It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas – early retail trends revealed

Hands up who has already heard Christmas music playing on the radio?  How about the Christmas Coca Cola ad?  I personally love Christmas, and would happily wear a Santa hat all year round if I could!

As I have so many family members to buy for I tend to start my Christmas shopping early to stagger the gift purchases over multiple pay packets!  Research carried out by Google and Ipsos shows that I am not alone.  The study surveyed shoppers every two weeks, to track the progress of their holiday shopping.  The key findings were that by October 19th, 73% of consumers had started their research, and 51% had already purchased Christmas gifts!

For those retailers that began their Christmas promotional activity in November, you have most likely lost out on sales to competitors who had started much earlier.  So, your key-learning from this post is that you need to strategise your Christmas activity by July (at the latest), and begin implementation in September.

But, do not fear, there is still some ways you can reap back some of those lost sales.  Recently, on the Google Retail Blog, data was cited from the Index of U.S online retail sales in December from 2005-2009.  The key finding was that Tuesday’s are the peak shopping days online in December.  This information allows you to be highly tactical in the build up to Christmas to maximise sales.  My top tips would be:

  • Increase paid search budgets and bids on Tuesdays during December
  • The peak buying day is Tuesday, but the highest traffic volumes are generated on Saturday.  Budgets should also (ideally) be up-weighted on Saturdays to account for visitors in research mode
  • Try offering specific deals on Tuesdays to maximise conversion rates.  These offers can be promoted via paid search adverts and oher activity such as your social media channels

For more tips on how to maximise Christmas sales, see our 5 part series from last month.

Good luck with your sales & Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!!

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