Four Must-Know Spend Trends for the Holidays

November 1, 2018 Posted by - CMO

Pumpkin spice is wafting through the air, and you know what that means:

The holidays are officially upon us.

As more customers take their holiday shopping online and skip the Black Friday lines, it’s critical for marketers to keep a pulse on where, when, and how shoppers will tackle their gift lists this year. By analyzing $1.5 trillion in purchase data from our 2,000 bank partners, Cardlytics is able to identify key trends in holiday spend behavior. While we put these insights to action every day for our advertiser partners through our native bank channel, we’ve developed a special 2018 Holiday Spend Trends Report for all marketers to leverage leading into this busy shopping season. 

Here are four purchase trends every marketer needs to know to capture the most spend all season long:

Brick & Mortar stores slow loss of share by driving sales online

With more customers turning to e-commerce retailers like Amazon, traditional Brick & Mortars saw a decrease of nearly 2% in their share of holiday spend at physical stores. Interestingly, their online and mobile properties held steady against further share shift to purely online competitors—indicating that online shoppers are still paying attention to traditional retailers well known for their holiday deals.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only one (less important) piece of the pie

In the last few years, spend across the season has shifted to both well before—and well after—Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a result, the mid-season spike in spend that you would expect to see around the retail event was less significant than in years past.

Holiday shoppers fall into four distinct timing segments

What’s the most cohesive way to segment and understand holiday shoppers? By looking at when people do the bulk of their holiday spending. We identified four distinct timing segments: Early Birds, Black Friday Warriors, Procrastinators, and Steady Shoppers. Steady Shoppers account for 40% of all holiday spend, so it is critical for marketers to stay top of mind with ongoing marketing campaigns throughout the season.

‘Tis the season to acquire new customers

As customers shop for loved ones, they are more likely to try a new retailer or category for the first time. In 2017, gifting categories such as children’s apparel & toys, department stores, and sporting goods saw the highest percentage of new customers for the holidays.

Learn about these trends in more depth and get actionable tips to capture spend throughout the holiday season in our full report.