Deck the Malls: Connect with Holiday Shoppers in the Real World

September 26, 2022 | Blog | By Lightbox

Deck the Malls: Connect with Holiday Shoppers in the Real World

Holiday shopping in malls has deep roots in American culture. Mall scenes from celebrated holiday movies, like Buddy’s first time using an escalator in Elf and Rowan Atkinson’s masterful gift wrapping in Love Actually, are still watched by millions every year. Many brands are well aware of the significance physical retail has during this peak season, and substantially up their advertising budgets to match. See why mall video advertising should be a priority for holiday media plans.

It’s an Omnichannel Retail World – But Offline Shopping Still Reigns

There’s no denying consumer behavior has evolved over the years, resulting in the “phygital” approach that drives how we currently shop. It’s no longer strictly in-store vs. online, but instead an understanding that consumers value both channels. In fact, an estimated 83% of Americans visited both physical outlets and online stores in the past 12 months.¹

Despite consumers embracing e-commerce, they still overwhelmingly do their holiday shopping in-store, with offline purchases comprising 81% of all spending.²

Malls Are The Venue of Choice for Holiday Shopping

When it comes to holiday shopping preferences, malls are the top physical shopping destination. The majority of consumers (62%) name malls as their preferred outlet for this key spending season³, likely due to the convenience of having a broad range of retailers accessible under one roof.

Why do consumers prefer the mall?^

     • 92% prefer seeing products in person before purchasing them

     • 84% appreciate quick returns

     • 81% want to get products quickly

Holiday Shopping Is Starting Earlier Than Ever

In 2021, pandemic by-products such as supply chain issues and shipping delays drove consumers to holiday shop earlier, with many retailers declaring October as the start to the Holiday season. With recent inflationary concerns, there is a continued increase in those who will get a head start: 1 in 3 Americans plan to shop for holiday even earlier than last year.

Retailers are preparing for the influx of early shoppers. Target announced “Deal Days” to kick-off in early October as well as starting its holiday price match guarantee on October 6th. Similar to last year, Macy’s holiday inventory will be rolled out in October, a full month earlier than it has historically.

Holiday Traffic Spikes in Lightbox Malls

Mall traffic lifts during the holiday season indicate a strong consumer interest in malls for holiday shopping. Nationally, Lightbox’s mall network sees a +26% increase to total audience (P13+) reach during the peak November and December months. 

This spike is also seen across key demos: 

Advertising During the Holidays Lifts Brand KPIs

Shopping venues are contextually-relevant environments for advertisers looking to connect with consumers in a discovery frame-of-mind. Especially during the holiday season, mallgoers are actively seeking inspiration for gifting ideas and are receptive to advertising that guides purchase decisions. Lightbox demonstrates the video network’s impact on consumer behavior with strong lifts across KPIs, from driving product purchase advertised on our screens to influencing online search for more information.

Check Off Your Holiday List with Mall Media

The question of whether physical retail still wields the same power during the holidays can be answered with a resounding yes. Even though many consumers employ an omni-channel approach to shopping, physical retail captures the majority of all purchases during the holiday season as well as every other season. And with consumers increasingly starting their holiday shopping earlier, advertisers should consider extending their flighting to meet their head starts. 

Brands who advertise in malls – and in particular, Lightbox’s network of retail centers – this holiday season can rest assured that their campaigns are as strategic and ROI-focused as ever.

Sources: ¹Sponsorpulse, ²Statista 2021, ³OAAA/OnDevice 2021 Holiday Shopping Study, ^MRI-Simmons How Consumers Are Adapting to the Evolving Retail Landscape 2022