Customers make 34% more online shopping queries on Christmas Day than on Black Friday, according to new data released by Google. That means if you’re only planning your campaigns up until Christmas Day, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of web traffic and conversions. As the Twentyone team and I have often found, mobile browsing is continuing to have a radical effect on the way people shop at the festive season, and if you want to stay competitive over Christmas, it’s just one of the considerations you’ll need to take into account.
We were saying in the office just this week; the growing popularity of Black Friday (and similar events) mean that lots of major retailers are pushing their Christmas deals earlier and earlier each year, trying to be the first to sink their teeth into the festive season. On the other hand, many shoppers are actually waiting longer and longer to finalise their decisions, taking their time to look at every available option.
You guessed it; it’s all to do with mobile. Shoppers know that with all their purchasing power right at their fingertips, they’ve still got plenty of leeway to get their gifts right up until the very last moment. They can make their decisions anywhere – at home, on the way into work, or out with the children – and when they do, they can buy instantly right there and then. (Google’s research says that the average shopper spends 13 days considering their decision, but once they make it, at least half expect to have it either that day or the very next. We’re an impatient bunch!)
With all that in mind, it’s not hard to see how mobile takes the stress out of Christmas for many people, so you probably won’t be too surprised when I tell you that a lot of Christmas shopping happens right before – and even right after – December 25th. Mobile searches related to same-day shipping have grown by a whopping 120% in just the last two years, too – that’s also one to remember!
When it comes down to December the 21st, the online shipping cut-off passes for many retailers, and that’s when Christmas crowds start looking locally to complete their purchases. In the last few years, Google has found that whichever day Christmas actually falls upon, the in-store rush begins on the nearest Friday roughly one week before. The next day, Saturday, is the second-busiest day of the year for retailers. Interestingly, the absolute busiest day each year is always December 23rd, whichever day of the week it happens to be.
During this Christmas run-up, mobile searches for phrases like ‘open now’ and ‘store hours’ grow gradually up to a peak on Christmas Day, so obviously, you’ll need to make sure your stores can handle the rush. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the calendar is on your side this year, too. Christmas Day is on a Monday in 2017, which means that you’ve got two full weekends of shoppers flooding your stores. I’d recommend looking at the presentation of your local and in-store products as one of your priorities in the next few weeks, ready for your customers to snatch them up in those crucial few days.
It can all be quite a lot to take in at once, but if you were only to take a few things from my blog this week, I’d want this to be one of them: Christmas Day doesn’t mean the end of the year’s shopping! In 2016, 20% of all December’s Christmas in-store shopping went on in the six days following Christmas; the last few in the whole year. People are looking to redeem gift cards they may have received, buy for people they haven’t seen yet, or even make a few returns or exchanges. Whatever the case, it’s important not to forget about them, so make sure that both your online and physical presences are ready to meet demand all the way up until the first few days of 2018.
If you’ve got any questions about the above, or you want any help or advice with your digital presence or marketing, I’m happy to lend a hand. In fact, I could say the same for everyone in our office – we’re a crack team of digital specialists with over a decade of experience behind us in delivering a range of core services including Search Marketing (SEO), Google AdWords (PPC) and Digital Consultancy. Give us a bell by calling 01254 660 560, or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!
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Sam Fletcher is Twentyone’s Head of Agency, responsible for overseeing all strategic digital marketing, with a personal specialism in PPC (Google AdWords). A keen mountain biker and motoring enthusiast, he has a lifelong dual passion for both business and design, which he now uses to come up with bespoke, creative marketing campaigns.