Survey: New Holiday, Election & Advertising Trends


Adtaxi, one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies, announced the results of its Holiday, Election & Advertising Trends survey. Examining consumer response to the dominant forces shaping this unprecedented year, the study found that 3 in 4 respondents (74%) say they will make an effort to shop from local small businesses this holiday season. Still, respondents are split 50/50 on whether they feel safe shopping in stores for the holidays.

The data projects moderate growth this holiday season. While 45% of respondents plan to spend less money than last year, 35% plan to spend the same amount and 20% plan to spend more. The study further illuminates the growing role of ecommerce: 52% report that they are paying more attention to online advertising since the pandemic began – up from 45% in Adtaxi’s April 2020 Coronavirus and E-Commerce study – and 60% plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping online.

“Entering the eighth month under some form of lockdown, this data clearly shows the opportunity for small businesses to reach captive digital audiences,” said Yael Zlatin, Director of Ecommerce, Adtaxi. “Still, at the crossroads of a monumental election and a uniquely challenging holiday shopping season, marketers will have their work cut out for them to break through the noise. Success in this crowded market will depend on a highly adaptive and targeted digital strategy.”

Among the study’s additional findings: 

  • Election 2020: Just 1 in 4 respondents (25%) say political ads influenced their vote for president. Meanwhile, 61% report feeling overwhelmed by presidential election coverage.
  • Presidential Spending: 19% say that if their preferred candidate wins, they will spend more money this holiday season.
  • Ecommerce: 67% plan to do more of their shopping online after the pandemic – up from 53% in April 2020. The majority of respondents (61%) say that if they could, they would do all of their shopping online.
  • Small Business Setbacks: Among respondents who will not make an effort to shop from local small businesses, the top reason was inconvenience (56%) followed by cost (48%).
  • Holiday Marketing: When it comes to holiday gift buying, shoppers respond most to Search and Social ads (30%), Email and Newsletter ads (20%), Daily Deals (18%) and Streaming and Pre-roll video (12%).
  • COVID Conscious: 68% report it is helpful when companies address the Coronavirus crisis in their advertising – the exact same number as those who found it helpful in April. Of those not comfortable shopping in-store, however, the number jumps to 76%.

“While consumers are hesitant when it comes to in-store shopping, an overwhelming majority want to support small businesses, and many would prefer to do so online. With so many small businesses relying on holiday shopping to make ends meet, this is not an opportunity to be missed,” continued Zlatin. “This study provides a first look at how businesses can best compete for holiday expenditure – by leveraging ecommerce to overcome unfavorable perceptions of cost or inconvenience, and by speaking empathetically to the current struggles many families are facing.”


This survey was conducted for Adtaxi online via Survey Monkey. A national sample of 824 adults were surveyed, with respondents spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age. The survey was conducted on October 2nd, 2020.

The April 2020 Coronavirus and E-Commerce survey was also conducted online via Survey Monkey, to a separate audience of 766 adults spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age.

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