A Regional Analysis of Holiday Shopping Special Offers/Promotions

December 21, 2020
A Regional Analysis of Holiday Shopping Special Offers/Promotions Download PDF

We collected and analyzed ads from 38K retailers on over 2 million SKUs from 16.5K keywords searches across 17 categories from November to December. We found out which retailers had the greatest number of ads with special offers and what special offers were most popular in each region during this time of holiday shopping.

To understand this year’s holiday shopping trends, our experts at GrowByData recently analyzed the special offers and deals seen in Google Shopping ads for Black Friday, compared to Cyber Monday. The data showed record-breaking Black Friday promotions.

This time, we collected and analyzed an entire month’s worth of Google Shopping ads data from November to December, to see how great the spikes in special offers were during these dates, compared to other regular weeks. By analyzing ads from 38K retailers on over 2 million SKUs from 16.5K keywords searches across 17 categories (using our Competitive Advertising Intelligence Solutions), we came up with the following conclusions.

Looking at the trends of special offers on Google Shopping ads below in Graph 1, we see that the number of ads with special offers were gradually growing and then a steep increase was seen on Black Friday (Nov 27th) and Cyber Monday (Nov 30th). The high number of ads with special offers seemed to have continued into the weekend, following Cyber Monday as well.

Daily Special Offers Trend

Regional Distribution

Our Ad Intelligence solution collected ad data from 4 different regions – Virginia, Ohio, California, and Oregon. Graph 2 shows the regional distribution of special offers on ads from November to December. Per the data, far more special offers were found on ads in the Virginia and Ohio regions, than in the California and Oregon regions.

Special offers by Region

After discovering which regions had more ads with special promotions and which had less, we wanted to find out exactly what kind of promotions were popular in each of the 4 regions. Through analyzing the data, we found the promotion “Autoship and Save 5%” was the most popular special offer, used by almost 8% of the retailers across the regions. The next most popular special offer used by 3-5% of the retailers in all 4 regions was “20% Off”, as shown in Graph 3. It seemed that a variation of a 20% discount was the most frequently offered special offer throughout the 4 regions.

most popular special offers per region

We dug deeper into the special promotions data to find out which retailers had the highest number of ads with special offers. The top 5 categories using special offers on ads were Animal & Pet Supplies (20%), Apparel and Accessories (12%), Arts and Entertainment (10%), Sports and Outdoors (9.5%), and Furniture (9%). Graph 4 below showed Chewy.com as the retailer with the greatest number of ads containing special offers in all 4 regions. However, the number of Chewy.com ads with special offers greatly differed across the regions, with 40K found in Virginia, versus only 14K found in Oregon. The top 5 retailers were quite similar in all 4 regions, except for Dick’s Sporting Goods, which made it in the top 5 in the Virginia region, with 6.8K ads containing special offers found.

Retailers with Most ads containing special offers per region

Device Distribution

Looking into the device distribution of special offers on ads, 73% of them were found on mobile devices, compared to just 27% on desktops. Viewing at a regional level, we found the California region had the biggest difference in special offers displayed on mobile devices versus desktops, as seen in Graph 5. This shows that although there were fewer ads found on desktop devices, the competition was also far less for retailers, especially in California, where only 11% of the special offers were found desktop ads.

Special Offers by region and device

Impact of Special Offers on Ad Rankings

 Looking into the impact of special offers on the ads’ rankings, we found that during our month of data analysis, over 40% of the ads that had special offers on them were ranked in the top 10 in all four regions. Graph 6 below shows that as we move down the rankings, the percentage of ads that have special offers on them were also decreasing. This shows that having special offers on your ads can help your ads rank higher.

special offers by Ad rank per region

In Conclusion

Retail events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are major opportunities for advertisers to use special offers to gain more sales. From the Holiday Shopping analysis above, we see that a few weeks before these events are typically when retailers start increasing the use of special offers. However, we discovered that the usage of these special offers in ads have still not decreased significantly (even weeks after Cyber Monday). This could be a sign that special offers will continue being used at a high rate until the end of the holiday season. Follow our blog to discover the latest insights on holiday shopping special offer trends! Happy Holidays!

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GrowByData Content Team

Team of Data Analyst, Business Analyst, and Project Managers with years of experience in data analysis and online retail industry

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