Christmas Day Sales on the Rise

Friday, December 18, 2009 | 5:35 PM

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One of the dominant trends that we’ve seen in online activity over Christmas is that popular interest in shopping is higher on Christmas Day than during many of the traditional shopping days preceding it.

Insights for Search for Christmas 2008 shows that web search interest in shopping first peaked around Cyber Monday (07-08th Dec) but compared to the rising trend on Christmas Day, that was at least 10% higher and over 20% higher than online interest on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th.

Retail related searches rise dramatically in December but pick up incredible momentum over the 24th and 25th and into the traditional Boxing Day sale period. This year, however, the ramp up in seasonal activity appears to be taking place without the prevalence of deep discounting that was so commonplace last year. Arguably, this means more inventory for many top retailers and a longer sales period that can be expected by consumers.

To date, Christmas 2009 appears to be defined not just by the lack of 2008’s fire-sale panic but by online retailer’s improved organisation. Many businesses have extended delivery windows for pre-Christmas Day shopping with cataloguers and pure-play retailers the like of Amazon taking orders for Christmas delivery up to and including December 23rd (or the 24th if you’re within the M25 [1]).

We also believe that there is better and more widespread industry understanding of the size of the opportunity presented by Christmas Day itself. Certainly, few if any, major retail clients have neglected to build their Christmas and Boxing Day sales campaigns in anticipation of increased consumer demand and stock availability. In our opinion, businesses are more adept than ever in targeting consumers with the most relevant and timely offers during the peaks of the holiday period.

A recent Uswitch study found that the average British broadband user now spends an average of 30 hours online each week [2]. With the high levels of search interest in retail and shopping searches before, during and after Christmas Day it seems that a disproportionate amount of this time - if not many more additional hours - will be spent over Christmas in search of great deals and insatiable retail therapy.

[1]Internet Retailing December 18, 2009
[2]Uswitch Study