Use Holiday Search Data To Prep Your SEM Campaigns For The Upcoming Season

It’s that time of year again – brick-and-mortar retailers are already decking the halls, and that endless loop of seasonal favorites pouring out of store speakers can’t be far behind. Hard to believe, but holiday shopping season is just around the corner.

Last holiday season, consumers spent $601.8 billion (up 3.8 percent from $592B the year before), the National Retail Federation (NRF) found, including on the critical shopping days of Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Thanksgiving (the top three online shopping days, respectively).

According to the NRF’s Monthly Consumer Survey from October 2013, shoppers planned to spend an average of $730 each on gifts, food and holiday decorations last year.


Much of this spending was fueled by the steady growth of online shopping – e-commerce spend grew quickly in 2013, according to the NRF, up 9.3 percent from the year prior, to $95.7B. It now accounts for 6.4% of overall retail spend, according to Census Bureau data from April of 2014.


An impressive 76 percent of smartphone owners planned to use their devices for holiday shopping last year, according to Google, and in 2014, smartphones are likely entrenched even more deeply in people’s lives.

Fortunately, marketers today have a powerful window into a consumer’s purchase intent: search data. To help advertisers create powerful campaigns, the Bing Ads team (my employer) looked at holiday retail searches during the top three shopping days across the Yahoo Bing Network, broken out by hour, spanning all retail categories and devices.

To dive in to the data and read the rest of this column, check out Marketing Land’s Holiday Retailer where I’ve contributed this month.

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