Introducing The 2021 State of Audio.

Holiday Shopping Comes Early This Year

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

The Flexibility of Audio Offers Brands a Much Needed Advantage this Holiday Season

This year’s holiday shopping season is proving to be one like no other.

From a shopper’s point of view, the message has been crystal clear: holiday gifts might be hard to find. Make your list and shop early. For advertisers, the challenges are slightly more complex. With global shipping delays, critical product shortages, and rising worldwide inflation, retailers are bracing for a holiday season with more moving parts than a classic Tinkertoys set.

Amid these once-in-a-generation shifts causing companies like The Home Depot, Costco, and Walmart to charter ships to ensure their products reach store shelves, there are two silver linings advertisers are clinging to: Shopper Demand and Nimble Advertising Channels.

Shopper Demand is Soaring

U.S. consumers are flush with cash and have a pent-up desire to spend it. Out of every ten American adults, nine say they’re “ready to go” on returning to normal activities like shopping.1 Consumers plan to spend almost $1,000 on gifts and other holiday items this year, roughly on par with last year.2

And we’re ready to shop earlier than ever. Half (49%) of customers say they started buying before November.3 Retailers like Amazon and Target have responded by jump-starting the shopping for family gatherings like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa with “Black Friday-worthy deals” in October.

Shoppers are expected to spend big in November as fears over delivery delays and huge online discounts push them to bring forward their Christmas shopping.

To top it off, brand loyalty may be taking a hit amidst the supply chain woes, making effective holiday advertising all that more critical. Millennials index at 20% more likely than the typical US adult to switch brands for variety and novelty. With Gen Z, the difference is even greater at 56%.4

For brands and retailers, this holiday season will be tricky. To meet the roaring consumer demand and compete for share of mind and wallet, they will need a marketing partner that’s nimble, like Audio.

Audio Is Flexible

Let’s say you’re advertising a holiday promotion for a kid’s bicycle. But then you sell out early and can’t get more in stock—until next year. You’ll need the ability to adjust on the fly. With Radio, it’s easy to change out copy and creative. And Audio has lower production costs compared to video.

Partners like Audacy are primed and ready for retailers’ need for flexibility this year. In-house voice talent and quick turnaround ad creative testing services give retailers the assurance they need that their audio campaigns will hit the right note with key shopper audiences throughout the holiday season.

Paul Suchman
CMO, Audacy

Did we mention that Audio boasts the biggest audience? Among U.S. adults, 91% listen to Audio (including Radio, streaming Audio, and podcasts). That’s compared to 86% who watch television (broadcast or cable), 76% who use social networks, and 60% who use video streaming.

The net net? During this holiday season full of challenges, turn to a reliable, agile partner: Audio.

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SOURCES

1 Custom Nielsen study conducted April 2020, May 2020, June 2020, October 2020, March 2021 & June 2021 via an online survey among P18+

2 Source: National Retail Federation, Holiday Spending Reflects Continued Consumer Demand

3 Source: National Retail Federation, Holiday Spending Reflects Continued Consumer Demand

4 Source: 2021 GfK MRI Spring Database10

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