September data shows several key consumer trends that helped businesses finish Q3 on a high note and bode well for the upcoming holiday season. For the second month in a row, the consumer confidence index rose, reaching 108 from 103.6. Despite inflationary pressures, per household credit card spending rose by 4.4% year over year (YOY), according to Bank of America data.
Each month offers a new chance to increase revenue. That’s a much easier task when you know what products consumers are purchasing and what’s driving those decisions. You can then feature those items and brands in your ad campaigns and content pieces and cha-ching – you’ll be on your way to hitting your KPIs.
Skimlinks’ (a Taboola company) affiliate data revealed the following three shopping trends:
- Consumers couldn’t resist Labor Day sales
- Streaming services and the return to coach potato life
- Mattresses mayhem, once again
Below we’ll take a closer look at each trend and discuss some takeaways you can use to inform your campaign and content strategy for the coming months.
Labor Day Sales Worked Hard
It should be no surprise that Labor Day sales were a top trend as every brand and publisher from every vertical tapped into the action. From apparel to electronics to indoor and outdoor home goods, there was no shortage of deeply discounted goods.
Throughout the year, we’ve seen campaign messages and article headlines that spotlight deals and value-for-money purchases motivate users to click that ‘Buy Now’ button.
In both of these examples, publishers hit the nail on the head by highlighting brand names, coveted products, and mind-boggling discounts in bite-sized headlines; consumers couldn’t resist gobbling up the content and clicking on links.
The Takeaway: Although Labor Day is over, we are already in the early days of the winter holiday season. The long-lasting sting of supply chain issues coupled with economic uncertainty is driving consumers to spread their holiday purchases out over the next few months.
Publishers should focus on creating valuable gift-buying guides that include most-wanted and on-sale items. Pull in quotes from reviews to show how real consumers feel about the products. And create content that compares similar products to give consumers all the info they need to make a decision.
Advertisers should make sure they have a plan of attack for the holiday season that includes a full-funnel strategy with strategic messaging to move consumers from awareness to consideration to purchase. Evaluate campaign performance early and focus on optimizing targeting and messaging.
Bonus: For a successful holiday season, you need a creative strategy that uses relatable messages to address consumer concerns and the right vertical-specific creative elements proven to boost CTRs.
The Start of Streaming Season
Consumers are fickle when it comes to streaming services; they often subscribe and unsubscribe, depending on each platform’s content schedule. Our data shows that consumers added more streaming services to their lineup in September, likely due to a few reasons.
First, sports-obsessed viewers tuned into the start of the NFL season and a handful of other events, including tennis matches, basketball and baseball games, golf tournaments, and NASCAR. Second, streaming services released a slew of highly anticipated shows like The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, The Handmaid’s Tale, Abbot Elementary, and everyone’s favorite trainwreck, The Bachelorette’s season finale. Finally, cooler nights make cuddling up on the couch that much more irresistible, and we need some entertainment on the screen.
Take your cue from these great examples:
The Takeaway: Since the ‘viewing season’ is just getting underway, many consumers are still planning their streaming services strategy, and to win them over, service providers continue to promote special offers, so it’s not too late to hop on this trend.
Publishers should review the content available on different streaming services to help their readers decide which ones are worth the subscription fees. Those with sports-minded audiences can do exceptionally well right now. Content pieces that tell people how to stream popular shows are always in high demand.
For advertisers, targeting and campaign placements will make all the difference. For example, sports advertisers should consider using Taboola’s Premium Sports Package to reach audiences on top sports sites like ESPN and NBC Sports.
Mattress Madness Continues
One of the positive things that came out of the pandemic was that people started to put their health and wellness front and center. Today, it’s nearly impossible to read a publication and not come across an article about the importance of self-care in one form or another.
When looking at the most popular content pieces, many include doctors and wellness experts touting the unrivaled benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Mattress companies have expanded their ranges and now cater to all types of sleepers, price points, and consumer concerns like environmentally friendly and natural products. Data suggests that consumers are still chasing that elusive dream of a restful night, causing the mattress purchasing trend to stick around month after month. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Labor Day sales traditionally include a lot of home goods.
These examples take the guesswork out of shopping and support their findings with expert advice:
The Takeaway: As with most larger purchases, consumers spend a lot of time comparing products. Publishers can do that work for them by creating buying guides and side-by-side comparisons for top-selling brands, materials used, mattress toppers, and more. Being helpful, honest, and informative is the key.
Advertisers should draw consumer attention to the uniqueness of their products. In a sea of competition, that’s what makes consumers decide. Tout the benefits of materials used, free trial times, and convenient buying options, and include medical research, studies, or opinions if available.
Board the Train to Revenue Town
Now is the time to strike as holiday sales are set to reach $1.45-1.47 trillion, and the trending products discussed here will likely remain on wish lists.
Although consumer sentiment is up, many are still somewhat concerned about the state of the economy, so address consumer concerns through messaging, emphasize unique product features and always draw attention to unbeatable prices.