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Black Friday outstrips Boxing Day for mobile search volumes, finds Google

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Black Friday had the highest share of retail searches on mobile, making the shopping event outshine Boxing Day for search popularity.

The rise of mobile has transformed how Black Friday itself peaks. In the ‘old’ days it was a case of bargain hunters sitting in front of their PCs waiting for the turn of midnight and then bargain hunting into the wee small hours. Mobile, however, means that people can shop at more convenient times, such as first thing when they are commuting.

Martijn Bertisen, retail director at Google explains: “The Black Friday period is getting longer and, instead of staying up late to research the best deals, consumers are using their phones more than ever to research deals during morning commute times on Black Friday and at store opening times on Boxing Day.”

He adds: “Mobile continues to be the largest growth driver across the retail business, with the strongest growth in fashion, beauty and home.”

Retailers must adjust their digital marketing strategies to directly target the ‘Google generation,’ as the latest figures demonstrate the importance effective omnichannel communication with customers.

Overall, the North of the UK, and Yorkshire in particular, saw the highest share of UK retail searches (26%), with Greater London taking the second place with 23%, according to the BRC Google online retail monitor, which analysed mobile search activity for retail products in the UK for the last quarter of the year in 2017.

In addition, Home and Garden online departments experienced the highest year on year (YoY) increase for UK smartphone users, with a growth of 27% for the same quarter.

Oversea searches for UK brands grew by 19% YoY for Q4 in 2017. Italy demonstrating to be the EU leader when it comes to ‘Googling’ UK brands, with its search volumes spiked up to 30% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The final quarter of 2017 saw modest growth in the volume of online search activity for retail products, which was driven predominantly by mobile searches once again. It was the weakest quarter for growth last year, but that reflects the fact that shoppers are increasingly accessing retailers’ websites via social networks and e-mail marketing, rather than using search engines. Indeed, over Black Friday, a number of retailers noted that their e-mail campaigns were particularly successful in attracting shoppers to their websites. This only serves to illustrate the importance for retailers of making the most of all their channels for communicating with shoppers,” says Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive at British Retail Consortium.

Dickinson adds:“Nevertheless, festivities over the Autumn and Winter months spurred a flurry of Google activity as consumers hunted for the perfect outfit to celebrate the occasion. Novelty Christmas jumpers and Halloween costumes soon became the top trending search terms. Interestingly, as retailers have spread out their Black Friday promotions, the popular shopping week overtook Boxing Day last year on Google search volumes, as consumers took more time to research deals.

She concludes:“Browsing for an online bargain will likely become common practice for the increasingly discerning shopper as the squeeze on disposable income persists.”

Photo credit: click_and_photo (Fotolia)

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