Christmas is the most important time of year for retailers. Indeed, Google reports that Christmas-related searches have already this year seen a YoY increase. With a more positive economic outlook retailers can seemingly prepare themselves for a bumper Christmas 2013 period.
We recently attended a Google event to learn more about what brands can expect for Christmas 2013. Here we share some of those insights and offer some tips to help retailers make the most of the upcoming season.
Expected trends for Christmas 2013:
1. Mobile is going to be huge – you won’t see growth on desktop. Last year mobile penetration was at 58%, it is expected to be at over 72% this Christmas. This trend will continue to grow as consumers use their mobiles to search for and purchase products in the months ahead of Christmas. Google has a number of effective mobile specific features for brands to engage with consumers including; location extensions, click-to-call buttons, and mobile coupons.
2. International opportunities will increase. By 2020, it is anticipated that £28BN of UK e-tailer sales will come from abroad. If you are interested in expanding internationally, Christmas offers a perfect opportunity as more consumers are looking for different types of gifts. Google has tools available to help you understand where there is search interest for your brand or products, such as countries with large expat communities.
3. Shopping behaviour will change. Consumers will buy more online this year than ever before. As a result, Google Shopping will play a significant role as Christmas time draws nearer. According to Google, 25% of search traffic will come from PLAs this Christmas. So if you have not done so already, set up Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to promote your products to consumers in Google’s Search and Shopping results. The screenshot below show example PLAs on the search engine results page for the term ‘red tents’.
4. Increasing personalisation of consumer experience. Consumers are increasingly responding to higher relevance in advertising. Use tools such as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads [RLSA] and Demographic Targeting to help ensure you serve the most relevant messages to consumers. This will also enable you to be more effective at each stage of the consumer journey.
5. Online video is booming. In the UK, the average person consumes around 18 hours of online video content a month. Video is not only a source of entertainment, it is increasingly present in the buying decision process. As 4G finally arrives, it brings with it more opportunities for brands to better engage with their consumers through online video as they shop on the high-street.
By being prepared early brands can take advantage of these five trends in consumer online search and buying behaviour. We would recommend that you prepare now by putting together a solid Christmas marketing strategy to help stand out from the crowd.
3 key takeaways:
• Embrace new formats and devices to help provide the seamless experience for consumers.
• Remember that Christmas is global and use this time to scope out new opportunities in other countries.
• Go that extra mile by making your messages more relevant and engaging to your audience.
The stats referenced in this article are taken directly from Google’s presentation at the event. For further information and insight on the stats presented in this article please email Carolyn@netmediaplanet.com.