When Should Brands Start Advertising for Shopping Holidays?

It’s no secret that online shopping holidays present an unmatched opportunity to the eCommerce world. Amazon Prime Day alone reached a new record high in 2022 with $12B in sales attributed to the infamous shopping holiday. One of the holy grails of marketing for brands selling online is figuring out how to maximize return on these events and capture the attention of the millions of consumers flocking to the internet with money in hand.  

As it is in many industries, timing is everything. Understanding when consumers are making their decisions for these shopping surges is the base of a brand’s marketing efforts that are intertwined in the process. 

We believe in data driven marketing, so we wanted to ask consumers directly to get a gauge of their process. We looked at how long consumers are waiting to buy a product to see if it goes on sale during a shopping holiday, as well as how far ahead they’re building their carts. surveyed hundreds of consumers aged 18-40 in the US to find concrete data around this topic. The chart below showcases survey responses around how long consumers would wait to receive a discount on a product that they’d be willing to buy. The results were similar for both products under and over $200. 


 There’s a significant drop-off in consumer willingness to wait longer than 2 months to ‘maybe’ get a deal on something they’re in the market for buying. The bulk of consumers are deal-seeking as early as 1-2 months before the shopping event occurs. 

Now that we know how far in advance consumers are holding off on buying products to see if they can get a deal when the shopping event comes up. Now the question is, “When are consumers actually building out their carts to prepare for a shopping holiday?”


From our data above, we saw that around 33% of consumers are building their carts between 2 weeks and 2 months ahead of an event. 1/3rd of consumers have already made their decisions on what they’re buying well in advance of the actual holiday. 

After considering this information, we can conclude that: 
If you’re running a campaign for a shopping holiday like Prime Day, the best time to launch marketing initiatives is 1-2 months ahead of the big day(s)

Consumers are building their carts and preparing for shopping holidays well in advance, and they’re holding off on buying certain products to see if they go on sale on Prime Day. Brands considering this in their marketing strategies will hit a golden timing window that will optimize their returns on their shopping holiday marketing efforts. 

Knowing this, it’s important for brands moving forward to start thinking about ways to prepare for these events well ahead of time to reach audiences during the product research process. Months ahead, brands should already be launching strategies around: 

  • Social media planning through a brand’s owned channels 
  • Utilizing influencers to generate content/buzz and to reach audiences outside of a brand’s own sphere 
  • Optimizing shopper marketing experiences (including eye-catching assets like influencer review videos on product pages) 

Utilizing influencers during this process with the right performance marketing tools not only gives brands the opportunity to repurpose content onto product pages for consumers to see while they’re building out carts, but it will also give brands the information they need to make sure that their marketing dollars are fully optimized beyond just looking at timing.  

**An extra note** 
A point around Prime Day specifically recently is that Amazon hasn’t announced the exact date until we get really close to the actual event.  We're late to the party for Prime Day Fall 2022 to take advantage of the information in this article, but it's valuable information for next year. 

Historically, we’ve seen shopping holidays across the board stay somewhat consistent on when they happen throughout the year, so brands can guestimate and avoid rolling the dice and waiting until an announcement of a shopping holiday to start their marketing efforts.