Historically, unlike the shopping trends from Black Friday and Cyber Monday where most of sales come from online purchases, sales during the weekend before Christmas (Super Saturday) predominantly come from in-store purchases. According to Bloomberg, “Super Saturday” retail sales in the US were expected to outperform the sales from events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, given shipping delays and shopper procrastination.
Our experts put this hypothesis to the test and analyzed the revenue data from Nov 20th (the week of Black Friday) through Dec 20th (the weekend before Christmas) for both 2019 and 2020. Graph 1 below shows that online sales spiked during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and then dwindled for both 2019 and 2020. It also shows that online shopping was not nearly as popular during Super Saturday.
We studied the trends for special offers and promotions during each major shopping events. Using our Online Advertising Intelligence solution, we collected and analyzed over 3.2 million ads from 42K retailers on Google Shopping from Nov 20th to Dec 20th. Graph 2 below shows that the special offers displayed in Google Shopping ads followed a similar pattern to the revenue trend. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weekend after Cyber Monday saw a spike in the usage of special offers, but have since tapered off.
We thought local inventory ad labels usage may have seen a spike, since there were many last-minute shoppers. Retailers had the opportunity to target shoppers nearby. Our data showed that the “Pick Up Today” label had been used quite consistently over the holiday shopping season. The “Free Pick Up Today” label’s usage spiked up over weekends, as shown in graph 3 below.
Finally, we investigated the usage of shipping annotations and labels on Google Shopping ads over the same time period and found the most popular choice for annotations was the ‘2-day delivery’ annotation. The usage of this annotation seemed to peak during Fridays (Nov 20th, 27th, Dec 4th, 11th) and dropped drastically on Mondays (Nov 23rd, 30th, Dec 7th, 14th). The shipping annotation usage was very low the weekend before Christmas, most likely due to people doing their shopping in physical stores, rather than online.
No matter how much we plan to do our holiday shopping early, there are always those that wait till the last minute. According to NRF, more than 150 million planned to shop on Super Saturday this year. Typically, this last-minute shopping helps large malls where people can do their one-stop shopping. With the COVID-19 pandemic still keeping many away from physical stores, we thought more ads on Google Shopping would target last-minute shoppers with “Free 1-day and 2-day” shipping options, however, the data we collected proved otherwise. Without the ease or option of mall shopping, many shoppers may be choosing to go to big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc. to do their last-minute Christmas shopping. Happy Holidays!