[REPORT] E-Commerce Companies Reveal Their 2016 Holiday Marketing Plans

by Sandra Rand 3 years ago

There are less than 60 days until Black Friday & Cyber Monday. That means that the clock is ticking both for your gift-buying as well as your holiday e-commerce plans.

While we can’t help you pick out gifts, we can give you a leg up on your holiday e-commerce campaign planning.

In partnership with Kenshoo, we surveyed e-commerce companies of all shapes and sizes about their holiday marketing plans.

Before we get into our report, here are some statistics to set the stage:

The Ghosts Of Holiday Shopping Past:

During the 2015 Holiday Season:

  • E-commerce comprised more than half of the seasonal shopping.
  • One-third of online shoppers started their search for gifts at least “a few months” before the holidays.
  • Cyber Monday had 31% more sales than Black Friday.
  • One-third of Millennials bought their holiday purchases via mobile.

The Ghosts of Holiday Shopping Future:

For the 2016 Holiday Season:

  • E-commerce predicted to grow by 17%
  • Digital interactions estimated to influence over two-thirds of all sales
  • Retail likely to see the biggest gain, with a 25% increase in their e-commerce sales
  • 41% of mobile device users said they plan to purchase at least 50% or more of their holiday purchases via mobile
  • A number of experts say the holiday season will push closer to October 1.

Some of the major takeaways from our survey results prove retailers are learning from holidays past and are shifting their ad spend to accommodate gift givers when and where they shop online.


Our survey supports the data that 33% of online shoppers start searching for gifts a few months out and that the holiday season continues to inch closer to October 1.

In the same vein, a majority of e-commerce brands in our survey started their holiday planning by the end of August.


The prediction that digital interactions have a massive impact on holiday sales is consistent with our finding that 62% of e-commerce companies plan to increase their Google spending this year.

Search is an intent-driven platform and the rollout of Google’s Expanded Text Ads means that e-commerce companies have a fantastic forum for their products.

They want to make sure it’s their item that shows up when you’re searching for, say, a unicorn cereal bowl for your best friend. (no? Just me?)


These e-commerce brands aren’t focusing solely on search though, they’re also increasing their social ad spend too.

Almost three-quarters of the marketers surveyed said that their Facebook spending is increasing for this holiday season. This, in addition to many other major findings from our survey, support a two-fold nugget of wisdom.

First, the knowledge that individually, search and social are important in their own right, and second, it’s only when their powers are combined that you really can get the most out of both channels.

If that low-key Captain Planet reference doesn’t sway you, think of it this way: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

This analogy accurately captures the fact that social and search are symbiotic. Your social campaign drives the discovery of your brand and company. This then leads to intent and search and ultimately ends with actual conversions.

You need both of them to keep the tide rising and keep those conversions increasing.

Your holiday marketing plan needs to have your search strategy and campaigns on lock, so that once customers discover your brand via social, they can easily find you and get those gifts checked off their lists.

This is just a sample of the knowledge we uncovered in our survey.

Want to know more and see what e-commerce brands have planned for the 2016 Holiday season?