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The Value in Shopping Local

We’ve made it to the spookiest time of the year and for some businesses, the most frightening aspect may be the fast-approaching holiday shopping season. While the retail environment has certainly been shaken up over the course of the past several months, consumers are still interested in (and are!) buying goods – albeit in a slightly different way. Instead of arriving at brick-and-mortar stores to browse, shoppers are coming to brick-and-mortar stores to buy – be it curbside pickup or efficient contactless payment options.

Organizations must prepare holiday marketing campaigns that involve a newfound sense of creativity. Creativity to gain market share, creativity to connect on a more meaningful level with consumers and creativity to adapt to changing purchasing behaviors.

There is a great deal of opportunity for retailers to capture consumer holiday spending if the approach is well thought out and well executed.

Below, we’ve outlined a few ways in which to reach consumers in order to gain market share and have a bountiful holiday shopping season.


Focus on the needs of your consumers


This year has been challenging for everyone. While businesses have faced enormous pressure, consumers have as well. Helping them relieve some of the stress during the most wonderful time of the year by offering them a way to browse for goods online is going to be crucial.

Gaining access to customers digitally creates an expansive opportunity for a business. Offering a consumer control at each phase of the purchase process is critical for the holiday shopping season – how they shop, where they shop, how they pay and what they pay with. Getting a message or ad in front of target audiences is invaluable to local business as consumers have a greater inclination to shop local, both due to loyalty and also due to the perception of greater safety for their health.

In addition to physical safety, consumers value safety when it comes to where they receive their news and information. As the digital advertising landscape expands, there is an increased risk of becoming exposed to content and sources that are at best unreliable and at worst malicious.

recent study conducted by Kantar Media revealed that news organizations publishing a story is a greater source of trust for consumers than either the journalist writing it or the person sharing it. For organizations considering a digital marketing or branding campaign, partnering with a trusted news source like the Times Union or magnifies the impact of the message being put forth. delivers an unparalleled advertising performance through a world-class content experience and an engaged audience across Hearst Newspaper markets. Our simplified layout makes readers come back, and your ads standout.

Furthermore, local stories on the topics that relate to your business creates endless opportunities for your advertising to resonate with our audience. Not only do our readers benefit, but so does your campaign.


Utilizing a content-focused, emotional approach


According to Integral Ad Science, 89% of consumers reported that they find online advertising important in discovering new products and promotions, while 31% said they believe that they are more receptive to ads during the holiday season.

By leveraging a consumer’s interest in a topic or product using a range of techniques such as browsing history, geographic targeting and demographic information, the Times Union can assist consumers in discovering new products and getting your business in front of the perfect audience as they are perusing for holiday gifts online. Using this data, we are able to serve your ads to precisely the right audience – reducing costs and improving campaign results.

In addition to a targeted approach to generate leads, businesses looking to increase brand exposure can work to do so by creating an emotional connection with a target market. According to the results of Iterable’s Holiday Quick Poll, 83% of respondents indicated that they were more likely to purchase from a brand that they have an emotional connection with. Additionally, over 50% of those making over $100K a year said they are “much more likely” to make a purchase when they connect with a brand.

Marrying the emotions of affluent consumers with a propensity to buy a certain product is a recipe for success.

Enter the Times Union’s iShopLocal initiative.

 The annual program is back to help small and midsized businesses have the same opportunity as the big box stores drive sales during the holiday shopping season. iShopLocal is a chance for business to announce special holiday offerings while tapping into Times Union and readers on a personal level.

iShopLocal features profiles on Capital Region businesses (such as this one on Marketplace at the Sweater Venture) that provide unique insights into local establishments that in turn highlight the immense value such organizations have on our community, our family and us personally.

As the Times Union engages with an affluent audience and the Capital Region is a tight knit community, local businesses should strongly consider such a campaign. iShopLocal will not only assist in jumpstarting holiday sales, but it will also maintain traffic throughout the upcoming months as ads will consistently run and target your ideal consumer base.


In Conclusion


If you haven’t started preparing for the holidays, it is time to start right now. Adapt to the changing times, level up your marketing game and prepare for a busy few months ahead! Our expert team will be there to assist every step of the way. Contact us today!