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Retail / studies
Access the latest research and thoughts from leaders in the retail space. Whether your business is focused on in-store sales or online eCommerce, we provide multi-channel insights and case studies to help you evolve your retail strategy and connect with consumers in the moments that matter.
Are you dialing up your marketing efforts for the retail holiday season already? Google pooled its 2011 holiday learnings to develop this quick guide to highlight the most important retail holiday facts, key dates and search trends at a glance. A holiday marketer's 411.
Today, people no longer see a line between online and offline shopping, and neither do smart retailers. This year online and offline shopping experiences are more seamless than ever before - across pricing, functionality, and promotions - making this the first "Nonline" holiday season. We partnered with Ipsos to uncover consumer shopping behaviors that advertisers can expect for holiday 2012:
- Online and offline shopping is blurring: 80% of shoppers will research online before making a purchase this season, and they switch devices to suit their needs. For example, 51% of shoppers will research online and then visit the store to purchase, while 17% will visit a store first and then purchase online. Another 32% will research online, visit store to view a product, then return online to purchase. In short, the shopper's journey looks less like a funnel and more like a flight map, and the lines between online and offline shopping experiences are blurring.
- People are shopping smarter: Shoppers are starting earlier and using more devices to inform their purchases. 85% of people shop for a gift on one device and then make their purchase on another. To do so, 45% will leave an item in the virtual shopping cart, 45% will send themselves an email or link, and 32% will conduct a new search on a new device.
- Trusted connections are coming online: It used to be that shoppers and merchants formed connections offline - a salesperson could spark a conversation with a shopper in the store. Now these connections are happening both online and offline. With YouTube and social networks, people are sharing their opinion on products not just with a group of friends, but with millions of people. 13% of shoppers plan to watch online videos to help with shopping research, and 48% will use tablets to read product reviews before purchasing.
More than half of all desktop, netbook, laptop and tablet shoppers do not have a specific brand in mind at the start of their purchase process. Google conducted a study with Compete to understand how digital resources shapes their ultimate purchase decisions. We found:
- Search is a key resource and a third of online buyers start their search with a category term: Influence undecided shoppers with search ads on category terms. Value these customers differently than those referred by brand terms.
- The number of shoppers watching online video about Portable PCs has tripled year over year. Enhance your online video strategy by advertising in more video content (incremental reach) and creating informative and helpful content to convince consumers to chose your brand and to support customers post-purchase.
- The number of Portable PC shoppers researching on mobile devices has grown double digits year over year. Optimize websites for mobile and reach shoppers with ads on their #1 mobile shopping resource - search.
How can retailers drive new customer acquisition? Google and Compete partnered to understand the digital path that can break this glass ceiling. Here's what we found:
- Apparel shoppers are undecided on brand: More than 1 in 3 are unsure of what brand or where to buy.
- Customers shop around before converting: 31% of people who bought apparel online visited more than five sites before making a purchase.
- Search is a key shopping instrument: In the 30 days leading up to conversion, 9 out of 10 conversions have been search referred.
- Top is best: Category term top ad positions are 35x more likely to drive new customer acquisition than bottom ads.
Did you know? More than half of apparel sales will be online influenced by the end of 2012. Google partnered with Compete to learn more about the apparel shopper's path to purchase, and in particular, their mobile and video habits as it relates to the shopping process. Here's what we found:
- Mobile devices aid discovery: Nearly half of mobile apparel shoppers discover new brands on mobile devices.
- Video drives apparel sales: 4 in 10 visited in store or retailer website as a result of watching apparel videos.
- Online apparel shoppers can't resist a good deal: Over 1 in 4 purchases are impulsive, with 73% of apparel shoppers reporting that it is because they received a good deal.
Technology has changed how consumers use voice services and online video is competing with cable TV. Google engaged Compete to better understand 2012 wireline shopper trends specifically around how video and mobile research resources shape decisions. Here are some of our findings:
- Wireline shoppers that use online video as a research resource has doubled from 2011. Online video is also proven to prompt viewers to take action: 77.6% of respondents who saw an online video ad looked up the wireline service advertiser for more information. Yet, the research finds that almost half of all wireline shoppers are not aware that wireline videos even exist. There is significant opportunity for marketers to use media to drive awareness of research videos.
- Search is the number one source used by mobile researchers and is most likely to be used at the beginning of mobile research process. Once the wireline service is discovered, mobile shoppers are using their mobile phones to contact service providers as the immediate next step. Marketers can facilitate this process by using click to call ads to connect shoppers to service providers even more quickly.
Technology has changed how consumers use voice services and online video is competing with cable TV. Google engaged Compete to better understand 2012 wireline shopper search trends and the motivating factors for canceling landline and Pay TV plans. Here are some of our findings:
- 25% of shoppers that dropped or plan to drop their high-speed internet service said it was because they pay for data on their smartphones. 10% of shoppers that dropped or plan to drop their high-speed internet service said it was because they pay for data on their tablets.
- Provider sites and search engines are the most useful digital resources and are used most often throughout the research process.
- Advertisers relying solely on organic search miss 1 in 3 converters from search engines.
66% of large appliance purchases - like stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washer/dryers - are driven by shoppers who are looking to replace broken appliances or looking to upgrade. Google engaged Compete in this 2012 study to understand how shoppers approach the purchase of these large ticket items. Here's what we found:
- While 92% of large appliance purchases are made offline, online influences almost half of all appliance sales.
- More than 3 in 4 TV and newspapers ad viewers research online within 2 weeks of exposure.
- 56% of large appliance shoppers look to home improvement websites for information, 54% to retail store websites and 35% to large appliance manufacturer websites.
- 37% check prices for large household appliances at other locations while in a store.
- 28% of search conversions for large appliances come from clicks on paid search ads.
We are beginning to develop a strong understanding of how shoppers engage with their mobile devices and tablets as they make their purchase decisions. We partnered with Ipsos during the 2011 holiday shopping season to uncover the following interesting behaviors that advertisers can leverage all year round:
- Consumers use their smartphones at many different points in their purchase path. 41% of those who use their mobile phones to help with shopping said they made a purchase directly on their smartphone. 46% said they researched an item on their smartphone then went to a store to make the purchase. 37% said they researched an item on their smartphone then made the purchase online.
- Consumers who own tablets read product reviews and look for product information more from their tablet devices than from their desktop computer or smartphone. The large screen and portability of the device enables consumers to use it more often and in more places.
- More consumers used their smartphones to contact a retailer this holiday than in previous years. This is driven by the natural calling ability of phones, access to click-to-call phone numbers on websites and click-to-call ad features that seamlessly connect users to retailers.
- 80% of smartphone shoppers and 70% of tablet users said they used their device more frequently this year.
This study provides a metanalysis of 18 True View brand uplift campaigns. The TrueView format allows users to skip ads, whereas with prerolls advertisers only pay per completed view based on an auction system (fixed CPM).
- Overall brand impact of TrueView is lower than for preroll because 78% of views are skipped by the users
- Skipped views (= unpaid impressions) still have a significant positive impact on brand metrics
- This leads to TrueView being 2.8 times more effective than Preroll regarding brand uplift per paid contact
- Up to a bid of 0.04Euro per completed view TrueView is more efficient than Preroll. After that Preroll becomes the more efficient format.
For the first time ever the majority of purchasers does online research before purchasing. The online purchase share shows limited growth for most products, however online research grows strongly and consistently across all countries and products.
- Online purchase mainly grows in travel and media, however online research grows strongly and consistently across all countries and products.
- Online research grows equally strong amongst online and offline purchasers and is consistent amongst countries and products as well.
- Products of higher value show both more online research and more online purchase than lower value products.
This study looks at ROPO (research online purchase offline) behaviour in UK FMCG sector, focusing on FMCG searchers and those who have visited a grocery retail online site. The study combines single source data for online behaviors and offline purchases in those categories.
- In 2011, 64% of UK internet users spent significant time researching brands before making a major purchase (vs. 50% in 2008).
- 47% of main shoppers visit grocery retailer websites and 72% search for FMCG related terms. Two thirds of main shoppers search for Food & Drink related terms, half search for Beauty information.
- Main shoppers who Search & Visit spend +13% more in-store than those who do neither.
- Main shoppers who search for FMCG information online are younger, more affluent and have larger households.