It's that time of year again; time to start preparing your website for the Holiday Season.
Christmas is just about 6 months away from this week and already people are starting to search online for holiday gifts.
Since 2009, Google's been compiling data about holiday shopping experiences and then publishing it through www.google.com/think/insights. We're grabbing some of the important information and giving it to you with key takeaways. Unless otherwise noted, all the data presented here comes directly from Google's reports for retail stores.
From August 2009 through December 2009, Google surveyed to find out when people had started their online research. 44% of those surveyed said they started the process before August 30th that year.
Actual holiday purchasing was slightly different. In 2009 it is reported that 25% of those surveyed said they started buying before Halloween. That number stepped up to 26% in 2010.
Those making their purchases early had a variety of reasons including:
50% said they wanted to get ahead of the rush.
48% also said they liked to shop early.
43% also felt they could get a better price if they started shopping early.
38% were concerned with product availability and wanted to make sure they could get the gift they wanted.
32% simply said they were taking advantage of the deals, sales, and promotions they found.
Scads of research from Google, comScore, iModerate Research Technologies, and even our own findings prove that customers simply want the buy when there is a sale or discount of some type.
Many fine retail jewelry stores will sooner hold their breath than discount. However, the data shows that you are more likely to attract customers and sell products if you do provide sales and discounts when customers are expecting them.
Google has been tracking the search phrase "Black Friday" since 2007 and they report some interesting finding. Since 2007, shoppers are searching for "Black Friday" specials earlier. Here are the dates:
2007 saw searches appearing first on September 9th.
2008 saw searches appearing first on September 7th.
2009 saw searches appearing first on August 2nd.
2010 saw searches appearing first on July 18th.
What does this specifically mean?
Retail customers are looking for "Black Friday" sales, information, and Christmas savings offers. In 2010, Toys R Us had a "Christmas Savers Club" that allowed shoppers to save 3% on everything. Sears/Kmart had a specific "Christmas Lane" ready to attract those July searches. Other companies had online Christmas Bonus books and even "Black Friday Sale Preview" web pages.
As an action item for your jewelry store, you should start adding some pages to your website now that talk about Black Friday. This could be as simple as a blog post using the words "Black Friday," but if you are really looking to make money, you should create something specific that provides some type of deal.
If your website supports it, the Black Friday Preview is a good idea. Create a landing page that starts off by explaining your "Black Friday" special offers (use 400 words), then give a catalog of those special discounted products.
You could add a little bit of a gimmick to the Black Friday Preview. Every week from now until Black Friday you could show new items that are on sale. But the item is only on sale that week and then again on Black Friday. After all, it is a Black Friday preview.
We suggest showing all the previous items that were included in the preview, but be clear in saying the special price was only available during that previous week and then not again until Black Friday. You could show what next week's special will be, but not all 23 items (there are 23 Fridays from today until Black Friday). Instead, you should take your time to find the right products to feature. Surely you'll find some good styles and trends to feature during the rest of the summer trade shows.
The process we've explained is intended to tie together SEO for the phrase "Black Friday" along with a 23 week marketing concept.