Christmas is just 70 days away, and the holiday shopping season is already ramping up.
And given the impacts of 2020, every business will be seeking to maximize its opportunities, as best it can, within the period. To help with this, Google has published a new, 27-page guide on evolving shopping behaviors, based on search trends, along with advice on how businesses can align their promotions with the same.
You can download the full guide here, but below is an overview of the key points.
The guide puts a spotlight on five key trends that marketers need to be aware of, and provides in-depth breakdowns for each.
The first is a longer shopping cycle - Google says that 62% of US shoppers are planning to start holiday shopping earlier this year to avoid crowds and missing out on items.
"This means retailers will need to rethink the usual timelines for Cyber Monday and Cyber Week to help shoppers already looking for special offers and deals this October."
I mean, crowds seem like less of an issue than normal, if anything, but the broader point is that people are already searching for holiday items, and increasingly, they're doing so online. Which has also lead to a change in what people are looking for from retailers.
Google advises brands to think beyond the regular big shopping days, and to offer deals and discounts in order to maximize exposure.
The growth of eCommerce is also key to Google's next point - 69% of US shoppers are planning to shop online for the holidays more than they have in previous years.
That makes logical sense, given social distancing orders and closures, but it also means that many first-time digital shoppers will be in the market.
"Due to this overall trend toward online shopping this year, retailers will need to be ready to offer helpful, frictionless shopping experiences for more first-time online shoppers."
Google advises brands to ensure their digital processes are streamlined and simplified, and to test the mobile-friendliness of their site via its 'Test My Site' tool.
Google also notes that consumers are increasingly searching for information online, not in-store.
Google also notes that searches for “available near me” have grown over 100%, year-over-year, while searches for “curbside pickup” have grown over 3,000% across the globe.
The trends are clear - you need to ensure that your online listings are complete and address all relevant search terms, while also catering to evolving behaviors. Google's Shopping Insights provides product and ctaegory-specific notes on these elements.
Shoppers are also looking to contribute to causes, and give back where they can in 2020.
"66% of US holiday shoppers say they will shop more at local small businesses - retailers are being called to action to help local shoppers identify them and make it as easy as possible to discover their products and make a purchase."
Google says that brands can align with this by sharing their story, and specific insights about their business, as well as any local causes you're looking to support.
And lastly, Google notes that many shoppers are trying new brands for the first time. Which Google has various ad options for:
The full guide includes more in-depth rundowns on each point, and more data points to reinforce the logic, and it's definitely worth a look for those looking to maximize their promotions, especially via Google's tools.
And you should update your Google My Business profile, and consider the available tools and options. As the report shows, people are shopping more than ever online, and they're using Google to find new businesses.
These tips will help your business get found, and expand your opportunities.