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Report: Larger, Earlier Holiday Shopping Season Means Advertisers Need To Book Early.

Holiday retail sales are expected to increase between 7% and 9% in 2021, according to Deloitte’s annual Holiday Retail Forecast, clocking in between $1.28 and $1.3 trillion during the November through January shopping season. And like last year, concerns about product availability and shipping delays are likely to compel consumers to start their holiday shopping earlier this year, according to the National Retail Federation. A larger, earlier holiday shopping season means marketers need to book their audio ad campaigns sooner this year, according to a new insights piece from Katz Radio Group.

“There is going to be a major shortage of toy products this year,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian told CNN Business for a recent story. “The demand is going to be there. What is not going to be there is the product to fill the demand."

In addition, a survey of consumers by global market research firm Mintel found 20% of respondents said they intend to spend more during the winter holidays than they did in 2020. The percentage jumps to 25% for those with incomes in the $75,000- $99,900 range.

Asked where they are most likely to shop for their 2021 winter holiday needs, 32% of consumers said equally in-store and online, 28% indicated mostly in-store with some online, 20% mostly online with some in-store, 17% exclusively in-store and 8% exclusively online.

Findings from Katz's Our Media Pre-Holiday Survey conducted in October of this year show a more excited and positive outlook among panelists for the coming holidays, with many not bothered by early holiday-themed advertising. For example, 32% say this holiday season will be more joyful, 78% will be seeing family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday and 96% will be travelling by car/vehicle during the Thanksgiving holiday. Suggesting that there is less concern about “Christmas creep,” 31% are OK with advertisers running holiday-themed ads in October.

“Broadcast radio in particular is used to build efficient reach,” Kendra Clune, Associate Media Director at grocery giant Kroeger,” told the Radio Advertising Bureau in a blog post for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Knowledge Center. “It's also a media channel that keeps the brand top-of-mind to build the mental availability for our customers.”

The Katz piece bolsters its case with several research findings:

  • Radio delivers more adults 18+ at 88% (220.6 million) than any other medium (Nielsen)

  • At 75%, AM/FM has the highest reach and engagement among in-car audio options (Infinite Dial 2021)

  • Radio advertising delivers an average $23 return in ad spend for grocery stores, $17 for department stores, $16 for mass merchandisers, $12 for home improvement stores and $3 for quick serve restaurants

The Katz piece closes with a suggestion that advertisers move quickly to build their media plans and invest in AM/FM radio. “Take advantage of its unmatched ability to reach and engage with your valued consumers during this holiday season that’s starting now,” it says.

Get the full Katz Radio Group report HERE.

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