How to build a digital campaign that caters to every type of shopper


By now, every marketer knows that no two consumer journeys are alike: some stretch across weeks or months while others are short and focused, and the number of touchpoints in between varies from one individual to the next. Given this, it can be a challenge to reach the right consumer in the right way, which is an even bigger priority during peak buying seasons like the holidays.


Thanks to recent research by Google and Ipsos, we do know that holiday shoppers are one of four types. You’ve met them all before: there’s the evergreen shopper, who starts early and spreads their purchases across the entire holiday season; the early bird, who starts at least a month in advance and is done almost as soon; the deal seeker, who does most of their shopping during key dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday; and last-minute shoppers, who wait until the final week to get all of their gift-buying done.


This tells us that if you focus all of your marketing efforts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or wait until the final push, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It might seem challenging to build a strategy that meets all of these consumer preferences, but it is possible—especially if you partner with Contobox. With our platform, brands can build interactive display and video ads outfitted with unique tracking technologies. When combined, they help brands and consumers get to know each other on a deeper level, which not only gives brands better insight into consumer shopping habits, but also makes it easier for them to build digital campaigns that any type of shopper can connect with. Curious what that looks like? Let me break it down for you.

Evergreen shoppers

Research shows that most shoppers fit into this phase, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s tougher than ever to convince people to convert, either because they’re busy weighing options, or because you’re struggling to determine exactly where they sit in the purchase cycle. Bringing your offer directly to the consumer can solve both, which is one reason we developed shoppable display and video ads that can be run programmatically across the open web.

The newly released ad units give consumers the chance to learn about a brand, delve into specific products, and immediately add-to-cart without ever leaving the page. They’re like an extension of your website, which allows you to reach your audience no matter which site they’re browsing, or what stage of the customer journey they’re in. And if engaged consumers need a little more time to consider, Contobox’s shoppable ads provide a wealth of data on audience interest and intent, which can be used to dynamically retarget indecisive consumers with an offer that suits their interests. Include add-to-cart functionality for a quick-and-easy checkout process and they’ll be even more likely to convert.

The early birds

Shoppable ads are an equally effective tool for engaging early bird shoppers. For these consumers, discovery is key, and digital drives discovery and insiration.

The early bird might not be as stressed as a deal-seeker or last-minute buyer, but they’re also not willing to waste time. Retailers can’t afford to wait for these consumers to browse their site and leave before retargeting them with the right option. Providing them with ads that allow them to browse through various products, see how specific features work, and delve into more detail is the perfect way to convince them to buy now. In fact, more than half of smartphone users made an online purchase from a company they didn’t initially intend to buy from because another brand provided more useful information.

The deal seekers

Deal seekers are another ready-to-buy group, but if you’re going to convince them to spend with you, you need to provide them with, well, the best deal. That doesn’t necessarily mean the most heavily discounted item—the offer also needs to be relevant.

When you build digital campaigns with Contobox, you can utilize any open-market third-party or first-party data to target consumers with personalized creative based on their interests. And once you work with us to build interactive ad units that give your audience multiple ways to interact, we can help you capture even more insights. Our platform’s machine learning and algorithmic segmentation helps us identify and rank user interest in specific products, features, pricing or other content, so we can rule out unengaged users and accidental clicks to develop more effective retargeting strategies and ensure we’re showing the right offers to the right people.

You can make the offer even more appealing, and convenient, by working with us to build coupons or incentives directly into your digital display and video ads, or utilizing our new Virtual Wallet feature. It allows you to target your audience with discounts or promos featured in digital display and video ads that users can save directly to their mobile wallets for a simple way to redeem in store. Consumers rely on their phones to make purchases now more than ever, and that’s especially true for the deal seeker. Seventy-two percent of shoppers in this category use their mobile devices to shop and browse, while 52% rely on their phone in store, which means a frictionless mobile experience should be at the core of your digital strategy, especially when you’re promoting a sale.

Last-minute buyers

Shipping is out of the question for shoppers who wait until the final days before Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target them with your digital buy. Even last-minute shoppers spend more than half of their time researching and browsing online. The key is finding ways to connect these online and offline touchpoints, so you can create a more integrated experience that helps drive consumers in store, and Virtual Wallet may be the simplest way to do that.

It’s also worth noting that, despite the time-crunch, last-minute shoppers are ill-prepared when they start browsing. They don’t know where they want to buy, or have multiple retailers in mind, so providing an incentive like an easy-to-redeem in-store coupon is a great way to differentiate yourself from other retailers they might be considering. And because Virtual Wallet allows you to send time- and location-based push notifications to remind consumers to redeem once the offer’s been added to their mobile wallets, you can be top-of-mind at all the right times.

Virtual Wallet is also really useful for building loyalty strategies, which is definitely something more retailers need to invest in, particularly around the holidays when they’re likely to see an influx of new customers. Because let’s face it: no matter how important the holiday season is, it’s not enough to keep the lights on year-round. That’s why we encourage retailers to build shoppable ads, or incorporate other innovative features into their digital campaigns, beyond the holiday season. They’re becoming an increasingly popular solution for marketers looking to remove friction from the buying process. With more shoppers moving online, trends like these could become the norm, and with Programmatic I/O on the horizon, the future of digital marketing should be top of mind for all of us.