Non-Retail: Top Holiday Advertising Trends That You Must Know

Ma. Javiera Garache

2 years ago



The holiday season is here, and we know it can be intimidating for non-retailers as these months are mostly dominated by retail or e-commerce businesses. Many consider pausing all advertising efforts during this time. Still, there is no benefit in sitting on the sidelines when there are opportunities to market effectively and drive results during this competitive time, even if you have a service-based business.

During this season, most people are off work or home from school, meaning they have plenty of time for searching online, browsing social media, etc., providing some valuable “me time”, which opens a big consideration window on the conversion journey for advertisers. Therefore even if you are a non-retail business, you must remain present, identify trends, and embrace the unique opportunities available to your business during the season. 

If you haven’t thought about a holiday marketing strategy for your non-retail business, it’s time to start. To ensure you don’t miss any opportunity, we put together some trends we identified for five different service industries.

B2B Services

December is when most companies begin planning for the new fiscal year, meaning they will evaluate their current vendors/providers and research new or better options that could help them meet their financial goals, if necessary.

Google data shows that searches for “business services” in the United States picked up in the year’s final months, leading to an increase in new year sales. Consider continuing your efforts with a low budget instead of pausing, and prepare to ramp up after the season. And also, remember to build your audience for remarketing efforts.

b2b holiday advertising

Non – Profits

According to The Giving USA annual report on Philanthropy, in 2021, giving to public-society benefit organizations increased an estimated 23.5% to $55.85 billion. 

Charitable giving increases during the holiday season; therefore, it is a good occasion to reach out to regular donors or anyone searching to donate on search engines or other channels like social media and encourage them to donate, whether it is monetary, goods, or volunteering to start the new year strong. Focus on setting your nonprofit apart from everyone else around the holidays and illustrating your cause creatively through your ad copies and CTAs.

non-profits holiday advertising

Winter Auto Maintenance Services

Automotive service centers can greatly benefit from seasonal services like winter auto maintenance, as cars tend to need more maintenance in the winter due to ice and snow. Heating systems and batteries need to be checked, tires inspected and changed to winter tires, and windshields repaired, among others. 

As the weather gets cooler, drivers can compare options and choose the auto repair shop that offers the most extensive winter services and affordable deals. Do not let this opportunity drive by during the holidays.

46% of Americans have not prepared their cars for winter conditions. So, start creating awareness with holiday advertising strategies around preventive measures and the services you offer. If you have any winter specials, make sure to highly them in your ads, you can also make use of these promotions for remarketing purposes during the holiday season. 

auto holiday advertising


Choosing an educational institution is a pivotal decision, and a growing number of students are starting to research their options during their winter break or holiday vacations. 

According to Google, 97% of students researched their options online; consequently, it is vital to remain present with a good holiday advertising strategy. You might not see a significant volume of applications; however, you might see a rise in traffic to your site or requests for information.

education holiday advertising

Legal, Car Accidents & Criminal Defense

Personal injury claims also tend to rise during winter months; for example, according to data from the FHWA, more than 150,000 auto crashes occur annually due to icy roads caused by winter weather conditions, making driving more challenging. 

During the holiday season, certain crimes tend to spike as well. Reports describe seasonal patterns in property crime like burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other household theft. Therefore if you were thinking of pausing your digital advertising efforts now, you might want to reconsider and instead pivot your strategy for seasonal opportunities to reach an audience that would be actively searching for legal support to go through these hardships. 

lawyers holiday advertising

Some Jolly Tips

Now that we’ve shared different holiday trends for non-retail businesses, it’s time to strategize! The strongest strategy is based on understanding your audience’s behavior and being clear about your offering for the season, so here are some tips that will help you take your holiday advertising strategy further:

  • Pay attention to timing: We know timing is everything; if you want to get your message across and cut through all the retail holiday offerings, you should pay attention to the dates that are important for retailers, like Cyber Monday. For example, you could adjust the schedule of your campaigns accordingly to increase the likelihood that your audience will receive the message and it won’t get lost on all Cyber Monday discount offerings. 
  • Rethink success metrics during the season: It’s important to align results based on what you could realistically expect during the season. For instance, if your campaigns aim to remain on searchers’ top of mind or generate awareness, metrics like traffic should take priority.
  • Look out for cost: During this time, search volume and possibly competition may decrease, which could influence your CPCs. Therefore, you should use Google’s Keyword Planner to study CPC trends during the season.

November and December can be challenging months for non-retail businesses to advertise, but there is still an opportunity to connect with new customers. If you want to know more about our digital advertising approach during the holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out.