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‘Tis the Shopping Season…


If planning your holiday campaigns feels overwhelming – fear not. Arm yourself with these best practices. For ways to update your creative assets, read this. For top trends this year, click here. For down and dirty stats to copy & paste, click here

1. Scale

Don’t Restrict Inventory and Set Aside Your Biggest Budget


The most reach is critical. Now is the time to go big or go home. Set aside a large budget.

Run nationally-targeted campaigns utilizing all 3 ad formats (in-feed, recommendation widget, and in-ad) across all 3 devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile) to ensure we are able to find relevant users at any time on any device.

Get access to as many placements as possible. Bidtellect is partnered with more than 30 supply partners for the most expansive network in the ecosystem, which means access to 58 million distinctly targetable placements and 55 billion Native auctions daily.

Reach outside social: Social promises contextually-relevant native ads that match their environment. Bidtellect promises the same, but across the open web in premium native environments with the ability to avoid undesirable content. Reach more consumers, safely. Native advertising outside social networks and programmatic Native Advertising are the fastest-growing categories of Native (eMarketer). Social media is the least trusted media source (Edelman Trust Barometer).

Online shopping will be even more popular than years past: 2019 holiday online sales were already record-breaking, and ecommerce, strengthened and solidified during the covid-19 pandemic, will continue to dominate consumer shopping.  

  • 71% of US adults said they planned to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year (daVinci Payments via eMarketer).
  • 60% of consumers plan to shop less in-store this season due to fear of COVID-19 exposure (Radial survey via MarTech Series)
  • 44% of respondents plan to shop more online during this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas holidays compared to last year’s holiday season (Quibit study via eMarketer)


  • Limiting scale across ad type and devices
  • Restricting inventory
  • Focusing too much on Social


  • Scale across the open web, ad types, and device types. 
  • Cater to online shoppers
  • Start early

2. Mobile:

More shopping, higher engagement



Higher mobile engagement this year: It should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t. Mobile usage and engagement continues to grow rapidly. Before setting up campaigns, check that the landing pages you will be directing traffic to are as mobile-friendly as possible, from easy scrolling to readability to ease of purchasing products. 

Mobile shopping: the new way to online shop: Expect mobile usage to be higher than ever this holiday season. That includes shopping online and via apps, comparing prices, and even using click-and-collect options. Make sure check outs, landing pages, and content are mobile-friendly.

  • 37% of US adults said they were more interested in mobile app shopping than they were last year (Salesforce via eMarketer).
  • Mobile shoppers spent an average of $197 on mobile orders during the 2019 holiday season, a 17% increase over 2018 (Button research via Digital Commerce 360)


  • Landing pages that are not user friendly
  • Difficult check out process


  • Scaling inventory to mobile
  • Mobile-friendly content & shopping experiences

3. Consider the Customer Journey:

Start Early, Target and Retarget


Target and retarget: Since a consideration cycle is generally required to make a purchase – especially with so many choices and sales during Black Friday weekend – supplement a prospecting strategy with retargeting to drive prospects back to the site to purchase. Make it even easier to buy online and pick up in store, too. 

Holiday shopping (and sales) will start earlier: Start early, like really early. Shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year, and big retailers have sales planned for October. Plus, consumers are less likely to shop in-store and are worried about packages arriving on time in the current climate. They are also more concerned with budgets than in years past. Start sales, holiday gift ideas, content, and retargeting as early as possible.

  • 39% of shoppers plan to start shopping for the holidays in October into early November, and 30% plan to start on Black Friday/Cyber Monday (Radial survey via MarTech Series)
  • 41% of shoppers say they don’t plan to shop any earlier for holiday gifts (Radial survey via MarTech Series)
  • Target will kick off holiday sales in October (Target via The Washington Post), while Amazon is considering moving its postponed Prime Day to October (CNBC via The Washington Post)
  • 47% of Americans say they may need to start saving earlier for Christmas presents (The Christmas Company).


  • Not testing out different creatives and KPIs for ultimate engagement. Come on now!
  • Waiting until the last minute


  • Start early and Optimize! Test those campaigns and adjust creatives and KPI based on performance for maximum engagement. 

Bonus: Content Matters to Holiday Sales

Research First

53% of holiday shoppers say they always do research before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice

Last Minute Hunt

51% of Last-Minute Shoppers said they weren’t certain where they wanted to buy, or they had multiple retailers in mind, when they started shopping

Quick Gifters

48% of shoppers want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible.

Content First

Content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy.

Holiday Creatives: The Naughty and Nice List

Digital advertisers: get on Santa’s Nice List with these creative best practices for engaging campaigns this holiday season by the experts.

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