I Will Be Getting a Better TV for the World Cup… When I Can Afford It!

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 5:26 PM

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Many retailers have been asking us about the anticipated impact of the 2010 World Cup and what they should do online to capture the sales inertia created by the tournament.

Well in short, we believe that the typical sectors like Audio Visual, Groceries and Home Appliances (including BBQs, mini fridges etc) will be leading the charge (especially if the weather holds up!). However, thinking about what businesses should do to capitalise on this opportunity presents further questions. Namely, will there be a shift in search behaviour in the lead up to this year’s tournament?

Looking at the below extract from Insights for Search we can see that the top rising search terms during Oct’09 (what could be considered as a reasonable reflection of a consumer’s research period) are all fairly generic. They reflect how the British public like researching consumer electricals online while looking for a bargain with modifiers such as “sale” and “deals” being thrown into the mix.

(Google Insights for Search, October 2009)

In contrast, when we look at the top rising searches within the same category in the run-up to the 2006 tournament there is a marked difference in what people were searching for. The top six rising searches were all TV product codes:

(Google Insights for Search, May '06 - June '06)

This implies that just before the last World Cup consumers were clearer on what they wanted and a few front runners became the most searched TVs among Google users in the UK! For TV manufacturers, wouldn’t this be great news if it was your products? If you are a retailer how much would you want these purchases to come through your store?

Below we can see the top terms from March’06 – Apr’06. While there are a few “break out” searches for champion products such as the Panasonic Viera th42px60 (“The best Viera so far, and a superb use of plasma technology”[1), there are also many generic/research type keywords like “HDTVs”, and leading brands such as “Bravia” and “Samsung”. What is interesting to note is the lack of “cheap” or “deal” related search terms at this point.

(Insights for Search Mar '06 - Apr '06)

It is also interesting to look at when the major Home Video spike in interest occurred:

(Google insights for search May ’06 – June’06)

Category interest was highest on the last weekend of the month, presumably after everyone had been paid. While we are missing conversion data, we would be confident that sales would have followed a similar pattern (online and off). Against type there is a spike in interest on a Saturday and in our experience only key shopping events like Christmas - and of course England being in the World Cup! - influence the UK’s weekly search patterns like this.

While it is not that surprising to think that most people are likely to purchase a product once they have been paid, what is interesting is that it seems many will have already considered what products they want to buy.

… So what are the implications of these trends ahead of this year’s World Cup? If you are a manufacturer then make sure people know about your TVs asap. Display advertising could be one solution. If you are a retailer, advertising on all relevant keywords at the various stages of the purchasing funnel will help ensure that you influence consumers, so when they are ready to make that all important purchase they think of your goods!

[1] cnet UK, 7th April 2006


Jamil Kassam said...

Nice article - do you have any info on when users start searching in order to ensure they will have the product in their homes in time for the World Cup? What is the lead time to purchase for a high ticket item such as a new TV?

Brendan Patterson said...

Thanks for the feedback!

I think the short answer is that users are searching online now so it’s best to try and to capitalize on that interest as soon as possible. Insights for Search should be able to give you a better view of how and when that search interest develops. Also, we would recommend consulting your analytics data to gain more of an insight into lead times for purchases of high end products.