How the ‘Always-On’ Consumer Mindset is Changing Retail Advertising

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 20 Sep 2021

It’s time to change the channel. Consumers are getting good at multitasking, with a new report indicating that shoppers are searching for Christmas products while streaming.

The report from Roku and The Harris Poll further indicates that it’s not just Australia that will have a record-breaking holiday season – the US is ramping up for its biggest shopping period in four years.

It’s not just Australia that is planning to spend up a strong this year. More than one-third of US consumers said they will be spending more this year for Christmas than before. In a similar vein, the overwhelming majority (79 percent) of Australian consumers plan to increase their spend this year.

Across the globe, US consumers are changing the way they consume media, which is affecting the retail experience. There has been a key shift from watching traditional forms of media, such as TV, for the likes of streaming services and platforms. According to the report, the average American shopper now spends an extra 78 minutes streaming compared to the same period last year. What’s more, the ‘always-on’ mindset of the consumer makes ‘streaming a must-have for advertisers this season,’ the report suggested.

One out of three consumers does not pay attention to traditional TV channels, which means retailers are missing out on a significant chunk if they prioritise advertising on these channels. “Individual spending could hit record levels this holiday season as consumers report significant growth in their holiday spending plans,” said Dan Robbins, the VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions at Roku.

“As consumers prepare to spend more, they are also changing how they approach gift-giving and how media consumption influences their purchasing decisions. With one out of three consumers unreachable on traditional pay-TV, marketers need to buy TV like they now watch TV to win over consumers this holiday.”

While the US is largely ahead of Australia in terms of online retail consumption, history suggests that we would soon encourage similar behaviour patterns, meaning retailers need to get a head start if they want to stay ahead of the trends. This is particularly important for retailers who need to reach Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, as these demographics typically come out as the top consumers who are unreachable via traditional media platforms. This is particularly poignant as Millennials in the US are planning to spend more than $1,000 on gifts this holiday season.

Advertising on TV is wholly important for retailers, with 55 per cent of US consumers saying they rely on TV advertising to seek inspiration for new products to buy. However, if retailers want to diversify their reach, it’s not enough to just focus on traditional channels anymore. If consumers are ‘always-on’, so should be your advertising.

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