Based on the information presented by Google on the AdWords blog, I’m astounded that holiday shoppers have any time to do anything, like work or eat. It’s probably of no surprise to you that Google said that Black Friday has essentially turned into Black November, with shoppers beginning to do research as early as Halloween. (And people wonder why Christmas stuff starts showing up next to sexy vampire costumes.)
25/8 Shopping Research
What really surprised me was that based on their research, shoppers will consult 12 sources of information before making a purchasing decision, up from five in 2010. This is… just wow. They also state that they’ve discovered that people are relying on mobile surfing to help with research, going as late as 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. to do so. No kidding. I have a small list of people I shop for, about a dozen, and that would mean 144 shopping sources if I were the average Joe/Jill shopper.
This says to me that if you’re a retailer, you’d better make sure that you’ve got a solid mobile presence and that your online reputation and reviews are positive. If you’re struggling with either of those, my personal suggestion is to consider a social media aggregation service that at least tells you when someone has posted negative comments and respond to them. This may help mitigate the damage from a poor review.
Shoppers Are Odd Ducks
Google also mentioned that YouTube haul videos are having an increasing impact on what people buy. (Hauls are basically show and tell for shopping trips. Makeup and clothing are super popular haul video topics.) I’m not entirely sure that this will work for all industries, but YouTube videos in general can be a factor in people’s decision making based on review videos, especially ones that demonstrate how products work (or don’t as the case may be).
The surprising part of this is that apparently shoppers – one in four (?!) – have stated that they’ve pulled up a YouTube video to make a shopping decision while in a store. To me, this is just another example of how the way I shop is definitely not the way everyone else does. If you don’t have much going for you on YouTube, this might be a good idea to create a few demonstration videos for your products so that if people do search, they’ll find results.