Throughout the holiday season, at Google we’ve seen annual shoppers move between 4 different mindsets, or what we call the ‘4Ds’: Deliberative, Deal Seekers, Determined, and Dedicated.
What are these four D’s?
- Since July, consumers have been intentionally and thoughtfully planning their holiday shopping and wish lists.
- From October to November, they are on the hunt for bargains, looking for deals and prioritizing quality and value.
- By December, they become determined to complete their shopping before the holidays and are using all the days and resources to get it done.
- And finally, by January, consumers become dedicated as they continue to purchase even in the previous peak season.
Check out this short overview where we highlight these trends:
What does 4D mean for your brand?
As December approaches, we’ll begin to see the shopping mindset set by dedicated shoppers in January emerge.
Leveraging these three strategies have helped us, and will help you too, to resonate with these busy buyers:
- Keep the momentum going through December and beyond
- Connect with customers across all touchpoints
- Build long-term brand loyalty
Maintaining momentum in December and beyond
The opportunities for retailers don’t end with Cyber 5, the peak deal period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
According to a Mastercard analysis we ran with BCG from January through October 2022, 46% of U.S. consumer holiday spending occurred between Cyber Monday and Christmas Eve in 2022. These shoppers spent more than $47 billion at retail in the two weeks following December 25.
So what is driving consumer demand up in December and January? We partnered with Ipsos to conduct a few surveys between October 2022 and January 2023 to find out:
In December, shoppers are more motivated than ever to complete holiday shopping. Last year, the average American buyer still had 50% of purchases left after “Cyber 5”. Gen Zers had even more work to accomplish than other generations. 
As of January, consumers can now shop for their own enjoyment and less out of gift obligations. According to our data, 50% of consumers enjoy shopping immediately after Christmas.
Connecting with customers across all touchpoints
Last year, in-store purchases reached a record high and topped $1 trillion for the first time.
A key driver behind these higher rates of brick-and-mortar purchases is shoppers’ use of digital resources before visiting a physical store. These digital offerings support both decision making and execution.
One company that noticed this was cosmetics chain, Ulta Beauty, which spoke to Google about its holiday display:
We also see consumers increasingly using multiple digital channels during the season.
An online study we ran with Ipsos from October 2022 to January 2023 revealed that more than half of shoppers used five or more channels, such as video and social media, to make a purchase in a two-day period in 2022. The proportion of buyers increased in December.
And we actually see shoppers use even more digital resources to make purchases after the peak of the holiday season, with the average number of digital resources used increasing after the holidays. From our research, we see that this includes Google properties like Search, Maps, YouTube, whose already high usage throughout the season increases significantly after Christmas.
Buyers are not only continuing to buy, but they are also buying on more digital assets. This means that brands that use omnichannel experiences to connect with customers across touchpoints can stand out from the crowd.
Build long-term brand loyalty.
This October we found in a study conducted by Google that there is a huge opportunity to build long-term brand loyalty, especially when almost half (47%) of shoppers say the time after Christmas enables them to shop for brands that They like it.
Consider promoting loyalty or rewards programs, which are top of buyers’ minds during this period.
In January 2023, we witnessed a remarkable event 50% increase in search interest regarding loyalty programsWhich includes searches like ‘rewards programs’ and ‘loyalty points’ as of December 2022.
In data collected between September 2022 and January 2023, we also saw search volume for gift-related queries, such as ‘gifts’ and ‘gifts’, remain higher in January 2023 – up 45% compared to the early holidays and 15% % increase in the months of September 2022 and October 2022 respectively.
What will happen next?
Now that you’ve learned about these key holiday trends, start getting ahead of the Black-Friday buzz by preparing and finalizing your holiday campaigns — if you haven’t already.
For more content or helpful tips, check out our Holiday Shopping Trends report from Think with Google, or keep exploring the HubSpot Marketing Blog.