Retail Insights from End-of-Year Holiday Campaigns to Take into 2023

By Ashley Kaczmar • February 27, 2023

The decorations have been stowed away, the gift wrap has been thrown out, and the holiday ads have left the pod. So now it’s time for a little review. How did last year’s holiday ads shape up and how can we use these learnings to plan for the year ahead?

One of the key benefits of running interactive video is net-new insights about consumer engagement and active attention. So we’ve analyzed the data coming out of the holiday shopping season, and these are the biggest trends to report:

  • A spike in the number of users exploring products in-video
  • Steady growth in time consumers spend with interactive ads
  • An overall increase in the level of engagement users have with retail video ads

Before we move on: When we say “level of engagement,” we’re talking about the opportunities KERV’s interactive overlay provides for consumers to hover and click on various objects in a video, and how much consumers are engaging with these different touchpoints in the video. 

Now let’s dive into the report!

Interactive ads garner strong attention and engagement

We’re all vying for consumers’ attention. The better we capture attention, the easier it is to move them down the funnel—a no-brainer.  

How we measure that attention and leverage the data is another story. We saw an increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) of over 30% year-over-year on retail holiday ads using KERV’s interactive technology this year for an average of 1.5%—an impressive number considering that 2021 saw CTRs over 1%. What exactly is driving this stark and continuous increase in engagement?

By leveraging interactive elements in video, advertisers can glean insights into what’s driving consumers’ active attention not only with products but with relevant, localized sales and deals as well—and the ability to use this kind of strategic targeting is especially crucial in the current market. And with consumers continuing to ask for more personalized and relevant content from brands, it’s a win-win. The results speak for themselves.

Consumers spent more time with interactive ads

When we look at the performance of KERV’s retail clients, we see that the object highlight (OH) rate is up from 1.75% to 3.5% year-over-year. 

Quick pause: When we talk about the object highlight (OH) rate at KERV, we mean the amount of time a user hovers over an object in an interactive video. 

So why does it matter that this data is trending upwards? In the context of rising inflation, fluctuating product availability, and a longer-than-usual holiday buying season, consumers are still shopping, but they’re pickier than before and want to spend more time researching before they buy. In fact, predicted numbers fell short for 2022 holiday ecommerce sales by $27.56 billion. While there was still a 3.5% year-over-year growth in sales, the trend is clear—consumers won’t be spending as freely as in previous years.  

OH rates point to what’s capturing consumers’ attention, allowing advertisers to better optimize campaigns and ultimately value up the impression. Based on KERV’s campaign data, we found that the OH rate is up year-over-year from 1.75% during holidays 2021 to 3.5% during holidays 2022. On top of gaining insight into consumer attention, advertisers also get a more direct view into the consumer’s journey in-video, meaning a better understanding of the what and why behind a CTR.

A looming recession obviously poses a challenge for brands, but savvy advertisers will lean into innovative technologies to create meaningful experiences for their consumers that meet them where they are.

Overall increase in engagement with retail ads

Looking at our largest retail clients, we found that consumers engaged with interactive tiles in video at more than double year-over-year—from an average of 3.13% to nearly 7%. 

It’s good news for the coming year as it indicates that while consumers may have tighter purse strings, they’re more willing to have two-way conversations with brands as long as the content is relevant, personalized and engaging. 

And by using interactive technology, brands and agencies can leverage metrics that indicate active attention to optimize the most valuable customer touchpoints, enabling them to continue driving deeper personalization, better contextual relevance and ultimately more revenue. As the consumer experience continues to fragment, brands leveraging innovative technologies and first-party data will continue to stand out.

That’s a wrap on our 2022 holiday retail insights. Numbers are up across the board for interaction and engagement when it comes to interactive holiday retail videos and we predict this growth will continue throughout the year. 

We’ll have more insights to share about interactive video ads as we move further into 2023, so stick around. 

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