You are reading part 6 of the 6-part 2022 Retail Marketing Guide. Jump to Chapter 1: Customers turn to Google every day to browse, research, and buy; Chapter 2: Build your brand and acquire new customers; or Chapter 3: Grow your online and in-app sales.
September 2021, 36% of shoppers across the Nordics and Benelux had planned to shop earlier than they did last year.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the holiday shopping season stretch out and flatten, resulting in longer periods of more consistent shopping with less dramatic peaks in demand. In fact, in September 2021, 36% of shoppers across the Nordics and Benelux had planned to shop earlier than they did last year.1 We predict that this trend will continue in 2022.
With shoppers continuing to combine online and in-store shopping, preparing an omnichannel holiday strategy early will be critical to reaching shoppers along their purchase journeys.
Holiday shopping is happening earlier and year-round
Holiday shopping is happening earlier and across several months, and we expect this trend to continue this holiday season. As of June 2021, 24% of shoppers in the Nordics and Benelux had already started their holiday shopping. By September, that number had risen to 31%.2
Of holiday shoppers surveyed in 2021
In June 2021, we saw that stock issues were top of mind for holiday shoppers, with nearly half of shoppers across the Nordics and Benelux saying they would start holiday shopping earlier to avoid an item being out of stock.3 Given the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and how it may impact the supply chain this year, it’s possible that we’ll see similar issues next holiday season.
Set yourself up for seasonal success by using sales and promotions as key tools to drive demand at off-peak times. Check your channel measurement strategies, upload your products and holiday deals sooner, and reveal shipping and return offerings to attract holiday shoppers early.
Prepare your holiday strategy earlier this year with Google
- Keep up with consumer demand with the Insights page in Google Ads and best sellers report.
- Give shoppers a reason to shop with you by adding information about promotions, sales, free and fast shipping options, and return and refund options directly to your product listings.
- Connect with local shoppers by creating a Business Profile and running a Local campaign.
Omnichannel shopping is the new normal
Holiday shoppers continue to embrace omnichannel shopping, with the line between online and offline shopping becoming increasingly blurred. This past holiday, only 4% of U.S. holiday shoppers did not use digital channels for their shopping.4
Convenience is key for people, and they want to be able to choose how and where they shop. This is especially important for last-minute shoppers, who rely on local and nearby stores. We’ve seen this trend in Google Maps, where searches for “gift shops near me” have grown globally by over 60% year over year.5
Offer online visibility to your in-store inventory and a range of delivery and collection options to make the purchasing experience as seamless as possible.
Connect with omnichannel shoppers
- Reach the right customers across the web by running a Performance Max campaign, and through your app by deep linking.
Holiday shoppers are turning to Google for inspiration
Shoppers seek inspiration from Google when they don’t have a specific product in mind. 53% of shoppers in the Nordics and Benelux used Google to get gift ideas and 46%7 did so because it inspired them when it comes to peak season.8 For retailers, visibility is critical to capturing these shoppers.
Shoppers seek inspiration from Google when they don’t have a specific product in mind.
Show up throughout the purchase journey with not only clear information about products, availability, and offers, but also inspiration-based content to pique their interest while browsing.
Meet your customers where they are
- Promote your products to the right customers at the right time across Google surfaces, like Search, YouTube, Gmail, and the Shopping tab. Smart Shopping campaigns provide access to this inventory through automated bidding and placements. Starting this month, Smart Shopping campaigns will upgrade to Performance Max campaigns.
- Inspire and engage shoppers as they browse Google’s personalised feeds on YouTube, Discover, and Gmail with Discovery campaigns.
- Use the power of video to inspire your customers to take action with Video action campaigns, and add a browsable product feed to show your best sellers directly alongside your video ad.