Oh Ship! Final Shipping Day is Here

12/20/2010 05:01:00 PM

‘Twas the last week of shopping, and all through the land
All the shoppers were shopping, on foot and by hand;
Their lists were made, as usual, with care,
In hopes that great gift-giving soon would be there.

Oh Ship! To family! To friends and to beaus!
On overnight, two-day, for electronics or clothes!
To the local store, online or the mall!
Now shop away! Ship away! Give gifts to all!

If you’re anything like us—and based on research data from a Google/OTX study which notes that the average shopper still has to complete 50% of their holiday purchases, we suspect you are—you may be asking Santa for a bit more time to finish all your holiday shopping before December 25.

But if you’re traveling for the holidays or buying gifts for far away friends and family, you may be doing something a bit stronger than wishing for more time; you may be shouting, “oh, ship!” today, the last shipping day on which the USPS recommends sending packages for delivery before Christmas via First Class Mail, and the last day on which many online retailers guarantee delivery by Christmas via Standard Delivery.

As we enter this final and cheerfully panicked sprint toward Christmas, we took a look at some U.S. search trends related to two of the most important shopping days for procrastinators—today, which we fondly refer to as Oh Ship! Day (otherwise known as Last Shipping Day) and last Friday’s Free Shipping Day (a day in December on which numerous retailers offer free shipping and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve).

Planned procrastination is in the air
While some of us can’t resist putting off our holiday shopping until the last minute, we seem to have become better at planning for procrastination.

A number of searches related to guaranteed Christmas delivery, along with specifics like [free shipping day], [last shipping day] and [free overnight shipping] have risen rapidly, indicating that we’re interested in hunting for deals and making sure our gifts arrive on time.

Some other top shopping-related searches this month include:

Last-minute local
For shoppers determined to shop at the last possible second, local stores will likely be a lifesaver. Fortunately, many of these super-procrastinators seem to be super-shoppers; [store locator] searches peak in late December each year, generally on December 24, and have continued to grow in volume through the years.

Other searches such as [open christmas day], [christmas eve hours] and [holiday hours] further point to the last-minute local shopper phenomenon, while the continued rise in searches for [printable coupons] indicates these in-store shoppers are deal-hungry, whether they’re making purchases early or at the final hour.

Whether you’re done with your shopping or still sprinting toward the holiday shopping finish line, the Google Retail Industry team would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a wonderful Oh Ship! Day.

Posted by Dan Schock, Google Retail Industry Director (with our thanks to Clement Clark Moore)