Google is labeling this holiday shopping season “the year of the super-shopper,” in which all shoppers are able to efficiently discover, research and purchase.
“Shoppers around the world are more informed and more efficient than ever before,” said Google retail managing director Julie Krueger in a post today.
Krueger outlined a number of trends among holiday shoppers, including the finding that digital shoppers are more open to purchasing from new retailers and that mobile research is informing the final purchase decision.
Google noted that last year more than 50 percent of holiday shoppers said they were open to purchasing from new retailers and that more than 75 percent of smartphone shoppers who usually go to the same physical stores are “very open to” new brands online — mainly because digital window shopping can happen all in one place.
As the push toward omnichannel offerings has become pervasive, digital and physical shopping trips are becoming more closely linked. Before visiting a physical store, 64 percent of smartphone shoppers conducted a mobile search, and more than half of them discovered a new company or product on their phone, according to Google. Seventy-six percent of smartphone shoppers who searched for something nearby visited a related business within a day, and 28 percent of the time, that visit led to a purchase.
Mobile searches indicating a desire for quality over price are on the rise. Last year, searches related to “best gift” grew 70 percent, while inexpensive gift searches grew only 35 percent. Shoppers also wanted something “unique” and “cool,” Google said.
Video has seen a growth in popularity in the shopping process as well. Google-owned YouTube found that 24 percent of video viewers in the U.S. have visited YouTube for help with an in-store purchase decision or while visiting a store’s web site, and mobile watch time for product review videos has grown 60 percent in the last year.
Earlier this year, Google made a number of updates that encouraged the link between mobile searches and physical shopping trips. Google Shopping vice president of product management Jonathan Alferness referred to mobile phones as the “remote control” for physical retail. Updates include local inventory ads, which show if a product is nearby when a shopper searches for it on Google, in addition to a store pickup link (meaning a shopper can buy online then pickup in person), and local inventory that appears in the mobile search results that include information like store house and directions.
Google also recently opened up Google Maps to advertising, with features like “promoted pins” with the option to add special offers and product inventory.
Not to be outdone, Facebook in September updated the options for dynamic ads for retail, which allow Facebook’s mobile users to be served ads that feature products available in the store closest to them, and are customized for every store location with factors such as availability, pricing or promotions.