Buyers: For Holiday Success, Be Sure to Diversify

Posted November 28, 2016 by | Filed under: Best Practices, Feature, Industry Perspectives

The holiday season is here, and it can be a make-or-break time of year for digital marketers and demand-side partners. Last year’s holiday season was huge, with Cyber Monday as the biggest online sales day ever in the United States — and more customers than ever shopped for deals using their mobile devices1. Are you prepared to maximize your ad spend as we move into December this year? Here are two key tips from trends we’ve seen on MoPub Marketplace that may help buyers in the programmatic ecosystem during the crucial holiday period.

1. Don’t miss out on the native opportunity.

Native ad inventory is available and performs strongly: on MoPub Marketplace, native inventory increased 251% year-over-year (Q1 2016 vs. Q1 2015), and native ads saw a 220% higher CTR compared to 300x250s in Q1 of this year2. But retailer spend is still lagging on this format.
We saw the following breakdown of ad formats used on MoPub Marketplace by retailers in the approach to the holiday season:

impressions-by-ad-format

In the first half of November this year, the share of impressions for native has grown, but there is certainly more opportunity to continue to expand the format.

We see that retailers are continuing to focus on banners. MoPub Marketplace data shows that retailers are spending 40% less on native, 20% less on interstitials, and 11% less on mRec ads compared to banners ads3.

Why is this such a missed opportunity? Because of how competition varies by ad formats.

competitive-factor-vs-ad-format

Competitive factor indicates how many other exchange players are competing for any given impression. The higher the competitive factor, the harder it is to win an impression. The competitive factor of 1.7 that we see for native on MoPub Marketplace means that there are instances when there is only one DSP is bidding for an ad — making the probability to win and serve an impression higher than other ad formats.

The takeaway: Strong performance plus less competition (for now!) means that retailers who diversify their ad portfolios to include native ads may be at an advantage.

2. Go global.

U.S. consumers aren’t the only group taking advantage of holiday shopping. Americans spent the most on their holiday gift lists last year, averaging about $830 per person, but Europeans still averaged over 110 euros per person for the top 10 European countries. Meanwhile, online shopping during the holiday period is also surging in China, with over $11 billion in sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year.

holiday_trends_global

In addition, the holidays are a major travel period. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, over 12 million U.S. citizens traveled internationally in November and December of last year4Retailers focused on American shoppers may be limiting themselves by looking only within the U.S. during this period.

The takeaway: DSPs should consider removing or editing their country filters during this time in order to reach users around the globe — both Americans who are traveling, and non-American holiday shoppers.

By diversifying their spend, both in terms of ad formats and geographically, DSPs and their retail advertisers can maximize their effectiveness this holiday season.

Publishers, check out our tips for Q4 monetization here.


1 http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/30/news/companies/cyber-monday-sales/
2 Global Mobile Programmatic Trends Report, MoPub, Q1 2016
3 MoPub Marketplace internal data, November 1-15, 2016
4 http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2015-O-001/index.html

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