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The holiday season will see a rebound in digital ad spending this year, as 47% of digital retail advertisers are significantly increasing their holiday spending online compared with 2020, according to the new Digital Advertising for Retail Report from Advertiser Perceptions. While old formats like emails are still a go-to for many, the report finds that podcasts and digital audio are increasingly on the receiving end of retailers’ media buys with even more expected in the year to come.

Advertiser Perceptions says 24% of the retailers it surveyed said they are currently using podcast advertising. But even more are considering using the medium in the coming year. Among those surveyed, four in ten said they were considering using podcasts in the next 12 months. The same number said they were also looking at streaming radio and audio services.

One emerging trend is something called live stream shopping. The immersive experience is used by brands to promote and sell products through live streams on digital platforms, often in collaboration with celebrities and influencers. Advertiser Perceptions says last year, 11% of advertisers included live stream shopping in their holiday campaigns, and another 17% are giving it a role this year. An additional 44% are considering using the medium this holiday season.

“A year from now, a lot of brands are going to look back at this holiday season and say, ‘that’s when live stream shopping really started for us,” said Stuart Schneiderman, Senior VP of Business Intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions. “Advertisers know they need to meet consumers where they are and gain control over a greater variety of brand messages. Live stream shopping has the potential to create instant product impact on a scale physical retail can’t generate. The internet doesn’t have a maximum capacity limit.”

Even so, digital retail advertisers are sparking more interest in older digital channels according to the report. For instance, while 13% are using blogs currently, another 38% are planning to use them in 2022. “At the same time, advertisers are also increasing their use of newer channels like podcasts and reward apps,” the report says.

Advertiser Perceptions says one-third of advertisers started their holiday promotions earlier this year to match earlier consumer shopping patterns, and three in ten are also boosting in-store ad spending.

Although pandemic variants and supply chain issues have tamped down consumer confidence, it says the digital retail ad market continues to grow meaningfully. When Advertiser Perceptions asked in Q3 how COVID-19 had affected digital retail ad spending levels, two-thirds of advertisers reported having increased budgets, up from 55% who said the same in Q1.

Advertiser Perceptions interviewed 201 retail advertising executives from its proprietary Ad Pros Community in August for the latest Digital Advertising for Retail Report. It’s the third wave of the report, which updates every six months.