Digital MarketingEcommercePost-holiday experience: How brands should leverage Q5

Post-holiday experience: How brands should leverage Q5

Corinne Demadis, Smartly.io's VP, U.S. East, discusses the unique opportunity Q5 presents for marketers to extend sales and have a successful start to the new year.

30-second summary:

  • Q5 is the time right after the holiday splurge when consumers are considered to lay low. However, people are shopping, just with a slightly different mindset.
  • The beginning of the year brings many opportunities for brands to reach and connect with consumers who are shopping with “new year, new me” in mind.
  • This year on Singles Day, which takes place in October, ecommerce cost per mille (CPM) increased by over a third compared to 2019 – a 36% YoY increase to be exact. Ecommerce CPM rates have been on a sharp rise since August and back-to-school season, indicating a more competitive holiday shopping season than year’s past.
  • Cost per mille (CPM) rates start declining in the end of December (when shipping cut-offs hit). Brands can enjoy lower CPMs most of January, opening plenty of opportunities to start the year strong.

This year has been a whirlwind to say the least. While we’re not entirely out of the woods yet, 2021 brings promise and hope. Especially for marketers, there’s one last occasion that brands can’t forget: Q5. We generally define Q5 as the time between Christmas and New Year’s where consumers are typically laying low after the holiday splurge.

However, people are still shopping, just with a slightly different mindset.

The beginning of the year brings opportunities for brands to reach the consumers who are shopping with “new year, new me” in mind. Holiday money and gift cards are burning a hole in shoppers’ pockets, and consumers are returning to stores to complete exchanges.

2020 is an especially interesting year as brands navigate the shift from offline to online, and consumers spend increasing time on social media.

In fact, 48% of consumers say they’re now more open to engaging with social media ads, and 51% have made purchases from ads. With that in mind, it’s important for marketers to be where the consumer is: in-feed and on Stories.

Furthermore, this year on Singles Day, ecommerce cost per mille (CPM) increased by over a third compared to 2019 – a 36% YoY increase to be exact. Ecommerce CPM rates have been on a sharp rise since August and back-to-school season, indicating a more competitive holiday shopping season than year’s past.

Brands should have their eyes set on what’s ahead. With deals, targeted promotions and personalized messaging, there are a ton of opportunities to extend the 2020 sales cycle and reach a new group of inspired customers.

Below, I’ve outlined the best ways to set up a successful Q5 campaign:

1) Treat Q5 like the holidays

This Q5, it’s vital that brands are as efficient as possible to recoup sales lost earlier this year. The sooner you prepare your assets for Q5, the better off you’ll be. In fact, put the same preparation into your Q5 campaigns that you did for the holiday season. You’ll also want your ads to be approved well ahead of December 26th.

However, while it’s important to treat Q5 like the holidays in terms of timing it’s important to keep in mind that during this time shoppers have different motivations and mindsets than in Q4 when they were holiday shopping for friends and family.

The beginning of the year is all about personal growth and aspirations, and shoppers are looking to make purchases for themselves.

2) Get a jumpstart on the New Year

Brands have the opportunity to make some noise and start the year strong with a full-fledged campaign. This historically forgotten time is gaining traction in recent years and you don’t want to be left behind! With so much competition, it’s important that advertisers enter the market early with specific initiatives and language, so that you and your products will be top of mind.

The beginning of the year is all about personal growth and aspirations, and shoppers are looking to make purchases for themselves – New Year’s resolutions and planning the upcoming year are extremely top of mind. When planning your creatives, remember that consumers may be more receptive to motivational and inspirational language about reaching their goals.

Although the new year, new me mindset has traditionally been relevant for industries such as education, fitness, nutrition, wellness, and beauty, the new year opens a door of opportunities for most verticals.

3) Secure the bag

In addition to the “New Year, New Me” mindset, consumers might also be more open to try something new – we call it the “Why Not” mindset. As the motivation for shopping may be different in Q5, keep in mind that preferences and strategies to lower the barrier to entry are still the same (sales! free shipping!).

In this case of Q5 and personal growth, consumers are more tuned into making impulse or quicker decisions that could help them on their path. Consider offering a free or discounted first-month on subscription, discounts on bundling, or trial products.

4) Spend time on what matters

Above all, by having everything set before the holiday break, marketers can enjoy their holidays and simply deploy the campaign when back at work.

With the help of automation technology, brands can set hourly or daily alerts and actions based on performance goals, increase bids and budgets, and activate or pause ads. This also allows marketers to automatically stop underperforming ads and allocate those budgets to the best-performing ones.

The holiday shopping season doesn’t end on December 25, and this year brands need to make everyday count. To get the most out of Q5, plan, plan, plan! The earlier you prepare and get into the market for Q5, the better off you’ll be. Brands that get ahead this year and utilize the power of Q5, will be primed to finish out this tumultuous year on a high note.

Whitepapers

US Mobile Streaming Behavior

Whitepaper | Mobile US Mobile Streaming Behavior

3y

US Mobile Streaming Behavior

Streaming has become a staple of US media-viewing habits. Streaming video, however, still comes with a variety of pesky frustrations that viewers are ...

View resource
Winning the Data Game: Digital Analytics Tactics for Media Groups

Whitepaper | Actionable Analysis Winning the Data Game: Digital Analytics Tactics for Media Groups

3y

Winning the Data Game: Digital Analytics Tactics f...

Data is the lifeblood of so many companies today. You need more of it, all of which at higher quality, and all the meanwhile being compliant with data...

View resource
Giving a Voice to Your Brand

Whitepaper | AI & Automation Giving a Voice to Your Brand

3y

Giving a Voice to Your Brand

Voice commerce, or conversational commerce, is a major disruptive opportunity in US retail. It opens up the possibility of building deeper relationshi...

View resource
Mobile Messaging Masters

Whitepaper | Mobile Mobile Messaging Masters

3y

Mobile Messaging Masters

Every year the mobile market continues to grow and develop. Cyber Monday 2018 saw $2.2 billion in sales stemming just from smartphones in the United S...

View resource