2021 Holiday Season: How UK Consumer Technology Advertisers Can Build an Informed Campaign Strategy Using Past & Present Trends

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, holiday season retail sales in the UK slumped by 10.2%, according to eMarketer.

Now, as restrictions are lifted and the UK emerges from nearly two years of on-and-off lockdowns, it’s more important than ever for online consumer technology retailers and eCommerce brands to plan their bounce-back and get an early start on planning holiday campaigns.

We’re going to show how you can get started today, including:

Our 2020 Trends and Predictions

In last year’s Black Friday article, we predicted that working and schooling from home would be key drivers of consumer tech purchases for Black Friday 2020. In the UK, this prediction was only partially right — by November, everyone was already well kitted out with all the tech they needed to be productive from home.

Instead, our data showed that top keyword trends included terms like ‘Netflix,’ ‘iPhone,’ and ‘gadgets’ – perhaps an indication of shoppers treating themselves and their loved ones at the end of a difficult year.

For imagery, we found that the technology category in the UK defied the usual best practices:

indoor images

Indoor images had higher click-through rates (CTRs) than outdoor images

Images with text performed better than images without text


Illustrations performed better than photos

images without a person

Images without a person performed better than images with a person

What about
This Year?

The Holiday Bounce-Back

The 2020 holiday season was tough on retailers, with many consumers tightening their belts in the face of lockdowns, furloughs and financial uncertainty. According to McKinsey, 43% of UK consumers decreased their spend in the 2020 holiday season.

This year, there are hopes of a bounce-back as physical retailers are likely to remain open, and the light at the end of the tunnel encourages consumers to release pandemic savings. Over the past two years, UK household savings grew significantly: Bank of England figures estimate the total amount to have been accumulated in savings accounts in 2020 alone at over £160 billion.

Now, there are hopes that some of those savings may be unlocked in time for Christmas: in PwC’s latest Consumer Sentiment Survey in June 2021, UK consumer confidence was at its highest since the survey began in 2008, and a whopping 36 points higher than at the start of the pandemic. Hopefully, that translates to a loosening of wallets and bigger holiday celebrations with friends and family this year.

Ornaments Christmas

All in on ECommerce

In 2020, holiday season Ecommerce was given a boost by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to eMarketer, while overall holiday season sales dropped, Ecommerce sales rose by 16.7%. We expect to see this trend continue this year, as consumers have become more comfortable with online shopping.

For consumer technology retailers specifically, this is good news: data from MiQ shows that 35% of UK consumers say they plan to continue purchasing electronic products online, even when physical shops are open.

What will you be buying this year?

In terms of specific consumer technology items we expect to be popular this year, we believe it comes down to two major trends:

In addition to these products, TechRadar predicts that we’ll also continue to see significant discounts on Amazon’s own products.

Unsere Trends für 2021

News Trends for the Holiday Season in the Consumer Technology Category

This chart shows the top UK news trends in the consumer technology category from June 9, 2021 to August 17, 2021, according to Taboola’s Newsroom.

This data confirms that Amazon, Apple, and Google continue to be powerhouses, garnering continuous attention and curiosity about what’s coming next.

Consumers are also interested in other topics, like hardware, gaming and consumer electronics such as headphones, suggesting that these types of big-ticket ‘treats’ will prove popular again this year.

Taboola Publishers That Support These Trends

Here are some examples of consumer technology articles on the Taboola network this year:
techradar uk


The Apple Magic Keyboard just hit its lowest price ever at Amazon

the independent uk

The Independent

There's a rare Apple sale on the AirPods Pro, MacBook Pro, iPad and more – here's what to buy

games radar uk


Path of Exile 2 release date will be announced this year, but don't expect the game until 2022

How to Build 
an Ad Campaign Strategy Using News Trends

Let’s look at some creative trends and best practices for tech ad campaigns. The below screenshots show UK data that was pulled on August 17, 2021 from Taboola Trends.

Creative Trends: Images
Creative Trends Video
Creative Trends Headlines

Here are three sample headlines for an ad discussing video games, run through Taboola’s title analyzer. As you can see from the results, the headline that the analyzer predicts will garner the highest CTR is “Even the Grumpiest Kids Will Love These Video Games.”

When developing your creative, consider using headlines with a stronger emotional appeal and intrigue that entices users to click.

Holiday Ideas for Kids Who Love Video Games
3 Playstation Games to Buy This Black Friday

Even the Grumpiest Kids Will Love These Video Games


Putting Trends
Into Action

Putting all these trends together, here are a few examples of what a high-performing ad might look like.

Even the Grumpiest Kids Will Love These Video Games

Technology Brand

Checkout 2022’s Hottest iPhone Accesories

Technology Brand

Say Hello to the Best Laptop Deals of the Year

Technology Brand

Taboola Products to Fuel Your Holiday Campaigns

We’ve compiled the top products and strategies marketers like you can use to shape campaigns during high-performing seasons like Black Friday and Christmas.

These strategies can help you elevate your message and encourage users to take action after they visit your website.
Taboola Produkte

Video ads

Static images

Descriptions and calls to action (CTAs)

Repurposing social media content

A/B test multiple creatives with Taboola’s expedited learning, which lets our algorithm predict your highest-performing creative assets in less than 24 hours.
There’s no better way to learn someone’s interests than to learn about what they’re reading online. We’ve built a wealth of targeting solutions to connect audiences and brands, including:

SmartBid auto-optimizes your bids at scale. This tool does the heavy lifting for you, automatically identifying your ideal audience and adjusting your bids for the right opportunities. Fixed Bid lets you manually adjust your bids.

Learn more about Taboola’s bidding strategies here.


Install the Taboola Pixel

The Taboola Pixel maximizes your ad performance by illuminating audience’s behaviours and the impact your ads are having. Discover new site visitors or interact with your content the way you expected. Re-engage them with the help of customized click actions or targeting based on their time spent, length of sessions, or how far they’ve scrolled down a page.

Targeting Strategies

Implementing the Taboola Pixel will be beneficial for retargeting users:

Proven Results: These Consumer Tech Brands Saw Incredible Results with Taboola

CE TVs is a leading HDTV retailer that wanted to drive sales and maximize the bang for their online marketing buck during the holiday shopping season.

The company partnered with Taboola to promote its latest 4k and UHD TVs, reaching new audiences and widening their prospective customer base — all in a cost-efficient way.

The result: a 3x higher return on advertising spend (ROAS) and an 11x lower cost-per-session.

Goodgame Studios, a free-to-play, online games development company, began working with Taboola to support their performance marketing efforts. The company was in search of new users and higher engagement of their existing users around the world.

The campaigns ran on the Taboola discovery platform, driving quality traffic to special Goodgame Studios landing pages.

The result: a 300% boost in new player growth.

Start Your 2021 Holiday Campaign Today

As the past tells us, the holiday shopping season continues to bloom — especially in the consumer technology category, and especially for online shopping. This means, when you’re gearing up to sell these products, there’s no such thing as preparing too soon.

You’ve seen the research. You have loads of tips on how to develop your campaigns and creatives. The only thing left is to get started!

Interested in learning how Taboola can help expand your reach and achieve your holiday revenue goals?