Is it too early to talk about Christmas? Never. The global pandemic has definitely accelerated online shopping habits which means that this Christmas is expected to be a big one. You may be an avid lover of all things Christmas or you may be the complete opposite, but what we do know is that all advertisers should be taking advantage of these times.
A recent study
Bazaarvoice carried out an international study based on its network of over 6,200 retailer sites and brands. The study shows that back in 2019, page views increased by 31.4% and order count rose by 65.9% when compared to the usual figures. With the onset of COVID-19, it’s expected that these figures will grow even more so this year. Additionally, 85% of retailers believe that online sales will increase this Christmas period and 61% of those are expecting higher engagement and purchasing through their social media channels. It’s already showing that over half of brands and retailers are investing more into eCommerce website upgrades already ahead of the holiday season.
Throughout July, August and September, shoppers begin to interact with customer reviews and photos and ask a lot of questions as they begin to research their gifts for Christmas online. This then accelerates during October as this is the month that sees a significant increase in question submissions as shoppers intensify their shopping with a 4.5% increase in October 2019.
Consumers have been spending a record amount of time online and, consequently, e-commerce sales have spiked alongside this. With Christmas searches going back as far as July, it just shows how vital it is to take advantage of this audience.
Shoppers will be looking for sales
86.8% of shoppers have said that they purchase their gifts during the holiday sales so that they can take advantage of the deals that are available during those times.
Typically, many advertisers feel that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the peak buying days for Christmas shoppers, but the entire month of November has been seeing elevated views and consumer activity from the past years so it’s anticipated that 2020 will only heighten that.
In a survey completed in 2019, it was found that around a fifth of consumers had started their Christmas shopping as early as mid-July which was in line with Amazon’s Prime Day. However, for this year, Amazon’s Prime Day has been delayed and is expected to be sometime in October. This is a key opportunity for brands and retailers to kick start their holiday advertisements as consumers will be looking for deals. Last year, it was found that 70% of shoppers bought at least one holiday gift during Prime Day.
Online shopping will accelerate
As consumers have now adjusted to online shopping, it’s expected for there to be a significant increase in online holiday shopping this year. During each month of lockdown, there has been significant growth in orders and pageviews across many websites.
Although restrictions have been easing up, many consumers are still cautious about entering physical stores so it’s anticipated that online will remain a priority platform for customers to shop, compare item prices and read reviews for their Christmas gifts.
55% of brands in Bazaarvoice’s survey say that they are now investing more in eCommerce website upgrades for 2020’s holiday season when compared to last year and 54% said the same about social media.
Your customers want answers
Back in 2019, there was a significant increase in question submissions by consumers in October and, as a result of this, this holiday season is expected to have an even higher upward trajectory of user-submitted content – especially given the spike in online shopping.
It’s found that this information is influencing whether shoppers decide to buy or not more so than ever before. 48% of shoppers say that brands and retailers who respond to reviews increase their likelihood of buying the products.
Customers are seeking answers through Q&A’s or FAQ pages as well as reviews and brand responses so having these present really helps to maximise revenue opportunities. Bazaarvoice found that Q&A’s on product pages attract a 120% revenue per visitor life on “best-in-class” sites and reviews drive a 159% lift in revenue per visitor.
Let’s plan ahead…
As festive shopping habits will differ for each consumer, it’s important to identify if there are any key dates that will affect consumer shopping behaviours across your industry. Some of these key dates could be Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day, Cyber Week, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and so on.
This also goes for ad copy as you’ll need to consider the needs of your audience and also incorporate season-specific messaging as this will then help your text stand out to the relevant audience. Additionally, you can include dynamic countdown ads to take advantage of any promotional offers that you have running which will create a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) as well as some urgency to their purchase.
During the festive period, a lot of consumers will search for gift inspiration by using broader terms such as “best gifts for mums”, “where can I buy a dress-up outfit” etc. Utilising these kinds of terms within your campaigns where appropriate can really help to increase brand awareness and attract new customers. You could also use Dynamic Search Ads within your Google Ads campaigns as they display a dynamically generated ad to a users search query which directs to the relevant products which are on your site.
Although online shopping has really grown this year, it’s still important to take advantage of offline shopping if you have a physical store. Using local inventory ads or location targeting within your campaigns will help you to reach those who usually purchase in store for Christmas. It also encourages those who are near your store to perhaps pop in and take a look at the products you’re advertising online.
Are you interested in taking advantage of holiday shoppers as early as possible? Get in touch with our team of experts to learn more today. We offer Google Ads Management, Paid Social Media, SEO Management and much more!