Cracking the Code of Seasonal Sales: Publisher and Advertiser Thanksgiving Playbook


29 August 2023

In the past year, we demonstrated the advantages both publishers and advertisers can gain during the Black Friday, Halloween, and Christmas Eve seasons. We offered insights on optimizing budget planning and achieving substantial revenues. Thanksgiving festivities in 2023 are closer than we can think, so we are eager to provide valuable tips for running successful ad campaigns for advertisers and generating high revenue for publishers.

Retail Sales are growing from year to year, especially during the holiday season, as can be seen from the latest statistics:

  • As early holiday discounts took effect, online consumer spending surged past the remarkable milestone of $72 billion (according to Adobe 2022 Analytics).
  • The National Retail Federation has released its yearly prediction, projecting a robust growth of retail sales between 4% and 6% for 2023
  • According to estimates, this year’s retail sales are expected to range from $5.13 trillion to $5.23 trillion.
  • The expected 2023 figures indicate a remarkable 7% annual increase compared to the $4.9 trillion recorded in 2022.


Key Insights on General Tendencies

By analyzing the recent numbers, we can confidently assert that retail sales are experiencing a positive growth trajectory, and this upward trend is expected to persist. The sales experienced an impressive 7% increase, resulting in retail sales soaring to a staggering USD 4.9 trillion. Building your holiday digital strategy with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas should consider the specifics of this period and the increased demand for certain groups of goods. During the festive season, leaders are usually grocery stores, online sales, and general merchandise stores, exhibiting remarkable growth.

Additionally, we have observed that the Buy Now Pay Later strategy has maintained its momentum throughout this year. Publishers and advertisers need to begin their preparations for this season early. Although festive events take place at the end of November, people often start considering potential purchases long before that. During holiday sales, paying attention to consistent trends is key, as each occasion has a particular category of goods that sells like hot cakes. Toys lead during Thanksgiving – highest ranked among digital shopping days. In 2022, toy sales experienced a remarkable 206% growth compared to pre-holiday season levels, while video games also witnessed robust demand, increasing by 115%, according to Adobe Analytics of online shopping data for the 2022 holiday season.

Black Friday has a surge in home decor, appliances, sports equipment, and clothing. Apparel and accessories sales were up 94% in 2022 during the same period. Black Friday has witnessed a steady rise in mobile sales in recent years, expected to continue in 2023. In 2022, both Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Week set new records for mobile sales, and this year, it is anticipated that the numbers will remain high with no signs of decline. When Cyber Monday arrives, it’s all about computer and TV electronics flying off the shelves. Staying attuned to these trends can be a game-changer for publishers and advertisers seeking to maximize their success during these festive occasions.


Vital Dates for Advertisers

The year 2022 brought forth many profit-generating opportunities during the festive season, with November 20, 21, 23, 24, and the eve of Cyber Monday, November 27, standing out as the most lucrative days. Advertisers must adopt a forward-thinking approach to capitalize on these prime moments and craft their advertising strategies around an effective CPM model, ensuring maximum ad views and desired profits.

As we delve into the dynamics of these prosperous days, initiating your campaigns approximately one week before the significant dates proves optimal timing. However, for those keen on catching the last train to success, Thanksgiving morning is the final moment to hop on board. By aligning your advertising endeavors with these invaluable insights, you can seize the potential of 2023’s festive days and carve a path toward success.


Boost Tips for Advertisers This Thanksgiving

  • Embracing a multi-channel strategy is vital in today’s digital landscape as it empowers you to reach users across various platforms. By presenting a cohesive message throughout all channels, you’ll achieve greater reach, boost brand visibility, and enhance consumer engagement, ensuring a successful campaign that captures your audience wherever they are online.
  • As the bustling retail season approaches, take a moment to assess your tried-and-true campaign channels and seize the chance to introduce fresh ones. Consider innovative channels like connected TV, in-game, audio, and digital out-of-home ads to set your holiday campaigns apart. These novel avenues hold the potential to elevate your advertising endeavors and captivate your audience like never before.
  • Incorporating creative and interactive ad formats into your campaigns is a surefire way to captivate your target audience and bolster brand awareness. Interactive ads invite users to take action, where they can reveal exciting elements within the ad or navigate to specific landing pages. Whether a simple hover or a click, these interactions leave a lasting impact.
  • Dynamic retargeting is a powerful mid to lower-funnel tactic, especially during the holidays when conversion is the ultimate goal. By reaching users who are already familiar with your brand and have progressed further in the buying process, dynamic retargeting is a highly successful strategy to drive impressive results during this festive season.


It’s Time for Publishers to Start Programmatic

According to Insider Intelligence’s (eMarketer) analytical research on digital display advertising, U.S. advertisers spent approximately $123.22 billion on programmatic display ads in 2022. These stats mean programmatic advertising has become a staple for nearly every major publisher, and if you haven’t dived into it yet, now is the perfect time to try it.

Beyond open-market programmatic auctions, publishers can explore direct demand by delving into PMP deals. With programmatic offerings like private auctions, preferred deals, and programmatic direct, publishers can enjoy transparency and significant control, effectively promoting premium inventories

On the other hand, buyers can ensure their ads reach their ideal audiences. This symbiotic relationship results in higher CPMs for publishers, making private marketplaces an excellent option for all parties involved.



Stay up to date with our company news