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IAS Holiday Shopping Data Shows Contextually Relevant Ads Will Be Key for Advertisers This Holiday Season

Sep 23, 2020

Integral Ad Science (IAS), the global leader in digital ad verification, today released results from its 2020 consumer study on holiday shopping habits. Key findings from the study show that this year consumers are relying on online shopping and digital ads to find the perfect gifts for their friends and families this holiday season.

Given the effects of the global pandemic and accompanying social distancing measures, consumer habits are shifting to account for these new realities. Almost eight in ten US consumers report that they have concerns about shopping in physical stores during the upcoming holidays due to COVID-19. Notably, 85% of US consumers now expect to do most or all of their holiday shopping online, with 48% intending to do so via their mobile device.

With many holiday shoppers avoiding physical stores to some degree, advertisers can look to meet consumer needs by focusing their marketing efforts on placing contextually relevant digital ads in safe and suitable environments. 89% of consumers reported that they find online advertising important in discovering new products and promotions, while 31% said they believe that they are more receptive to ads during the holiday season.  

“The holiday season is a critical period for many retailers and brands. Right now consumers are leaning heavily into online shopping which makes digital advertising even more important than usual,” Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS said. “For advertisers who are planning their holiday campaigns, the key to connecting with audiences is to control their contextual adjacencies in ways that maximize outcomes, not all contexts are equal when it comes to driving marketing success.”

IAS surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. Internet users in late August 2020 to determine expected consumer online shopping behavior and the impact of online advertising and contextually relevant ads on helping consumers make purchasing decisions during the holiday season. Statistically significant differences for this consumer study on holiday shopping habits were calculated at a 95% confidence interval.

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