How Shoppers Are Planning For The Holidays and Creative Production Tips

By Celtra

Felix Decombat

Everyone’s soaking up the final moments of summer, but marketers are already busy planning for holiday campaigns. The holiday season is a huge push for marketing teams everywhere and can ultimately make or break a brand. With so much on the line, how should marketers plan for this year’s holiday campaigns? We conducted a survey to find out. 

To better understand people’s shopping preferences and expectations for this year’s holiday brand marketing campaigns, we ​commissioned a Dynata survey with 1,000 U.S.-based shoppers over the age of 18. At the same time, we ran a survey with our community of brand marketers and creative leaders to learn about their holiday creative production challenges.  Here’s a wrap-up of our holiday marketing key findings and how that affects creative production. 


Survey highlights 

  • Omnichannel marketing takes the lead: 62% of shoppers plan to purchase online and in-store this holiday season. 
    • 21% of respondents noted they’re planning to shop in a physical store. 
  • Say goodbye to last-minute shopping: 57% of people expect to start shopping for the holidays in advance 27% in October and 30% in November. 
    • Only 11% expect to start holiday shopping in December. 
  • Shopper spending is on par with 2020: 40% of shoppers noted they will spend the same amount as last year. 
  • Retail websites win: 60% of shoppers will purchase more on retailers’ websites. Mobile shopping follows in second with 33%.
  • Shoppers want personalization: 48% of people want personalized products and offers and 77% are more inclined to shop with brands that personalize content across their online shopping journey. 
    • 32% want to see inspirational content for gift ideas. 
  • 35% prefer email communication from brands as opposed to receiving direct mail.
    • 24% are open to brands using social media as a channel of communication, but only 6% noted they’ll purchase from social media.
  • Localization yields loyalty: 55% of shoppers are loyal to brands that localize creative content.
  • People crave original content: 61% of shoppers find holiday creative to be repetitive. 
  • Having assets ready on time (38%) and producing more personalized creative content (38%) top as the biggest creative challenges brand marketers anticipate this holiday season 
  • Marketers lean on tech: More than half (51%) of marketers are adopting new technology such as automation to help scale output. 
  • Expect more creative content: The majority of marketers (66%) plan to produce more creative assets this holiday season compared to last year, even though 47% of marketing teams will have the same resources as they did in 2020. 
  • Marketers want brand governance: For 38% of marketers, brand consistency and content quality across creative and design concepts is the biggest holiday goal 
  • Social to drive Q4 revenue: 47% of marketers predict social media (paid and influencer) will drive the most Q4 revenue, followed by CRM marketing (34%) and display/programmatic (19%). 
  • E-commerce grows: 38% of marketers anticipate that more than half of holiday sales will come from digital commerce. 


Holiday creative production best practices 

Shoppers want to feel known. From localized creative to personalized messaging, they want unique pieces of content tailored to them this holiday season. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain brand consistency in creative, not just for large marketing initiatives but for lower-funnel marketing especially. A “buy now” ad on a white background simply won’t cut it anymore. 

To give shoppers the creative variety they want to see in holiday campaigns, brands must rethink their creative production. Traditional production can’t keep up with the volume of high-quality assets that are needed. This means workflows and project management need a makeover. Working in team silos increases error and slows down review cycles, whereas collaborative processes avoid bottlenecks and amplify agility. Instead of compromising creative with outdated production, teams can use automation to multiply creative variety and volume without the overtime. 

If you want to maximize your holiday creative, then it’s time to consider Celtra. The platform allows brands to maintain the same level of craftsmanship they receive from their current design tools with the added ability to easily manage content scaling. Get campaigns out the door quickly with centralized, interactive feedback and approval tools for lightning-fast review cycles. To learn more about Celtra, check out this video or get in touch with us today.

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