Google is sharing new research and Google Search insights to help UK retailers understand current shopping habits and plans for Christmas ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush.
The Google Retail Index, conducted with research partner Trinity McQueen, surveyed over 5,000 UK shoppers and found that current economic uncertainties were top of mind for many and expected to alter their seasonal shopping plans as a result. This is reflected by today’s Google Search Trends which show searches for “inflation” increased by 112 per cent year-on-year amongst Britons, although interest in Black Friday continues to accelerate, with searches increasing by 30 per cent year-on-year.
The Index also found that online shoppers are conducting more research than ever before making a purchase, with 62 per cent using Google’s Shopping tab to compare similar products from different retailers. This aligns with a rise in Google searches to compare similar products and gather inspiration. In the last three months, searches for “best coat” increased over 387 per cent, “best deals” rose 50 per cent and “best hair product” also went up by 50 per cent.
Key findings from the research (conducted September 2022) include:
- Three quarters tried a new sports brand or retailer in the last six months
- 80 per cent of sports apparel consumers said economic uncertainty has impacted their plans for Christmas 2022 and yet a quarter said they intend to spend more than last Christmas
- 43 per cent of sports apparel consumers say that they will shop around for better deals/discounts this Christmas as a result of current economic uncertainties
Home and furniture consumers
- 3 in 4 home shoppers said that “economic uncertainty” has impacted their plans for Christmas
- 63 per cent of home and furniture consumers said they don’t have a specific retailer or brand in mind when gathering inspiration for a purchase
- 65 per cent of home and furniture consumers said they would cut back on buying luxury or expensive gifts this Christmas and 60 per cent are planning to shop with more affordable retailers
- Almost half (47 per cent) of fashion consumers have bought from a new retailer in the last six months, a significant increase on 2020 when just 24 per cent said the same
- Three in four fashion consumers said “economic uncertainty” has impacted their plans this Christmas, yet three in five said they plan to spend the same amount as last year
- The majority of fashion consumers said they spend one to two months gathering inspiration for Christmas shopping, however 1 in 5 buy on impulse
Electronic goods consumers
- Over half (65 per cent) said they are cutting back on luxury gift buying this Christmas
- Prior to a purchase, 51 per cent of gadget consumers claimed they don’t have a specific brand or retailer in mind when in the inspiration gathering phase
- 44 per cent of gadgets consumers said they’re planning to shop online rather than in-store in the next six months because it’s easier to compare different products – only 33 per cent said the same when asked in March
- 8 in 10 beauty consumers plan to spend the same amount or less this Christmas
- Almost half (49 per cent) of beauty consumers have bought from a new retailer in the last six months
- Over half (57 per cent) of beauty consumers said they browse online before an in-store purchase
“Retailers know all too well that the key to their success lies in meeting their customers where they are, by catering to their evolving needs and preferences. That’s why we’re sharing insights into their customers’ search and shopping habits and plans for the peak shopping season,” said Kevin Mathers, MD, Retail at Google. “Our findings point to the fact that people are browsing more, are increasingly open to trying new brands, and respond best to omnichannel shopping experiences with 30 per cent of UK shoppers today browsing online to decide what they’re going to buy before heading to a physical store to make the purchase. Retailers with strategies to capitalise on these trends will reap the rewards.”
To best prepare for 2022’s peak season, Google’s Mathers recommends that retailers keep the following three things in mind:
Automation key during uncertain times. Retailers can feed their first-party data into automated tools to drive the return on advertising spend they want to achieve.
Using marketing campaigns that cover multiple fronts. By connecting sales data across touchpoints, retailers can more accurately measure the impact of marketing on in-store outcomes.
Tackle challenges by uniting teams. Omnichannel marketing campaigns are most successful when teams across an organisation break down silos to work together and deliver a seamless experience.