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Google shares 16 stats about holiday shoppers in a new document detailing recent shifts in consumer behavior.

While the holidays may look a little different this year, it’s still a season of peak demand and a critical time for businesses to connect with customers.

Google’s 27-page guide contains over a dozen useful data points to help marketers reach this year’s most engaged consumers.

Let’s start first by looking at the stats on search behavior.

Google Search Behavior of Holiday Shoppers

Throughout the guide Google references a number of search terms that are spiking in popularity.

  • Searches for “best affordable” have grown globally by over 60% year-over-year.
  • Searches for “fashion online shopping” are up 600% year-over-year.
  • Searches for “online clothing stores” have increased 100% globally year-over-year.
  • Searches for “available near me” have grown over 100% globally year-over-year.
  • Searches for “curbside pickup” have grown over 3,000% globally year-over-year.
  • Searches for “support local businesses” grew by over 20,000% since last year.

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Takeaways

These stats illustrate that an influx of customers are shopping for clothing online this year.

The data may also be an indication of how reluctant people are to shop in-store.

Clothing has traditionally been a product people like to see in person before committing to a purchase. Now, search data shows consumers are getting more comfortable shopping for clothing online.

Consumers appear to be more price conscious this year, as evident by the increase in “best affordable” searches.

What’s most notable is how dedicated customers are with regards to supporting local businesses. A 20,000% increase in searches!

Customers are also actively looking for products “available near me,” and are apparently adapting well to curbside pickup.

Local businesses need to take note of this, as they may be losing out on sales if they don’t have a curbside pickup option.

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Customers want to shop local – but they want to buy online and pick up their purchase at the curb. Make it easy for them to do that.

Out With the Old, In With The New

According to Google survey data, holiday shoppers are shifting from their old behavior and adapting to life in 2020.

  • 69% of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years (with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time.)
  • More than 50% of surveyed US shoppers tried a new shopping service for the first time this year.
  • More than one in ten surveyed US shoppers tried a new shopping app for the first time this year.
  • 70% of US shoppers said they were open to buying from new retailers.

Takeaways

Today’s shoppers are not averse to change. While the pandemic may have disrupted the shopping experience, it’s not going to stop people finding new options.

As the data shows, customers are comfortable with trying different shopping services and apps. Most are even fine with buying from new retailers altogether.

That harkens back to my earlier point about local businesses needing to offer curbside pickup. If your business doesn’t evolve to meet the needs of today’s shoppers, they’re perfectly happy to go elsewhere.

Buying Behavior of Holiday Shoppers

This next collection of stats focuses on notable shifts in customer intent.

  • 62% of US shoppers will start holiday shopping earlier to avoid items being out of stock.
  • 46% of online US shoppers expect retailers to offer discounts.
  • 77% of US holiday shoppers said they would browse for gift ideas online, not in-store.
  • 46% of surveyed US shoppers agreed that “I make a deliberate effort to shop at businesses that align with my values.”
  • 66% of US consumers who plan to shop this holiday season said they will shop more at local small businesses.

Takeaways

A recurring theme throughout the data presented in Google’s guide is the shift in customer intent toward buying locally.

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Customers are no doubt aware of the hardships local businesses are going through during the pandemic, and appear to be looking for ways to give back to their community.

Many customers are also actively looking to shop from businesses that align with their values.

That reinforces the need to establish a strong brand in order to appeal to today’s shoppers.

Discount codes are fast becoming an expectation in online retail. That doesn’t mean you have to offer blowout sales – even something like free shipping can go a long way.

For more insights on the 2020 holiday shopping season, see Google’s guide here (PDF link).

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