Over Half of Holiday-​Related Purchases to be Made Online

BY Kathy Crosett
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The level of holiday-​related sales in November and December can mean the difference between annual profit and loss for most retailers. This pattern of market activity also holds true for online retailers. Your retail clients should be preparing for this year’s holiday selling period now. Here’s what you should be sharing with them.

The Holiday Retail Playbook for 2019, from Google, contains some great insights. Last year marked the first time that consumers spent more money on online purchases than through other channels during the holiday period. That data point should fuel your clients' desire to hone their online selling strategies.

Three Holiday Shopping Waves

A significant portion of holiday-​related gift giving, 67%, is planned. By October, consumers begin using search engines to look for gift ideas. While your clients should allocate some of their search ad budgets to target early shoppers, they need to keep two other shopping waves in mind. Up to 67% of consumers fail to complete all of their shopping up to the week before Christmas. They continue to search online for great gift options until the last minute. And, after Christmas, at least 86% of consumers turn to their phones and tablets to find gifts.

Retailer Action: May to August

Remind your clients that they can offer an optimal holiday shopping experience to consumers by streamlining their sites from May to August. To maximize profits, they should be expanding the products they sell online. Google research shows consumers want information on the following: 

  • Inventory status 41%
  • Brand and product information 81%

Retailer Action: October to December

Google has plenty of suggestions on how to run campaigns on its site to attract shoppers. That advice applies to other sites as well. If your clients are advertising on other search engines or marketplaces, they should be prepared to adjust their campaigns regularly in response to the metrics they’re seeing. This kind of campaign management requires constant attention and may be a good way for you to pitch your digital marketing services.

 While your clients may want to blow out the estimates for their online sales this year, they should keep the last-​minute bricks-​and-​mortar shoppers in mind. These folks will have waited until the day before Christmas to purchase gifts. As a result, “Where to buy” mobile searches typically increase 85% on that day. Your clients can save the day for these harried consumers by providing the right kind of mobile information.

Run a Digital Audit for the sector your clients compete in. The tool is available on AdMall from SalesFuel. Share the data with your clients and encourage them to start working on their holiday revenue-​optimization plan now.