It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning brown and the days colder. For many of us that means breaking out our winter coats but for most retail marketers it means that Christmas is already in full swing and Black Friday is approaching at a rapid pace.
So, what can we expect this Christmas from consumers? During our Digital Breakfast Seminar, Google’s Matt Bush outlined 4 tips on how to approach this Christmas Season.
1) Think Digital
There are over 100 billion search queries on Google each month and of that 15% are new never before searched terms. We are turning more often to the internet to answer our questions, to find what we are looking for, and to shop. In fact, according to IMRG, 1 in 5 purchases are made online.
For most companies being visible online is imperative, but it’s not just organic search that matters. According to Mintel Digital Trends, “52% of those who clicked on an online ad in the last 3 months purchased as a result of an ad click.” Furthermore, IAB’s research has found that from January-June 2014 there was a £3.462 bn ad spend increase year on year. Search and Display hold 57% and 27%, respectively, of the ad spend share. However, Display leads the way with highest like for like growth of 30.1%.
We are seeing incredible growth within the digital advertising industry. As technology continues to grow, enabling smarter targeting and more engaging creative formats, so does the effectiveness of digital campaigns. With advertising capabilities such as, location based advertising and the increase in wearable technology the opportunities are tremendous.
2) Think Mobile
Smartphones are rocking the digital world this Christmas. According to Google data, for the first time we will see 13 days of the year where mobile searches exceed those of desktop and tablet. Not too surprisingly those days all happen across November and December.
Investing in a mobile optimised website is a must. Mobify’s study found that around 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimised for mobile. With £3bn worth of sales coming through mobile devices last December (IMRG – CapGemini) and even greater predicted growth for 2014, a retailer cannot afford to lose out by not having a mobile app or website.
Furthermore, mobile devices are influencing purchasing decisions outside of the digital space. Google found that location based ads led 32% to visit stores / make purchases and 19% to make unplanned visits / purchases. While these percentages may not be entirely devoted to in-store purchases in 2013, Deliotte Digital reported that £18bn of UK in-store retail sales were influenced by smartphones.
Quick Mobile Stats:
• Mobile ecommerce grew +100% Year over Year
• Mobile accounted for 27% of all online sales
• 39% of UK smartphone owners use their smartphones to buy goods
3) Think Engagement
We are constantly being told that we need to engage our customers. It is true that in today’s fast paced media savvy world, consumers no longer want the sales pitch approach but are looking for a more tailored interactive experience. For some this could involve creating communities through social media or holding webinars. For many retailers however, there is another approach, Google Shopping, also known as PLAs.
Google Shopping is a visual way for consumers to search for retail goods. It’s engaging content draws the eye more so than normal search results. According to Google, PLAs will drive approximately 33% of 2014’s retail traffic. That is an increase of 10% year on year.
Net Media Planet analyst, James Pendlton, states, “We see a much higher conversion rate on Google Shopping. The image allows consumers to see if the product fits their needs and with the price below they can determine whether it is within their budget. Consumers who click on these ads are generally closer to the bottom of the purchasing funnel.” There is little doubt that Google Shopping can give retailers a competitive advantage this holiday season.
4) Plan Ahead
It isn’t too late to take advantage of the influx of online shopping that occurs between the end of November and December.
We will leave you with some search trends and tips to consider to help you optimise your holiday strategy.
• ‘Do it yourself’ and ‘How to’ searches are on the rise this season. Look at keywords like ‘homemade Christmas,’ ‘inspiration,’ ‘cake recipes,’ homemade gift ideas,’ ‘decorations,’ and ‘last minute.’ Perhaps write a few ‘do it yourself’ holiday blogs this season.
• Mondays have the highest online search volumes for Christmas presents. Net Media Planet Analyst, Nimi Gupta says, “maximise opportunity on the busiest day of the week this Christmas. Increase your bids and expand those budget caps on Mondays.”
• Mobile activity will peak during weekends throughout December. Mobile PLAs can be an extremely effective way of generating sales, if your site is mobile optimised.
• Fashion related searches peak for two weeks from Cyber Monday. Top Q4 2013 searches included, ‘ankle boots,’ ‘baby clothes,’ ‘Chelsea boots,’ ‘Christmas jumpers,’ ‘dresses,’ ‘evening dresses,’ ‘handbags,’ ‘lingerie,’ ‘maternity clothes,’ ‘men coats,’ ‘parka coats,’ ‘party dresses,’ and ‘womens boots.’