The Canadian Holiday Season Starts Early But Ends Late

11/19/2009 10:26:00 AM

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Canadians started shopping for the holiday season in early November but that does not mean they will stop any time soon. The buying fever is here and will continue until the end of the holiday season. In fact when we spoke with consumers in our Google/OTX Canada Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey, 37% of Canadians will do the majority of their purchasing by November, while 42% will do so in early/mid December.

We are seeing similar trends as in 2008. According to our survey, the Internet remains the top Canadian source of information for holiday shopping both as a research tool and to help make a purchase. The “Internet” was actually selected as the leading shopping resource ahead of “in-store” by a large margin as Canadians are more likely to research their holiday gifts online before going to a store to make their purchase. In this context, it is not surprising to realize that online advertising is more important than TV commercials when it comes to influencing Canadian purchase decisions this holiday season. In fact, search engines were cited by almost 50% of Canadians as the leading online resource for making holiday purchase decisions. [1] Rising searches in Google Insights for Search can help to identify the hottest gifts for 2009. Some of the top rising searches include: GI Joe, Transformer toys, Barbie games, Beatles Rockland, Twilight DVD release, Laptops, iPhones and more.

So, is your holiday campaign ready? Are your online ads visible from now until Christmas? Google Insights for Search data shows that search activity for the boxing day and boxing week start ahead of time and 54% of Canadians intend to take advantage of post holiday sales. Did you know that in 2008, searches for “boxing day sales” started to climb on Dec 20, and lasted until around Dec 29? Search volume for “boxing day sales” has shown growth year over year. [2]

So make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to finish strong in 2009 and start 2010 on a positive note. The number of Canadians online is at an all-time high, keep your campaigns on and relevant to reach last minute and boxing week shoppers throughout the holidays. Happy holiday season!

Source: [1] Google/OTX Canada Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey, October 2009, n=1,004, [2]Google Insights for Search, 2009