12/02/2011 12:31:00 PM
(Cross-posted on the Google Commerce Blog)
With the biggest shopping weekend of the year behind us here in the U.S., we decided to take a step back, crunch the numbers and look at how people shopped during the extravaganza that spans Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Using Insights for Search and data from Google’s annual consumer intentions shopping study, conducted with our research partner OTX, we identified two stand-out trends this year. One, shoppers are searching more for deals online than ever before and they’re heavily relying on their mobile device as an on-the-go, personal shopping assistant. Here’s what we learned from the data:
It’s all about saving money and time
The search trends clearly showed consumers are more aware of and interested in special deals available over the holiday shopping weekend. Searches for [black friday deals] were up by 30% from last year, and searches for [cyber monday sales] and [cyber monday coupons] grew 15% year over year. Further, on Black Friday, half of the top 20 rising searches on Google involved retailers or deals.
Closing out the long weekend, [cyber monday deals 2011] made the top five growing search term on Cyber Monday. In addition, searches for [black midnight] jumped by over 30% over last year, indicating shoppers were planning to hit the stores when retailers opened their doors at 12am on Black Friday.
Most interesting to us was the growth in queries indicating that shoppers were using the web to plan out their trips to the store. Searches for [black friday store map] were conducted more than twice as often this year as in 2010, and searches for [black friday store hours] were up over 40% for the same time period.
More and more shoppers are reaching for their phones to compare prices, look for store locations and inventory and find deals. In fact, searches for [mobile coupons] were up 90% over last year’s volume and mobile search volume for retail-related searches on Black Friday this year was up 200% over Black Friday last year.
According to our study, 55% of participants said they will use their smartphone’s location features on some or most shopping trips, while 47% will use a smartphone to compare prices and 42% will use their phone to search for the nearest store.
They might not fit in your pocket, but tablets are a rising device for getting some serious shopping done: 47% of study participants said they use their tablets to search for coupons or rebates and 44% use them to make purchases.
What’s hot this holiday season
It’s always fun to take a look at the most popular product searches just after Thanksgiving and try to predict what this year’s Tickle Me Elmo will be.
While netbooks emerged as a popular product last holiday season, this year’s data shows tablets overtaking netbooks in search popularity.
Also, the most popular product searched for on Google Product Search over the long weekend was the Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer. Other top products in their categories include:
- Kitchen Appliance: Keurig Special Edition B60 coffee maker
- Board game: Angry Birds Knock on Wood game
- Video game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Doll: Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll - Jewel Sparkles
- Digital camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital SLR Camera
Finally, our survey found that 43% of consumers embraced the craziness of the Black Friday weekend and as of Cyber Monday, had finished the majority of their holiday shopping. But don’t panic if you’re part of the 57% majority. If last year’s trends hold true for 2011, we’ll see a big spike in shopping traffic in mid-December, when procrastinators like myself rush to get their shopping done.