Data from September shows some key consumer trends that helped businesses finish the third quarter on a high note and bodes well for the upcoming holiday season. For the second month in a row, the expectations index rose to 108 from 103.6. Despite inflationary pressures, credit card spending per household grew 4.4% year-over-year (YOY), according to data from Bank of America.
Each month offers a new opportunity to increase income. It’s a much easier task when you know what products consumers are buying and what drives those decisions. You can then feature these items and brands in your ad campaigns and content and chat – you’ll be on your way to hitting your KPIs.
Skimlinks (a Taboola company) share data revealed the following three shopping trends:
- Consumers couldn’t resist the Labor Day sales
- Streaming service and return to the coach of the potato life
- Mattresses are hammered once again
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each trend and discuss some things you can use to inform your campaign and content strategy for the coming months.
Labor Day sales worked hard
It should come as no surprise that Labor Day sales were a top trend as every brand and publisher from every vertical got in on the action. From clothing to electronics to indoor and outdoor products, there was no shortage of products at deep discounts.
Throughout the year, we’ve seen campaign messages and headlines highlighting deals and value-for-money purchases encouraging users to click the ‘Buy Now’ button.
In both of these examples, publishers hit the nail on the head by highlighting brands, popular products, and outrageous discounts in big headlines; consumers couldn’t resist devouring the content and clicking on links.
Takeaway: Although Labor Day has passed, we are already in the early days of winter break. Lingering supply chain issues combined with economic uncertainty are driving consumers to spread out their holiday shopping over the coming months.
Publishers should focus on creating valuable gift buying guides that include hot items and items on sale. Pull in quotes from reviews to show how real consumers feel about the products. And create content that compares similar products to give consumers all the information they need to make a decision.
Advertisers should make sure they have a plan of attack for the holiday season that includes a full-funnel strategy with strategic messaging to move consumers from awareness to consideration to purchase. Evaluate campaign performance early and focus on optimizing targeting and messaging.
Bonus: For a successful holiday season, you need a creative strategy that uses relatable messaging to address consumer concerns and the right vertical-specific creative elements proven to increase click-through rates.
We’ve already published two articles that contain all the data-backed insights and strategies you need. Check out our 2022 marketing insights and creative campaign strategy posts.
Start of streaming period
Consumers are fickle when it comes to streaming services; they subscribe and unsubscribe frequently, depending on each platform’s content schedule. Our data shows that consumers added more streaming services to their lineup in September, likely for a number of reasons.
First, viewers tuned in to sports at the start of the NFL season and a handful of other events, including tennis, basketball and baseball games, golf tournaments and NASCAR. Second, streaming services released a slew of highly anticipated shows, such as The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, The Handmaid’s Tale, Abbot Elementary, and everyone’s favorite train wreck, The Bachelorette season finale. Finally, cooler nights make snuggling on the couch that much more irresistible, and we need a little entertainment on the screen.
Check out these great examples:
Takeaway: With the “viewing season” just beginning, many consumers are still planning their streaming service strategy, and to win, service providers continue to introduce special offers, so it’s not too late to jump on this trend.
Publishers should look at the content available on different streaming services to help their readers decide which ones are worth the subscription fees. Those with a sports-minded audience can do exceptionally well now. Content pieces that tell people how to stream popular shows are always in high demand.
For advertisers, targeting and placement of campaigns will make all the difference. For example, sports advertisers should consider using Taboola’s Premium Sports Package to reach audiences on top sports sites like ESPN and NBC Sports.
Mattress madness continues
One of the positive things that came out of the pandemic was that people began to prioritize their health and well-being. Today it is almost impossible to read a publication and not come across an article about the importance of self-help in one form or another.
Looking at the popular topics, many including doctors and health experts point to the incomparable benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Mattress companies have expanded their selection and now cater to all types of sofa beds, price points and consumer concerns such as eco-friendly and natural products. Data suggests that consumers are still chasing that elusive dream of a restful night, causing mattress purchasing trends to persist month after month. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Labor Day sales usually include a lot of home goods.
These examples take the guesswork out of shopping and back up their results with expert advice:
Takeaway: As with most major purchases, consumers spend a lot of time comparing products. Publishers can do that work for them by creating buying guides and side-by-side comparisons for top-selling brands, materials used, mattress toppers, and more. Being helpful, honest and informative is key.
Advertisers should draw consumers’ attention to the uniqueness of their products. In a sea of competition, that’s what makes consumers decide. Find out about the benefits of the content used, free trials and convenient purchase options, and include medical studies, research or reviews if available.
Take the train to Revenue Town
Now is the time to strike as holiday sales are expected to reach $1.45-1.47 trillion and the popular products discussed here will likely remain on wish lists.
Although consumer sentiment is improving, many still have some concerns about the state of the economy, so address consumer concerns with messaging, emphasize unique product features, and always draw attention to unbeatable prices.