e-commerce-shopping-cartIt’s early December and you may still be cooling down your credit cards from Black Friday and Cyber Monday or maybe you haven’t even started shopping yet. Here are some quick facts about the holiday shopping season direct from the folks at Google. They would know of course because most internet users begin their searches either on Google itself or on the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube. Which also happens to be owned by Google.

30% of people start holiday shopping before Halloween

While not completely surprising, what may be a shock is that 15% of holiday shoppers began purchasing in July! What would be interesting to find out is these are the purchasers, how many more are watching product videos and in the research phase of purchasing? Could these numbers be double?

One third of shopping searches on Google happen between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am

What this shows is no matter what the time of day, you need to have an online presence and if you are marketing a product you need to sell it with video. Since YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine (next to it’s parent company Google itself), people are looking to see the product in action. They may be reading product reviews on Amazon but they’re going to YouTube to learn more about the product. Some of these videos may include branded content, but could also be “Haul” videos, “unboxing” videos or product demo videos made by end users. The point is with one third of all searches done in the wee hours of the night, you need to have a solid video marketing strategy to support your product sales.

84% of smartphone shoppers use their device while shopping in a store

In other words, people aren’t asking for a store clerk to educate them on a product or to ask questions. They’re looking online. They’re doing the research themselves right in store with the product in arms reach on the shelf. Many have already done their research online (possibly those night owls mentioned earlier) so they are armed and ready to make informed purchasing decisions before they ever step foot in a store. Many are checking in store to see if another retailer is offering the same product at a better price.

Here’s an interesting breakdown of interesting search data as well as the biggest days for in-store and online shopping from last year. I personally try to do the majority of my shopping online from the comfort of my desk but if you still shop in stores, maybe this will help you plan your mall trip accordingly.



So what does this all mean?

More than anything, it means that online shopping is the new window shopping. People are searching online for inspiration and ideas throughout the day, not just to research specific products but to see what their friends and people they follow might be buying or sharing. Where you used to go to the mall and admire the window displays to get ideas, now people are turning to YouTube and Pinterest. So what about you? When did you start shopping?