2008 Holiday Retail Search Traffic Forecast

Microsoft’s adCenter blog has posted their 2008 Holiday Advertising Guide for search advertisers.

Some of the guide’s highlights:

“Online retail shopping increases in November by more than 100 percent.1 Adding promotions like free shipping make an enormous difference—57 percent of consumers stated that free shipping is a reason for them to shop online.2 For search and display advertising, online buying will peak on Black Friday, November 28, followed by Cyber Monday, December 1.”

1. Hitwise Market Share in all Categories, 2008.
2. iCongo/Harris Interactive, April 22, 2008.

Based on the percentage of consumer interest and barring any data suggesting otherwise, shipping costs appear to have become the largest remaining barrier to consumers shopping and buying online.

Can elimination of shipping costs insure and increase internet retailers sales prospects this 2008 holiday season?

As the largest online retailer, Amazon.com demonstrated their understanding of the power of free shipping by offering it during the 2007 holiday season.

Amazon is again offering free shipping this holiday shopping season with some conditions through their Amazon Prime Member program.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime

In this current economic climate, aren’t internet retailers who don’t follow Amazon’s lead by offering some type of free shipping risking transaction losses to internet retailers – like Amazon – who do?

According to Microsoft’s Holiday Advertising Guide and their traffic data from 2007, Internet retailers can expect four peak search traffic periods during this holiday season:

1. Black Friday

2. Cyber Monday

3. Holiday Crunch

4. Post Holiday

Holiday Search Traffic

Holiday Search Traffic

Important search traffic dates for internet retailers this year will be:

1. Black Friday: November 28, 2008

2. Cyber Monday: December 1, 2008

3. Holiday Crunch: Occurs between December 4, 2008 and December 18, 2008

4. Post Holiday: Begins on December 26, 2008

Internet retailers who advertise free shipping this holiday season can forecast a larger percentage of transactions generated via search from within their market than internet retailers who don’t.


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One Response to “2008 Holiday Retail Search Traffic Forecast”

  1. bargainalice Says:

    How The Economy Will Affect 2008 Black Friday

    Ok. You’ve studied a Black Friday Ads site like http://www.2008blackfridayads.com, targeted the stores and the products you want and you are ready to go out on Black Friday.

    Will you be alone? Will the economy scare the other shoppers away? Will the stores be afraid to sell items for less? Should you save your money and hope a better deal comes along later – or use it to pay the rent?

    Black Friday needs only two things to be successful: stores with unbelievable deals and people in the stores with cash or credit. Will the economy affect any of these things?

    No! What? Are you nuts?

    Think about it – it’s going to be the best Black Friday ever for the consumer and here’s why:

    1. Economy up or down doesn’t affect my desire for a big screen HDTV. I want it, I want it, I want it.

    2. Economy down and other people not buying means Best Buy has a warehouse full of Sony and Samsung TVs – and Sony and Samsung have their own warehouses full. Those businesses have their cash tied up in inventory. They need cash. They get cash only if they sell their inventory. At the end of a quarter and the end of the year – both happen on December 31 – Best Buy, Sony, Samsung and all other businesses want their financial reports showing sales, the warehouse empty and their bank accounts full. They will sell their inventory for retail, wholesale, at a loss – they don’t care – they need to sell it. That’s good for me and you.

    3. People either have cash or credit. Think a lack of cash stops them? Duh. Banks hand out credit cards like Halloween candy.

    So there you have it. Manufactures and retail stores with too much inventory, too little sales and too little cash. People with all the credit they need.

    No manufacturer or stores is going to pass up this last opportunity to sell something – they’re scared and everything will be at ridiculously low prices.

    How will the economy affect 2008 Black Friday? It will produce record low prices.

    Stay tuned to sites like http://www.2008BlackFridayAds.com. Sites like that will keep showing you the best deals from now, thru the end of the year and into 2009. There’s deals to be had!

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