With the holiday season approaching, consumers will start exploring gift options several weeks before Christmas Eve – just like always. To help keep your business stay up-to-date with search trends, let’s take a look at some historical data for inspiration.
Holiday season starts early – be prepared!
In an annual survey on the subject of the holiday season, Deloitte asked Poles about their plans regarding holiday shopping. In the 2016 edition, people surveyed claimed to spend 1 121 PLN on it, or 5% more than the year before. 44% of this money was said to be spent on gifts, 45% on food and 11% on events with friends.1 We tend to prepare thoroughly for the holiday season, which is why 67% of Poles buy gifts before 15 December, with a few people (23%) wrapping their presents as early as November. This can be clearly seen in the search trends: it’s just a couple of days into November when Polish Internet users turn their attention to online sources of inspiration and start searching for gifts.
Starting from that time, there are several occasions during which businesses can tap into consumers’ attention. The first of these is Black Friday, which in 2017 is on 24 November. Last year it attracted around 2 million queries – that’s 300% more than the year before, which suggests both strong and quickly growing user interest. When searching for Black Friday, people tend to make their queries more specific by adding retailers’ names, e.g. “lidl black friday” or “media expert black friday”. Apparently, they may already have a gift idea in mind.
Following this event, consumer interest is drawn back to search for Cyber Monday (+125% growth in interest in 2016) and Free Delivery Day (+15%). However, Poles do search for gifts throughout this whole time, with the peak being between Saint Nicholas Day (6 December) and literally hours before Christmas Eve. The holidays are a time of rest, which means we also turn our attention to YouTube in search of Christmas songs as well as some more general entertainment and inspiration.
Holiday trends in selected categories
With the last quarter of the year being the busiest time for retail, search shows increasing user interest in several product and service categories.
Food and cooking are a crucial part of the holiday season. When searching for recipes, we turn to Google. Around December, top rising queries include gingerbread, borscht, bigos and pierogis. According to Deloitte’s report, 11% of our holiday budget goes towards events with friends. We might want to use that money to treat ourselves to finger food after Christmas and around New Year’s Eve, hence the interest in “party snacks”.
In apparel, December is the time to get ready for New Year’s Eve, which is why among the top rising queries in that month, we usually see “new year’s eve dresses” spiking the most. There is also a slight tendency to search more often for jewellery (“silver earrings”, “women’s watch”), with one special query in particular probably intended for a proposal on a certain day (“engagement ring”). These queries are followed by searches for men’s shirts, wallets, pajamas and last year’s hit – chokers.
About 20% one top YouTube content in Poland refers to #vlogmas. This tag is used mainly around lifestyle and beauty content to emphasise this special time of the year.
Poles visit YouTube during the holiday season in search of entertainment. In particular, we use it as a companion at the Christmas table. The next time you hear “All I Want for Christmas”, it’s plausible it’s being watched on YouTube. We also use YouTube as a companion when preparing those magic moments. We search for content to do with decorating our homes and the gifts that we give to our friends and family. When we want to know how to make Christmas decorations, we open YouTube and ask “how to make a paper star” or “how to draw a christmas tree”.
We start searching for the perfect Christmas gift as early as mid-November. As we can see from the plethora of questions being asked of Google and YouTube, they’re the ultimate inspiration machines, helping us to choose the right gifts, decorate Christmas trees and tables, and entertaining us when we finally take some time to chill out in front of a YouTube video.