Don't Turn The Lights Off On Your Customers

12/21/2011 02:33:00 PM

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Keeping the lights on is a simple phrase, with simple meaning- make sure you leave the lights on so your customers can find you, or find your products- online. When- the week between Christmas and New Years- a week that could easily get left behind, but who would pass on a customer that has intent to research or buy during a week with plenty of time for web surfing, video viewing, social networking and walking into stores armed with their new mobile device or tablet?

Just think of the poor folks that have to work on Monday, December 26th- they will be online, researching and shopping. And if they're not working that day- they're heading out to redeem those gift cards online or in-store (or returning that hideous sweater from Aunt Suzie). Last year, Sunday, December 26th was the fifth largest eCommerce shopping day and ShopperTrak estimates it could be the 3rd largest day this year, since it falls on a Monday. If you're a numbers person, here are some of the stats behind what we see as great motivation to keep your Desktop Search, Display or Video advertising running next week (and of course your mSearch, mDisplay and mVideo campaigns)

  • 55% of consumers shopped post holiday in 2010. 5% of them will do the MAJORITY of their shopping after Christmas (read: self-gifting)
  • Monday, December 26th Retail traffic will surge by 60% since it's a public Holiday. (read: I have the day off and I'm going shopping)
  • $27.8B in total expected gift card spending this season- they'll be redeeming them the week after Christmas (and 72% of consumers spent more than the card's value in 2010)
  • Last year 13 days between December 26th and January 15th saw higher eCommerce sales than Black Friday (yes, you read that right)
  • Don't underestimate January- last year saw total retail sales growth from January on par with December's y/y growth rate

A final suggestion around the 'Leave the lights on' strategy -- shift end-of-year markdown dollars across categories to upfront paid search to avoid deeper discounts in the New Year. Geo-target your campaigns to help the stores or distribution centers with excess inventory pick it up at the end of the year. The number of paid search advertisers tends to decrease during this timeframe making the inventory sell-through that much more economical.

So enjoy your Holiday over the next few days, but don't forget to 'leave the lights on' for your customers the week between Christmas and New Years. If you don't, someone else might...!

Posted by Jay Bowden, The Google Retail Team

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