Last Minute Tips from Google: Preparing for the “Big 5-Day Black Friday/Cyber Monday Super-Shopping Weekend”

11/22/2011 06:42:00 PM


It’s here! It’s bigger than ever! It’s starting earlier! And as Pete Townshend once said “It’s going mobile”!

What was once a single day event has grown into a 5-day kickoff weekend, running Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday. The Holiday Shopping Season has arrived. Here are some last-minute tips from Google on what to expect and how to maximize sales this week:

  • Your Customer Is Armed With More Tech Tools Than Ever: There’s no shortage of resources for today’s consumer: PC searches at home, tablet shopping at night, smartphones queries on-the-go, QR code scans, online new product video views, social recommendations, Twitter feeds, product reviews from bloggers. And that’s only the beginning! This year customers have access to information whenever, wherever, and however they want it. They’re going to visit your stores and websites loaded with information and looking for a reason to close the deal. Be flexible, honest and responsive to their needs, as they’re armed and ready to buy.
  • Cover All Three Screens This Holiday: Consumers are now shopping across three interactive screens--PC, tablet, smartphone--and they're connected 24/7. Mobile queries now represent over 20% of all shopping searches on Google. While your customers still use PCs as the cornerstone of their online shopping journey, tablets (“couch companions”) and Smartphones (“constant companions”) play an increasingly important role at home and in stores. Create a seamless experience for customers as they cross over these varying platforms on their way to finding you.
  • Embrace Your Customer’s In-Store Mobile Shopping Companion: What was once viewed by many as an ‘annoyance’ must now be embraced. Your customers love their cellphones, and they’re going to use them in your store to compare products, look for promotions, read online reviews, check for more product selections, and yes (gasp) compare prices with your competitors. No getting around it. No avoiding it. So if you’re competing on price, prepare to be asked to match online prices. 4 in 10 smartphone users say they have walked away from an in-store purchase based on information accessed from their phone.
  • Mobile = Local: Over a third of all mobile queries have local intent: “find a store,” “gifts near me,” “restaurants in my zip code,” etc. Mobile consumers are on-the-go and ready to buy--in your store. Make sure you’re serving ads to drive them TO you, whether it’s an in-store promotion or driving directions. Remember “mobile” is more than mCommerce (although that should be huge this weekend too), especially on Smartphones. Maximize your campaigns to drive sales across both your mCommerce site and into your store.
  • Rising terms like “Black Midnight” means Thanksgiving Thursday is now Day One of the 5-Day Weekend Shopping Experience: Expect a lot of online shopping and research to start on Thanksgiving Thursday, as consumers look to take advantage of early online-only specials and research what in-store sales for the next day. Search queries for terms like ‘Thanksgiving Online Deals,’ ‘Thanksgiving Black Friday’ and ‘Black Midnight’ have more than doubled in the past seven days. You may want your search and display campaigns to start on Thursday to take advantage of these early, eager shoppers.
  • Make Sure Your Brand is Top-of-Mind: 70% of holiday shoppers say they are not tied to a particular retailer; 61% are not tied to a particular brand. Have a presence in video shopping sites, gift buying sites, sports sites, holiday sections in lifestyle sites, famliy-oriented sites--wherever your customer spends time online this weekend. Get your brand in front of them.
  • Consumers Are Looking for “Deals and Steals” More Than Last Year: To find the best deals, folks are taking advantage of all online has to offer. Here’s a sample of some search insights we’re seeing this year:
    • Search interest in ‘black friday’ is up 35% year over year, and search interest has increased 12-times from Halloween.
    • Coupons are hot: search interest in ‘black friday coupons’ is up 46% year over year, and search interest in ‘buy one get one free’ is up 30% year over year. Search interest for both ‘printable coupons’ and ‘black friday coupons’ has jumped over 900% from Halloween.
    • Don’t forget about mobile: ‘black friday' mobile searches are 175% higher now than they were a year ago. Based on historical growth rates, Google projects that 15% of total ‘black Friday’ searches will be from mobile devices this year.
Technology is accelerating and changing the holiday shopping experience. Your customers are able to access information about you and your products--and purchase them--anyway, anyhow, and anywhere they choose. Let us know how we can help you be ready for them.

Here’s wishing you and your family a healthy, happy, and bountiful Thanksgiving weekend.

Posted by Dan Schock, The Google Retail Team


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