5 display advertising trends your retail brand needs to know

5 display advertising trends your retail brand needs to know

E-commerce and online shopping saw a huge increase in sales during 2020. A survey by Deloitte in the UK found around 40% of respondents did more online shopping during lockdown than before. Grocery shopping specifically saw a huge surge in sales, with the share of e-commerce sales increasing from 7% to 15% at their peak.

While these upward trends may have been the direct influence of the pandemic, some shopping habits will be here to stay. There are, therefore, key learnings to take away and utilise for retail display advertising moving forwards.

Staying on top of retail and consumer display advertising trends is essential for marketers and advertisers. From thinking about desktop vs mobile to targeting key shopping days, there is so much to consider for getting the best ROI from your ad spend.

What will we be discussing in this guide to consumer display advertising trends?

  1. Target key shopping days
    • Black Friday and Cyber Monday
    • Green Monday
    • Boxing Day
    • What to consider
  2. Use video
  3. Personalise with data feeds
  4. Consider mobile vs desktop
  5. Don’t neglect less popular ad sizes

Target key shopping days

When it comes to consumer trends, there are key days throughout the year that attract more customers than usual – and these should be taken advantage of.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year for many countries around the world. In 2020, US consumers spent a whopping $9 billion on the web. And Cyber Monday also had an impressive return, with $10.8 billion being spent.

UK customers in 2020 spent £2 million-a-minute in record sales on Black Friday – the first time that revenue was higher online than in-store due to the pandemic. 2021 is predicted to be a big shopping day too. Research has found that Brits are set to spend £200 billion on Black Friday and Christmas this year.

increase in CTR for retail ads on Black Friday

In 2020, Bannerflow research found that Black Friday saw a 57% better click-through-rate (CTR) compared to the average day for display advertising. A huge jump in attention compared to 2019, rising from 25%. Cyber Monday (the first Monday after Black Friday) however, saw a drop. Shopping day uplift fell from 50% to 21%, 2019/2020 respectively. This could be down to everyone making use of Black Friday, considering most stores put their sales online for this event due to store closures.

Green Monday

Taking place on the second Monday of December, Green Monday is a key date for people realising how close Christmas is. This is the time when consumers are eagerly searching for amazing last-minute deals to add to their shopping cart. While it isn’t yet as famous as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is sometimes known as Cyber Monday 2 thanks to being the second biggest shopping day of the year for online revenue.

Boxing Day

It’s not just pre-Christmas shopping days that appeal to audiences, though. Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday gained momentum outside of the US, there was Boxing Day. The day after Christmas is the perfect opportunity for people to buy some of their favourite things with money they received as a gift for Christmas. The UK’s Boxing Day sales are very popular, and last year, £2.7bn was spent according to research by Barclaycard.

What to consider when advertising for these days

  • Plan your display advertising: This is your opportunity to show the world that you’re taking part in these key shopping days. Plan your display advertising strategy with these crucial retail dates in mind. You don’t necessarily need to take part in every sale. If, for example, you run an online-only business, you may want to skip Black Friday and save your deals for Cyber Monday. Make sure your branding is clear with the name of the specific day you’re taking part in. Once customers see the words ‘cyber’ and ‘Monday’ together, they’ll know you’re running a limited-time deal, which will create a sense of urgency.
  • Feature your incredible deals: It’s no good just telling people you’re taking part in these shopping days. If your deal is much better than a competitor’s, use this to your advantage and stand out with your great offers on your advert.
  • Hype up the day in advance: Utilise the power of your dynamic banner ads, coupled with these consumer trends to generate attraction and create excitement around what’s to come.

2. Use video

Social media channels have moved heavily towards video in recent years. With the likes of TikTok growing in popularity all over the world and Instagram moving into video content, this market needs to be tapped into.

Our research has found video can boost engagement. In fact, when it comes to display ads, adding a video provides 85% more click-throughs.

Stat for video in retail display ads trends

Antonia Lindmark, Head of Insight at Bannerflow, says:
“Video is still a vital component for brands, and we continue to see evidence of the power of video in this year’s report. Video is clearly generating more clicks!
“To put it simply, adding video to an ad is enabling brands to capture the attention and engagement of potential customers to a higher degree than static ads.”

Video isn’t being used by some industries, and as it is still growing, this could be an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. And while creating an ad with a video may sound difficult, with Bannerflow’s Creative Studio, it’s simple.

We think more businesses will move to video ads in the future, it’s just a case of seeing who will make the move to this new world of advertising first.

3. Personalise with data feeds

For truly dynamic advertising, the use of data feeds is important. These feeds have been commonly used by betting companies to display up-to-date odds. This method allows live updates to be sent to an already-live ad. This can help with personalisation and ensure that content remains fresh and relevant.

Stat for retail and consumer display ad trend blog

Total data feed impressions have grown year-on-year, 14%, 15% and 16% for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. As an example of how an industry performs with data feeds, Financial Services display ads with data feeds offer 29.3% better CTR.

Data feeds offer the unique ability to display the right message to the right person, at the right time, so it can be very beneficial for a business to use this powerful tool.

In the world of retail, it can be incredibly helpful for updating live prices, deals and sale information on your display advertising. Especially on a shopping day such as Black Friday.

4. Consider mobile vs desktop

When it comes to mobile vs desktop consumer display advertising, there’s so much to consider: The amount of content, what visuals, static or video and how people use their device. It should come as no surprise though that mobile is the number one device for display advertising – the mobile is in everyone’s hands everyday after all. Mobile display ad views jumped by 13% in 2020, and in 2021 55% of page views come from mobile phones.

state for retail display Advertising trends

As we mentioned earlier about video ads becoming popular – when it comes to viewability, Google found that video ads were much higher for mobile users (83%). Desktop sits at around 53%.

Not all industries saw a drop when it comes to ad views on desktop, however. In 2020, travel saw desktop impressions rise to 61% – pretty impressive considering this industry was one of the worst hit in the pandemic. Financial services saw mobile impressions drop below desktop in 2021, so it may be worth considering a variety of mobile and desktop ads to reach the desired audience.

5. Don’t neglect less popular ad sizes (and think mobile-first!)

The size of an ad is just as important as the visuals being displayed. The most common ad sizes are:

  1. 300×250 – medium rectangle
  2. 320×320 – square
  3. 320×50 – mobile leaderboard
  4. 728×90 – leaderboard banner
  5. 300×600 – Half Page

63% of all traffic in the UK is now from a mobile device so designing mobile-optimised ads is essential. It should come as no surprise that the top three add sizes are for mobiles.

Although these are the most popular sizes, it can be beneficial to consider some that are less so. Benefits of opting for the less popular sizes include:

Easier to deliver campaigns – leave buying impressions to your demand side platform (DSP).
Reduces the cost per mille (CPM) to since there is less competition lower for uncommon sizes.
Enables your DSP to perform better since it can learn from more sizes.

Key takeaways

As we move closer to Christmas, getting your retail brand’s consumer display advertising strategy right and tapping into trends becomes increasingly crucial.

Remember everything you incorporate into your strategy will be customer-centric. Reach customers via their mobile first then optimise for desktop devices and opt for a range of ad sizes. Target consumers with relevant, dynamic creative that harnesses the power of data feeds and video and embrace key shopping dates.

It’s going to be important to use these five trends in combination to reach your audience and ensure they maintain brand loyalty and watch your ROI soar.

Want to learn more insights? Download our Display Advertising Trends 2021 report! 

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