Since the beginning of November, we’ve been analysing impressions and clicks across our UK retail client base. Three interesting trends have emerged:
1. Mega Monday booms
For the last few years, the UK retail industry’s PR teams have been trying to create buzz around a particular day to drive online sales, similar to Cyber Monday in the US. Coined just in the last few years, the phrase “Mega Monday” has historically been on the first Monday in December. Last year in the UK, the first Monday in December delivered only 3% more clicks than the 2nd Monday in December. In other words, in 2011 there was not a clear winner of the largest online shopping day in the UK.
However, in 2012 UK retailers succeeded in driving a buzz around Mega Monday. There is a very clearly defined spike in paid search clicks on the 3rd December, which is 13% more than the next biggest Monday on the 26th November. UK retailers have finally succeeded in creating a successful Mega Monday buzz online.
2. US Cyber Monday drives UK intrigue, but not clicks
Looking to scale their significant investments, US retailers promoted their Cyber Monday (26th Nov) offers in the UK. In 2012, they succeeded in creating a Cyber Monday buzz in the UK, as it became the largest Monday in terms of paid search impressions during the holiday shopping period. However, Mega Monday generated more clicks and conversions.
Despite US retailers creating a buzz in the UK for Cyber Monday, UK consumers were not yet ready to buy as Cyber Monday click volume was lower than Mega Monday’s. This may be attributed to the fact that the 26th November comes before most consumers’ November paycheques, and therefore they are less inclined to spend out of their virtual wallets.
3. The rise of “Super Sundays”?
Interestingly, Sundays in 2012 increased in prominence (25th Nov, 2nd Dec and 9th Dec) as they all made it into the top five days in terms of retail clicks. Furthermore, Sunday 9th December produced more clicks than Monday 10th December. This is a strong indication that consumers are starting to research purchases earlier in the shopping season. UK Retailers should note these trends when planning for the 2013 holiday shopping season.
Whether it is Cyber Monday, Super Sundays, or Mega Monday, there is no doubt increased competition for the attention of consumers as they look online earlier in the holiday shopping season to find the best deals.
iProspect recently released their Retail Blueprint for 2012. This study highlights their findings from the 2011 holiday season and provides guidance for a successful 2012 online marketing program. Data from over 45 retailers was compiled and analyzed across three time periods: early (November 1 – 23), high (November 23 – December 22) and late (December 23 – January 8). Some of their key findings include:
With these insights, online marketers can start taking steps now to prepare for a successful 2012 holiday season. Creating and separating mobile campaigns, testing creative timing and messaging in the offseason, and integrating social and display programs are just a few initiatives online marketers should consider.
Want to read more holiday 2011 findings with recommendations for a successful 2012? Download the full report at http://www.iprospect.com/our-work/our-thinking