As Holiday Shopping Nears, Radio’s Reach Fights Inflation Fatigue


With inflation and high prices affecting consumer behavior, radio remains a potent channel for advertisers to connect with consumers around the holidays. Preliminary data suggests spending in the 2023 holiday shopping season will follow the same trends as last year, which neared one trillion dollars.

Despite falling short of forecasted rates, the National Retail Federation reports that holiday spending in 2022 still totaled $936.3 billion. Deloitte predicts an increase in holiday sales for 2023 between 3.5% and 4.6%, with e-commerce also seeing a growth of 10.3% to 12.8% from the previous year. Despite inflation accounting for a 5.3% increase in 2022 spending, healthy employment, and income are expected to maintain this upward trend in 2023.

Nielsen’s recent data indicates that radio continues to be a leading medium in reaching consumers. At 91%, AM/FM radio outperforms other platforms in monthly reach among adults. Moreover, radio’s impact is particularly strong during the holiday season. MRI-Simmons data shows that 38% of consumers planning to spend more on travel during the holidays are heavy radio users.

Radio also produces tangible results for advertisers. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio ads resulted in a 22% increase in store traffic. Radio advertising yields an average return of $14 for every dollar spent, showcasing its efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

As for when to start advertising, consumer behavior studies from Jungle Scout and Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated reveal nuanced spending habits. About 42% of consumers already started shopping before the end of September and 81% aim to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

And for stations looking for Q4 revenue outside of stores? Spending isn’t just locked to retail, either: 22.8% of holiday spending will go towards entertainment and experiences. More details and holiday advertising findings for radio can be found on Katz Media Group’s website.


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