness

At Fishnet, we always do our due diligence to stay on top of the latest trends and tools to help our clients be as successful as possible any time of year, but we also have our own two cents to share on prepping for 2023 holiday shopping trends. 

Here are some crucial things to keep in mind from the Fishnet team:

  • Website Volume Prep — As we have all learned the hard way one way or another, be you a marketer, a website manager, or even an online concert ticket vendor, when exciting things are for sale or there is a special season for buying, websites can come crashing down. It’s essential that as the holiday shopping season looms, you prepare your website for a surge in traffic that could bring buying to a halt and result in consumer frustration. 
  • The Shopping Surge Continues — As we discuss all of this pre-season prep, it’s essential that you stay on top of these strategies post-Cyber 5. Deals and discounts are the theme of the season while we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but we know that there’s nothing like a pinch of pressure to drive holiday gift buying. The three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have historically seen a huge share of the overall holiday purchases, especially for those still needing to buy gifts for loved ones. Consumers often use the yearly deals to purchase large items they have been waiting to go on sale, such as a new vacuum cleaner or dishwasher, and then the need to buy for others kicks in as the holidays loom closer. Don’t lose focus come the Tuesday after Thanksgiving! 

Wrapping Up — Holiday Shopping Trends 2023 Will Deliver

Let this post serve as a friendly reminder and guide to pay attention to what your competitors are up to, what’s trending in advertising, and to get a jump on your holiday marketing campaigns. To recap:

  • Start earlier than you think you need to
  • Tap into the power of data-driven advertising in all its forms
  • If your business is an in-person venture, don’t forget that e-commerce can play a huge role in bumping your holiday numbers up 

If you’re looking for some assistance ramping up your targeted marketing campaigns this holiday season, contact us

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Zephyr Jaeger

I recently started at Fishnet as their new Content Strategist/Copywriter, which encompasses a wide range of content and copy work. From Fishnet blogs, to writing and reviewing client website copy, to SEO research, I’m always jumping from one aspect of content production to another. I work closely with all departments, especially those on the creative side of things, to craft the best content possible for Fishnet and their valued clients.

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