We’ve seen giant advances in digital this past year, but holiday 2010 is really showcasing the importance digital can have on the bottom line. With brands ramping up search spending, focusing on digital promotions and increasing mobile capabilities, we saw online sales records break this year. Let’s take a look at the 2010 holiday shopping season and some key digital milestones.
Searching Is the New Browsing
To gear up for the holiday madness, brands put emphasis on search as an integral aspect to their holiday sales strategies. Search budgets for the period leading up to Cyber Monday were up 31% from last year, and we saw ad sales and clickthrough rates increase.
A study by Kenshoo uncovered a few trends for this holiday season.
- The shopping season is starting earlier.
- Thanksgiving is the kickoff for Cyber Monday.
- Retail competition peaks on Cyber Monday.
- Holiday shoppers are responsive to paid search advertising.
- Advertisers pursuing paid search are seeing increased effectiveness.
- Consumers are spreading out their holiday shopping with smaller purchase sizes, but more frequent transactions.
Deals, Deals, Deals
Retailers are using promotions and incentives as an opportunity to help push online purchase behaviors during the bustling season. And consumers’ thrifty mindsets responded positively – Cyber Monday saw over $1 billion in sales, making it the biggest online shopping day ever, and Green Monday and Free Shipping Day both resulted in over $900 million in sales. By creating a consumer-oriented experience through coupling discounts with convenience factors, overall online shopping revenues have reached $27.46 billion thus far, an increase of 12% from last year’s holiday season.
Mobile Adds Opportunities
Brands also increased their channel capabilities this season with mobile gaining serious street cred. While consumers are looking more toward mobile during the research phase, they are also going further down the path to mobile transaction – PayPal mobile payments grew 300% and mobile now accounts for around 5% of total online holiday transactions. eBay – the most mobile-minded U.S. retailer – watched as its mobile sales tripled from last year and set a new mobile sales one-day record of $13 million. And the recent eBay m-commerce tracker shows that mobile shopping isn’t limited or category-specific – we’ve seen cars to diamonds sell via cell.
Becoming A Ghost of Digital Future
The holidays are a time for giving, and this year digital has been very good. With expectations of a $32.4 billion 2010 holiday online shopping season, brands should focus more on incorporating digital into their future holiday strategies. Thinking about search, retargeting, promotions and mobile shopping tools will help retailers get their piece of the holiday pie.