2010 Holiday Trends & Forecast: Cyber Stretch

Posted by Christina Mannarino, Digital Research Manager

Shopping online this season has exceeded sales expectations, and what was traditionally considered the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday,” is losing momentum to the unlimited cyber deals and competitive retailers.

Not only did Performics' clients do very well over the Cyber Stretch, but overall industry data shows us that shoppers are researching more, spending more and using more channels to find and buy what they want over the holidays–consumer confidence is finally rising! Cyber Monday looks to be the strongest in performance–comScore reports a net of $1 billion in sales for the first time ever in one day, and the month of November drove $13.6 billion in e-commerce from U.S. shoppers (up 13% YoY).

While brands extended efforts through multi-channel levers, eMarketer reports that shoppers using search and cross-shopping methods accounted for 44% of site referrals to retail e-commerce sales (week ending 11/29). In addition to that, Efficient Frontier and PM Digital made the statement that if advertisers would have increased their paid search budgets for Cyber Monday, they could have gained between 30-40% more business. With Cyber Monday having such success (in ecommerce and search performance), next year’s holiday strategies will be adjusted to accommodate. 

Third party sources show positive results:

Trends 1 

Holiday Search Trends   

Rising Google Searches in the last 30 days:

  • Apparel: parka, luggage, carhartt, north face, the north face
  • Home Furnishings: pillow pets, aerobed, toy chest, tv stands, nook
  • Consumer Electronics: vizio, samsung led, sony bravia, blu ray player
  • Toys: barbie dream house, lego advent calendar, lego advent, barbie house, fisher price ixl

Shopper Behavior

Jump in holiday retail sales pushes stocks higher:

  • Due to the exceeded expectations of November retail sales, traders anticipate that consumer spending will continue to increase this holiday season. The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq composite are up .9% each

Search and cross-shopping across other retailers accounted for 44% of referrals last week, per Hitwise:

  • Search delivered 26% of site traffic to Retail 500 companies
  • Retail 500 brand sites delivered 18% of traffic
  • Rewards & directories and social networking sites & forums delivered 8% each

Mobile bar code scanning tripled on Black Friday versus a normal day:

  • Scanbuy, a mobile barcode solutions company, saw 30 times more scans over Thanksgiving weekend; Thanksgiving Day saw twice the average number of daily scans, and Black Friday saw 20 times the daily average when compared to last year
  • The CEO of Scanbuy said, "This is really acting like a targeted search engine from actual products. The 2D codes are also giving consumers' direct links to information, but can be more controlled by the marketer. The codes that offer value back to the consumer are seeing results in five and six figures.”

First half retail ecommerce spending, 2007-2010 (comScore):

  • In the first half of 2010, consumers spent $66.9 billion online, a 9.4% jump over the first half of 2009

Retail/B2C Behavior
Retail sales had a big lift in November:

  • The National Retail Federation reported that $45 billion was spent over Black Friday weekend
  • Shoppers spent an average of $365, up from $340 last year
  • The percentage of online shoppers rose this year 15%

Mobile will be influential in holiday research and shopping:

  • 6.9% of shoppers plan to user their mobile device (BIGresearch)

Same-store sales drive numbers in November:

  • Target saw a 5.5% lift in same-store sales and JC Penney saw a 9.2% increase in same-store sales
  • For December, ICSC Research anticipates that year-over-year industry comp-store sales growth will be up by 3.0% to 3.5%
  • According to 27 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters, sales at stores open more than a year rose 6% in November, above the estimated growth of 3.6% and the year-ago gain of 0.6%

Agency/Marketer Considerations

Increased search spend over holidays proves successful:

  • Kenshoo Inc. reports that U.S. retailer clients spent 31% more during the 26-day period ending Cyber Monday, resulting in 83% more purchased and 60% more in online revenue YoY

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