Here’s What Online Shoppers are Purchasing for the Holidays, According to Pub E-commerce Trends


Jingle bell time is a swell time to smash your Q4 marketing and revenue goals. This year there are plenty of opportunities for advertisers and publishers to maximize sales as the holiday season is even longer, stretching from October through the end of January 2023.

Despite the negative economic news, Deloitte predicts sales will grow 4-6% this year, totaling $1.45 to $1.47 trillion. e-Commerce will get an extra special gift this year, with sales increasing by 12.8% to 14.3% year-over-year (YoY).

Wrapping up the year on a high note comes down to knowing what consumers want for the holidays. Instead of heading to Santa’s workshop to see what the elves are up to, we analyzed publisher data from Skimlinks, which collects data from thousands of publishers to reveal which products top wish lists and generate revenue.

Below we’ll look at the top Skimlinks articles and products from the 2021 holiday season and discuss what we believe will be popular this year across three top-performing verticals: Home & Lifestyle, Consumer Technology, and Fashion & Beauty.

Advertisers should consider running campaigns highlighting the most-wanted products while publishers can infuse them into their holiday-themed content and gift guides.

2021 Top Products by Vertical: Gifts that Made Merry Memories

Although 2021 is in the rearview mirror, we tend to see some of the most popular trends carry over into the following year, so it’s worth noting what drove revenue and considering it in the context of this year.

Home & Lifestyle

Since the pandemic, consumers have sought to make ‘home sweet home’ a reality rather than a pillow slogan. Last year, the global home décor market reached $682 billion, and there’s no sign of a slowdown.

In 2021, while consumers hung stockings above the fireplace, the presents under their trimmed trees were all about cozy comforts and personal touches. Top items included:

  • Electronic coffee cup warmers
  • Mattresses and toppers
  • Digital picture frames
  • Home and lifestyle subscription services for things like gift baskets, candles, smoothies, and more.

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Consumer Technology

Since technology changes rapidly, it’s no surprise that consumers are always asking Santa for the latest and greatest gadgets and tech toys. The consumer technology industry had a record-breaking year in 2021, with sales rising 9.6%, a rate significantly higher than any of the past ten years.

Out of the top most asked-for toys of the season, nearly a third fell within the consumer tech category, including video games, consoles like Xbox and PlayStation, and Apple products. Our data shows that some of the most purchased gifts included:

  • Large-screen smart TVs
  • Gaming consoles
  • Phones and accessories
  • Streaming service subscriptions

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Fashion & Beauty

While consumers often buy beauty and fashion items for themselves, over 51% of the nearly 180 million 2021 Thanksgiving weekend shoppers were snapping up those products as gifts. With mask mandates lifted, 70% of people returned to their previous beauty and makeup routines. As social gatherings resumed, handbag sales increased by 29% compared to 2020.

Some of the most purchased beauty and fashion products included:

  • Mascara
  • Beauty and cosmetic subscription boxes
  • Hands-free bags such as crossbody styles and backpacks

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2022 Top Products Predictions by Vertical: Help Consumers Sleigh Gift Giving

So, what will Santa be carrying down chimneys this year? Another analysis of publisher data shows which content pieces shoppers are already engaging with and which are inspiring clicks and early purchases.

Home & Lifestyle

As the pandemic forced many people to stay home or relocate, consumers reimagined what their spaces could be and what kind of atmosphere they wanted to live in. That mindset continues to be a driving force behind purchasing decisions this year. We see that shoppers are interested in three trends:

  • Personal Over Generic: Shoppers want unique, well-crafted pieces instead of mass-produced ones. The past three months of 2022 alone have shown a +973% increase in readership for the term ‘Customization.’
  • Smart Home, Easy Life: From smart speakers to touchless doorbells, IoT and connected household items are attracting consumers thanks to their easy-to-use nature and convenience. As of October 24th, 2022, the term ‘Smart Home’ received 416,620 pageviews over a 90-day period across Taboola’s publisher network.
  • Investing in Big Ticket Items: Many consumers wait for holiday and end-of-year super sales to invest in more expensive home and lifestyle items such as washing machines, mattresses, and TVs. As of October 2th, 2022, the term ‘Mattress’ received 502,850 pageviews over a 90-day period across Taboola’s publisher network.

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Consumer Technology

When it comes to opening presents, nothing makes recipients buzz quite like consumer tech. Of course, phones, earbuds, and gaming consoles will be a hit, but holiday shoppers are especially into tech products that promote wellness and support their lifestyle this year. Santa’s helpers are busy making trending items, including:

  • Wearable Devices: Wearable devices such as smartwatches and exercise trackers jumped from fifth most popular in 2020 to third in 2021 as interest in health monitoring increased. We expect this momentum to continue this holiday season.
  • Tech that Boosts Quality of Life: Tech products that simplify or enhance life will always make people light up like a Christmas tree. Gadgets that eliminate unpleasant cleaning jobs, such as robot vacuums, should be a big hit this year, and one of the most popular articles in our analysis featured the best self-cleaning litter boxes.

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Fashion & Beauty

This year, US cosmetics and beauty retail e-Commerce sales will more than double compared to 2019, going from $9.21 billion to a whopping $18.60 billion.

The industry is flush with non-traditional and celebrity-owned beauty and apparel brands enticing consumers to spend. Santa’s sled will be filled with items for:

  • Revamping Wardrobes: After spending two years in loungewear and sportswear, consumers are ready to add new pieces that will take them to more places, such as back to the office, nights out on the town, and formalwear. In fact, over a third of fashion executives expect occasion wear to be a top-three category for year-over-year sales growth.
  • ‘I do’ Holidays: Nearly 40% of marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Recent Skimlinks publisher trends show consumers are shopping for that all-important ring with a particular increase in purchasing lab-grown diamonds, a trend sure to shine on.

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‘Tis the Season to Boost Revenue

Now that you know the top consumer-approved gifts, there’s no time to waste. Shoppers are already in the holiday spirit and are hunting down deals. If you sprinkle the appropriate vertical gifts we covered throughout your holiday campaigns and content, ‘yuel’ be delighted with the results.