Consumer Intentions for Holiday 2009

Uploaded by GoogleBusiness on 21.10.2009

>>KLEINBERG: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us today for Think with Google, Consumer Intentions
for Holiday 2009. My name is Sara Kleinberg. I lead the marketing team at Google for the
retail and technology businesses. Today, we're here to talk about the upcoming holidays,
what we're seeing at Google, what we're hearing from consumers and as a result, our recommendations
for your holiday marketing program. I'm joined today by Mark Martel who manages our technology
marketing program at Google. >>MARTEL: Hello, everyone.
>>KLEINBERG: So, before we get started, let's go through a few housekeeping items. First
of all, if you have questions throughout the webinar, please use the chat box in the WebEx
tool to send us your questions and we'll stop a couple of times throughout the presentation
to answer some questions and then, we'll have a Q&A section at the end. At the end of the
webinar, when you're ready to log off, please fill out the survey that you'll see in the
WebEx tool. We want to hear back from you how valuable today was, so we make sure to
bring you valuable programs in the future. And finally, we will be emailing you a recording
of the presentation in just a couple of days, so you'll have a copy of everything we went
over today. Okay? Yeah, I'll go ahead and get started. So, heading into the holiday
season, there's been some positive news. The recession has been declared over, which feels
good and, you know, obviously, we're still faced with some challenges and some unknowns,
but we are seeing some optimism; the holiday shopping will be stronger this year than last
year. Consumers seem to want their holidays back. As Google fielded some primary research
in September to understand how consumers were thinking heading into the holiday season and
what they were expecting to do, and we found that they are planning to purchase gifts.
So of course, they're focused on some of the practical categories like apparel and electronics
for the home, but we also saw, you know, some of those fun categories again. We saw toys.
We saw jewelry and entertainment items and a few lighter items in the purchase plans
for this year. So, with those things in mind, let's talk about the five trends we're seeing
here at Google and how we think they can help you with your holiday marketing strategy.
So first of all, we're seeing an increase in consumer research before they are confident
to make a purchase and that's being reflected in increased online research. Second of all,
folks are already doing their holiday shopping. It's already been started, and we expect to
see it continuing to the very last minute. Thirdly, if you give consumers an incentive,
they will make a purchase. Fourth, coupons--coupons are here to stay. And fifth, there's a lot
of choice out there in the marketplace for consumers, so you need to think about how
that impacts your strategy. So with that, I'll turn it over to Mark to get us started.
>>MARTEL: Thanks Sara. So, let's start with the first trend, increased online research.
Across a wide range of categories, Google's search data has shown us a significant increase
in the frequency of online searches through 2009 but also even stretching back further
into 2008. According to independent research firm comScore, their data suggests that the
number of searches conducted every month per searcher is up by 25% in 2009 versus 2008,
and we feel that this behavior reflects a shift in the mindset of the consumer. Regardless
of whether the purchase ultimately happens online or offline, we're seeing more cautious
consumers. They're seeking out more information prior to making purchase decisions to ensure
that when they do buy, they're getting the right product and the best deal. And Search
has proven to be one of the quickest and most reliable ways for consumers to get relevant
information about the products, the brands and the deals they're considering. So, if
Search is up, let's take a look at how that increased search activity has affected the
share of referral visits to a few major shopping categories. This time looking at data from
independent research firm Hitwise, we analyzed the change in the share of visits referred
from search engines to five major retail categories, comparing September 2009 versus September
2008. Here are the results we saw. Within the computer and Internet category, the share
of search referred traffic was up 26% year over year. In apparel, it was up 8%. Entertainment
was up 22%. Travel at 12% and health and beauty at 5%. So, what this data is telling us is
that when you consider all of these choices of website referral traffic, search engines
are accounting for a larger share of visits in 2009 than 2008 in all of these important
consumer shopping categories. So, if search volume is up and pro-business is up, what
are people searching for? And what kind of clues and insights can we get from search
behavior about what might be likely to be hot this holiday season? Goggle offers a free
tool called Insights for Search and this is a web-based tool that we think can offer some
clues and answers to that question. For those of you who haven't used it before, Insights
for Search is a free web-based tool that allows everyone to access and itemize Google Search
data and to start and analyze search trends. It can also tell you the largest and the fastest
rise in terms with a category, which is what we've done here. Before we kind of run through
the highlights category by category, let's talk for a minute about how this data might
be used. So, if you think about those terms that are being searched on and are rising
quickly in the search rankings in terms of search volume, it's usually because there's
a lot of consumer interest and momentum behind it. So, marketers that are able to adjust
their promotions and adjust what messages they're putting out, what offers they're promoting
through their marketing communications channels to focus on those fast rising products, have
a better chance of growing their share of sales around that particular wave of consumer
interest. All right, so let's take a look at what the tool suggests may have momentum
heading into this holiday season. Starting in apparel and jewelry, we see a significant
interest in retail outlets; DSW shoes, Charlotte Russe, Skechers and Vans shoes, Polo Ralph
Lauren and Fredericks of Hollywood, charms and bracelets from Pandora and engagement
rings from Tiffany and Zales. Scanning over to the tech and telecom category, we've seen
rising search interest in media players like Microsoft Zune HD and Apple's iPod, lot of
interest in Netbooks and mini notebooks from Acer, HP and Dell, as well as the general
terms--these are unbranded terms--Netbook and mini laptop. Amazon's Kindle has been
hot. Palm Pre and Apple's iPhone have been hot, and also, the increasing interest in
prepaid has helped boost mobile; actually rise into the hot queries in 2009. Also worth
noting is a hot Spanish term we see here for Claro mensajes, a search often typed by U.S.
Hispanics who want to send text messages to subscribers of Claro, a major Latin American
mobile operator. In the toys, movie and games category, we have seen some of the hot terms
include G.I. Joe and Streetfighter. We've seen Mario Bros., Barbie games, Sims 3 and
movie and DVD franchises like the Fast and Furious, Transformers, as well as TV series
Dollhouse and Weeds season five also showing up in the hot results. And again, in Spanish
language, we're seeing two other queries, one for Juegos de vestir, which are dress-up
games and another for Juegos de Mario, Mario Bros. games. Let's continue our look at rising
searches on the next slide. So, among the five queries in the home appliances and furnishings
category, we saw Whirlpool refrigerators, Washer reviews, Sears appliances and Lowe's
appliances and Weber Grills being hot. In bedroom furnishings, as Americans take an
increasing interest in getting a good night's sleep, we've seen rising interest in searches
for Tempur-Pedic, as well as a number of non-brand searches for mattress reviews, bedding sets,
memory foam mattresses and a couple of popular retail outlets for furnishings round things
out. Arriving now at travel and vacations, we've seen interest in hot domestic packages
such as Sea World tickets, Disney World packages and Universal Studio, Orlando. Reflecting
the increase in value orientation we talked about a little bit earlier, we also see
flights, hotel deals and Vegas deals among the hot searches. There are cruise line searches
here for Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and also searches for and with the
Olympics now scheduled to be in Rio, also rising interest in Brazil with the native
spelling, actually as a search term. Driving quickly through the auto category, hot searches
included terms like Mustang 2010, new models like the 2010 Camaro and Kia Soul, fuel-efficient
hybrids like Honda Insight and the 2010 Honda Prius and manufacturing companies like Fiat
and Ford Motor Company. Okay, so, you know, again, just to recap here, we definitely recommend
that you take some time after the webinar to check out Google Insights for Search and
spend a bit of time exploring the hot searches in the category most relevant to your business.
It can, again, help you prioritize your promotions and which key words you choose to buy. And
the address to the Google Insights for Search tool is at the bottom of the slide. Before
we move on to the next trend, we're going to pause here and see if there's a question
from the audience. >> KLEINBERG: Mark, we actually did have a
good question about what country the rising Search term data was from because as noted,
there were a couple of Spanish terms. And actually, that--this data we're looking at
is U.S. based, so it's interesting to note that the Spanish words are some of the fastest
rising which could tell us something about the people using Search and about folks who
are speaking Spanish within the U.S. driving more and more searches. So, rising Search
term data is available for other countries, but the data that we discussed here is for
the United States. >> MARTEL: Great. So, Sara, do you want to
then take us through the next trend which has to do with important holiday shopping
timeframes? >> KLEINBERG: Sounds great. So, we wanted
to share with you some insight on when consumers are going to be doing their shopping this
year. And we found that they're shopping earlier than ever. They're doing more research, as
Mark suggested, and they're being a little bit more careful with their spending because
they might need to make their money to go further this year. And that's all resulting
in them getting started earlier. So, at Google, we've been doing bi-weekly consumer surveys
that we call the consumer pulse-check to track the progress of holiday shopping. And as you
see here on the slide, as of the week of October 5th, 58% of people have already started researching
what their Holiday gift purchases are going to be and 45% of people have already made
holiday purchases. So, here we are in mid-October and we seem to already be in the thick of
holiday shopping. We're going to be continuing these bi-weekly consumer pulse-checks to kind
of see how this plays out throughout the season, and we'll be reporting this information out
on our Google Retail Blogs so you can find all the information there, and the address
for that is So, we can actually take a look at a few key shopping
days. Obviously, Black Friday is always a big one, and it's already on peoples' minds.
So, what we're looking at here are three charts from our Google Insights for Search tool and
it shows the number of searches, it's Indexed Search Volume. And here, we're seeing three
different years' searches for Black Friday. And what we're finding is that Black Friday
searches are starting earlier than before and probably earlier than you expect it. So
this year, we saw a noticeable uptick in Black Friday searches as early as the first week
in August. As you see from the top two charts from 2007 and 2008, we noticed the uptick
more in the middle of September. So, you know, people are already thinking about Black Friday
and planning some of their purchases and exploring what's going to be available. And you know,
a few minutes ago, Mark talked about the fastest rising search terms, and we've already found
that in the past seven days, Black Friday 2009 is one of the five top rising search
terms in the whole shopping category. So again, it's already out there. And you know, well,
everyone knows that the malls, you know, the stores are really crowded on Black Friday.
Don't forget that Black Friday is a big shopping day online. And last year, $534 million of
e-commerce was done on Black Friday alone and that was in a down economy. So, we expect
Black Friday to be a big sales opportunity this year. The other big day, Cyber Monday--and
again, already on the top of peoples' minds. Here we have three more charts showing Google's
Search volume for the term Cyber Monday over the past three years. And the bottom 2009,
we see, you know, significant searches in the middle of September, compared to the top
two charts of 2007 and 2008, where we don't see interest rising until the middle of October.
So, Cyber Monday, as you probably know, was first used in 2005; coined by because
retailers were noticing an uptick in sales the Monday right after Thanksgiving. And as
you see, we expect it to be big again this year--already, folks being interested in searching
it out. So in 2008, again in this "down economy," Cyber Monday had e-commerce sales of $846
million, and that was a 15% increase year over year from the year before. So again,
we expect big sales from Cyber Monday this year. So, what about the rest of holiday shopping
and how that's going to play out the timing? We did some Google research where we asked
folks when they expected to do the majority of their purchases throughout the holiday.
And this chart here shows how people responded, the percent of respondents for each of these
key dates. And you can see when we aggregate Black Friday, Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber
Monday here in the middle of the chart, that takes us to about a third of people expect
to do the majority of their shopping for the holidays during that Thanksgiving extended
weekend. And then if you look at early to mid-December, 40% of people think that's the
time they'll do the majority of their shopping. So, that probably lines up to what you would
expect for timing, but this information can be really helpful to think through as you
plan your timing of your promotions and also, the timing of your budgeting. So, this can
help you think through when folks are planning to shop. But of course, there will always
be last-minute shoppers and this rang true last year specifically. In the weekend leading
up to Christmas, so the weekend right before Christmas last year, we saw $677 million of
e-commerce. Now, I just told you that Black Friday had $534 million and everyone knows
that that's a hot shopping day. So, we saw that the weekend for Christmas out-paced even
Black Friday last year and that weekend in 2008 was a 98% increase in e-commerce over
the previous year. Now, 2008 was a not a year that we heard 98% growth of anything anywhere.
So, this is actually pretty impressive and I think with guaranteed shipping cut-off and
consumers hunting for value, we have every reason to believe that consumers are going
to continue shopping until the very last minute. So, what does this mean? Our recommendation
to you is start your holiday promotions and advertising now. Consumers are already making
purchases. They're already searching out Black Friday, Cyber Monday. So, if you know what
you're going to be promoting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, start to advertise it now
because people are--people are planning. Certain, you know, prominent companies like Toys "R"
Us and Sears already have up holiday pages, so, that's another thought for you as you
plan your holiday promotions. And then, knowing that a lot of folks plan the majority of their
shopping for middle December, keep things running. And then what we just learned about
the last minute shoppers, so you want to keep your promotions up throughout to the very
bitter end. So, we'll pause now to take a question. And the question is how do these
trends compare to a year ago? So, I think what we saw in some of these comparisons of
search volume for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, things are starting earlier this year than
they were before. And I expect, and as Mark had shared with us, people need to do more
research before making a purchase so they feel comfortable. So, I think we'll continue
to see more people full at--looking out for information. They'll be looking for your ads
and it'll be just a more intense shopping than last year.
>> MARTEL: Great. So, I'm going to now move to the next trend, which is about incentives.
What we've seen in 2009 is that despite really historically challenging economic environment,
consumers will still open their check books or whip out their credit cards when they're
given the right incentives. We've seen rebates and value bundles in particular being successful
at motivating consumers. One highly visible example is the manufacturer to dealer rebate
program, Cash for Clunkers, which succeeded at moving high priced, high consideration
products very effectively, lifting auto sales in August by 11% with over 700,000 new cars
and nearly three billion in sales in a single month. Another example of a effective incentive
offer was used by JetBlue to promote sale travel inventory during a seasonally slow
period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. This was an All You Can Jet offer where people
could travel as much as they'd like between any cities JetBlue fly--JetBlue flies to between
September 8th and October 8th. JetBlue announced the offer and--before they made it available
on--and they made it actually available on August 12, but the--they sold out well before
the announced deadline to purchase these passes of August 21st. Supplies just didn't last.
So, within the first seven hours, over 31 million searches had been conducted by curiosity
travelers. The use of Twitter brought the PR coverage advertising and online and offline
word of mouth, it really created an impressive buzz around this very creative incentive offer,
and the results speak for themselves. But if we consider that not every company or industry
can count on a cash poor type of rebate program from the government or an all-you-can-eat
kind of offer within their industry, we need to think about other kinds of incentives as
well. And if history is any guide, even timeless offers like free shipping can be effective.
Let's take a look at free shipping. Recent research--again, this purchase-intent research
that Sarah just mentioned--reveal that 73% of consumers plan to take advantage of free
shipping offers this holiday season. If we take a look again using the Insights for Search
trending tool at consumer interest and the popularity of searches containing the terms
Holiday, Free shipping, we see that 2009, which is the blue line, compared to 2008,
which is the red line, we see significantly elevated levels of the popularity for holiday
free shipping this year versus last year. So again, considering that as part of your
promotion package definitely seems like the right move. And at the same time or among
the same theme, we also--if you think about National Free Shipping Day, we had our first
such annual holiday last year on December 18th; it'll be celebrated again on December
17th of this year. We saw a huge spike in search terms for National Free Shipping Day
and again, that coincides really well with D-gates and windows. Sara just talked about
the last shopping weekend before Christmas time as a--you know, a day that could potentially
be poised to outsell Black Friday or possibly even Cyber Monday. Maybe or maybe not, but
I think its definitely a date that anybody who's shipping physical product and considering
free shipping offers should definitely consider promoting heavily. So basically, if we consider
the research in consumers' value orientation as strong incentives for free shipping, what
else can we do to also stimulate the consumer by offering them additional incentives? Let's
take a look at some other kind of creative offers on discounts, rebates, and lay-aways.
So again, referring back to the study on consumer purchase intentions, we've seen that 87% of
consumers are planning to take advantage of price discount from sales this holiday season.
I'd say the only surprise in that number is that it's not higher. I would--maybe I'd expected
something in the 90s, if not 100%. But still, as difficult as 2008 was, the data suggests
that consumer interest in discounts is actually even higher in 2009 than in 2008. Again, if
you trace the blue line and the red line, with the blue line being 2009 versus the red
line being 2008 in that top chart, you can see the popularity of search terms containing
the word Discounts is elevated in 2009, although the gap has narrowed most recently. We still
predict that--again, value motivated customers will be heavily seeking out discount or discounts
as part of their search vocabulary this holiday season. If we consider the middle chart which
talks about lay-aways its, it seems that lay-aways are making a really interesting come back
as a buying incentive or buying program, I should say, that helps get consumers to agree
to buy. And I like the way that Ellen Davis, who's the Vice President of the National Retail
Foundation describes this trend. She says, "In an economy like this, many people like
the idea of buying ahead of time even if they can't pay for it in cash without having to
deal with the massive credit card bill in January." And, you know, a number of retails
began again successfully promoting this last year, heading into the holidays, probably
most notably K-Mart and the trend seems to be picked up on by other retailers. We've
seen Burlington Coat Factory, the online lay-away company And actually, just today
in the news, Toys "R" Us announced that we'll be offering lay-away for sales this holiday
season, citing a particular opportunity around bikes and cribs as reasons for offering that
program. And you can again see the search popularity of lay-aways is significantly higher
in 2009--again, that being the blue line versus 2008 that being the red line. If we look at
the last chart here, having to do with appliance rebates--you know, I talked about Cash for
Clunkers. Well, another incentive program is coming in the major appliance base. Cash
for Appliances which is a state administered direct to consumer rebate program aimed at
providing incentives for consumers to upgrade to more energy efficient major appliances.
And even though this program hasn't yet officially launched, search interest has already started
to bulge. And you can see, again, that peak in the blue line, which is 2009 versus 2008,
showing significantly elevated interest in appliance rebates and you know, again when
we talked about the hot search terms in the appliance category earlier, we talked about
things like washer reviews, Sears appliances and Lowe's appliances as being fast rising
terms, no doubt driven in part by increased interest driven by the appliance rebates.
So basically, to summarize, recession wary consumer appear even more responsive to discounts.
They're more interested in things like lay-away, rebates and free shipping incentives than
before, so it's even more important for retailers to visibly and clearly promote these kinds
of incentives through advertising, through onsite promotion, e-mail, PR, social media
and other marketing communication vehicles at your disposal. All right, so why don't
we pause now and see if there's another question before we move on to the next trend?
>> KLEINBERG: Great, Mark. Thanks. We do have a question. Someone has asked, so people start
to search earlier, do you have any read on this conversion of the peaks earlier? So like,
I think there's two ways to think about that question. The first is just in the calendar
of time, so are people going to convert kind of earlier in time? And then, there's the
question of, you know, kind of within the consumers' mind set for each purchase. So,
as far as the calendar, we have seen people converting earlier. So, as I told you earlier
in the Google consumer pulse check, as of October 5th, 45% of the people have already
made at least one holiday purchase. So, we didn't--we weren't doing this research last
year to have a comparison, but early October, that almost half the folks have already made
a purchase, I think that is evidence that folks are converting earlier. But I think
another thing embedded in this question is about how long it takes someone to actually
make the purchase once they start to think about it. So, Mark shared with you that folks
are doing more research these days to get the confidence and what we've found in the
data here at Google--we've looked into this and we find that it is taking longer between
the first search click and the purchase. It's something we call latency studies. And we
looked across categories and we did indeed find that people need to invest more energy
and more time in their research from when they're first researching and make their first
search click, to when they finally make the purchase. So, each purchase might take longer,
but over all, we see holiday purchasing starting earlier in the calendar.
>>MARTEL: I think that's well said, Sara. So, do you want to now take us through the
next trend on coupons? >>KLEINBERG: That's sounds great. So, Mark
kind of just walked us through a whole bunch of different incentives, and we are separating
out coupons as a completely separate category because coupons, I think, now are not merely
just an incentive to make people buy, they're probably a cost of doing business. coupons,
we've been talking about them for a while, and they're still a pretty hot topic. Consumers
are pretty savvy online now and they've been impacted by the economy, and they're turning
coupons to clinch the sale. So Google, we did some focus groups just a few months ago
and messages about coupons and searching for coupons were shouting out, so a couple of
quotes we heard. First, "No purchase is made without at least attempting to locate a coupon
code for 15 to 20 minutes." And then another quote we heard from a consumer, "I try to
use coupons 100% of the time." So, this noise and enthusiasm for coupons, we found that
across--consistently across all e-commerce categories, either to travel or retail or
text, and we even see a play out in the search data. So here on the slide we see cue search
insights charts. The top chart is indexed search volume for the term coupons, and the
blue line is what we're seeing now in 2009 and the red line is search volume for coupons
in 2008. So you clearly see that interest in coupons and searching for coupons is higher
by quite a bit this year over last year. The other interesting thing to know here is we
see, in last year, a rise in searching out coupons leading into the end of the year--this
is the 12 months of the year. And so, you can see November, December, right around holiday
time, interest in coupons and searching for coupons really increases and we have every
reason to believe that it's going to do the same this year. So, people are going to be
looking for coupons before they make the purchase. And one of the ways that we think about trying
to communicate the relative impact of this or exactly how big of a deal this is, is by
comparing coupons to something else that everyone knows is hot. So, in the past, if you've been
to our webinars before, you might have seen us compare the search volume for coupons to
the search volume for Britney Spears because Britney Spears is hot, she's always on the
news, you know, people are always searching her out; so, that's something we've done before
here at Google. But this time, we wanted to one up Britney and compare coupon searching
until it's the next hottest thing, which we think is Twitter. And so you see here the
blue line of search volume for coupons, the red line in search volume for Twitter, and
interest in coupons even outpaces interest in Twitter. So, not every company is going
to offer coupons, although it seems like every consumer is kind of demanding it, but you
need to consider how coupons fit into your holiday strategy and how you're going to work
it into your business, because what we've really seen is that coupons drive seasonal
sales. For back to school, coupons were the number one influencer prompting 43% of back
to school sales. And in our own Google research, we've found that 68% of consumers plan to
take advantage of coupons this holiday season. And even if you think about mobile and, you
know, mobile is growing and we're all trying to figure out how mobile marketing fits into
our marketing strategies, but we find that smart phone owners are pretty open to receiving
targeted mobile ads and promotions. So, one third of them are open to getting their coupons
through their phones. So, what this means for your marketing strategy, if you're going
to offer coupons and other incentives, you got to shout it from the rooftops and let
people know. Shoppers are actively looking for coupons and you want to make sure they
know that you're offering them. So, we know that people go to coupon sites to look for
coupons, so you've got to make sure you're there. But increasingly, it's a wise strategy
to flaunt your own coupons and advertise them prominently and even have a section on your
site, like we see here from Macy's that nicely aggregates your coupons, so it's easy for
costumers to use them. So, I recommend that you think about couponing as part of your
strategy. And you might not be vying to be the low-cost provider or the discount provider,
but think about the incentive Mark talks about. Think about coupons and figure out how it
fits to your holiday strategy. So, we'll pause to see if there are any questions. So, someone
asked about other types of incentives, like what about free gift wrap or a Two for Tuesday
promotion. And we haven't--I haven't particularly noticed those specific things popping up in
rising search terms and we didn't hear that in survey feedback, but I like the vibe. I
like where this question is going, because I think the underlying theme here is we got
to get creative with your promotions and you got to make sure you stand out. Mark, do you
[INDISTINCT]... >>MARTEL: I'm going to add to that. Yes, I'd
also add to that, I think this is a great kind of hypothesis for you to jump into Google
Insights for Search right after the webinar and check out the 2009 versus 2008 trend for
free gift wrap. Let us know what you find. Great, so I think we're going to move now
to the next section and this trend focuses on consumer choice. And as you all know, consumers
today have more choice than ever in terms of where they buy and where they shop and--excuse
me--what they buy and where they shop. And that of course, means a more competitive environment
than ever for merchants especially during the holiday season. On left, we see chart
that shows Hitwise data, again, that tells us the number of online shopping sites from
2009--September 2009 to September 2008. Even in the midst of a really bad economy, the
number of online shopping sites has grown by seven percent. And on the right, you see
some headlines that also remind us that in online retailing, there's the opportunity
for unlimited shop space at virtually no marginal cost, and that, you know, this enables direct
stocking, more block shipping of items that wouldn't other wise be possible if they were
stocked in a retail store. And as companies like Sears and Wal-Mart follow Amazon and
Best Buy's lead in enabling third-party merchants to sell on their domains with a register model,
we're seeing these kinds of merchants broadening their merchandising mix and effectively deepening
their inventory, reducing their stock-out risks on hot items and increasing their ability
to meet costumers needs without them needing to shop on other sites, and all of this is
leading to a much more competitive kind of online environment. We're also seeing, for
example, in technology areas, you retailers are actually getting into the space and some
of these new retailers have pretty big brand names and big histories attached to them.
So, for example, Wal-Mart has recently re-launched its electronic section in its stores with
very aggressive goals to grow its share of revenue in both the wireless and the personal
computer markets. Also, we've seen telecommunication carriers and non-traditional--which are non-traditionally--they
haven't--excuse me--haven't, in the past, sold computers like Verizon and AT&T increasingly
selling items like Netbooks that are bundled together with wireless data service plans,
much like cell phones. And that's putting them more and more in direct competition with
traditional PC retail channels like Big Buck electronic stores, as well as direct channels
from the manufacturers. The bottom line is that retailers, you know, don't have it easy.
There's a lot of competition out there and so, it's even more important that they take
advantage of new and innovative ways to connect with costumers and communicate their offers
and support those costumers with their purchase decisions and of course, to give them reason
to buy from you specifically. Let's take a look at a couple of those new areas. In particular,
one area that has really emerged as a potential opportunity is social media properties. Sites
like YouTube and Twitter have large reach, they've got highly engaged audiences and they
provide abundant opportunities for promoting a wide variety of offers in marketing assets.
YouTube, of course, is the largest online video site on the web. Some of you may know
that actually, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the United States, even bigger
than Yahoo in terms of query volume as well. And of course, it's within the top 10 in terms
of total online visitorship. And you know YouTube really provides kind of a rich environment
for a variety of both unpaid and paid promotional opportunities. On the unpaid side, from viral
video or kind of do-it-yourself video contests as a retailer with the holiday them, developing
your own video content like a holiday gift buying guide, or product reviews. There's
a lot of opportunity there on the unpaid side. And then, also on the--kind of a tape side
with paid media, there's significant advertising opportunities raging from rich media banners
like the large homepage display ad you see on this slide for Walmart, as well as smaller
ad unit sizes throughout the site and in-video units. And there's other vehicles that you
may not be familiar with who are promoting your videos. So, if you've got video content
online, you can help connect those with people who are searching on YouTube. And you can
learn more about those opportunities at YouTube for advertiser micro site. On the right hand
side, Twitter has also proved to be a successful channel for some retailers. Notably, Dell
has gone on record saying that they've successfully driven three million in Twitter-related sales
mainly by posting limited availability offers through its Dell outlet site, not unlike the
kinds of offers you might see through an Amazon Gold Box or Also, we've seen companies
like Best Buy using Twitter as a customer service vehicle and consultation channel providing
product recommendations, trouble shooting and general buying advice to help tech with
consumers in a creative and new way and also, to actively seek out consumers who maybe have
gone from good to bad vibrations and actually help to provide positive customer service
experience to help win them back. So, you know, just as a reminder, YouTube and Twitter
can work great as part of integrated marketing campaigns that either support or are supported
by TV, print and search. And of course, these channels like Twitter and YouTube work really
well in conjunction with other and kind of the more integrated they are, the better.
Facebook, for example, tends to drive traffic to Twitter and YouTube and vice versa. So,
if you got a social media presence already, be sure to promote it and cross-promote it
in other social media touch points. Don't overlook promoting your Twitter feeds, your
Facebook pages or YouTube channels on your Website, indirect emails, postcards and print
ads or even as part of your online ad creative, themselves. So, basically to recap, you know,
again, very competitive environment getting even more competitive in categories and during
the Holiday Season. So, really upping your presence in highly engaging social media sites
like YouTube and Twitter can play an important role in your overall marketing strategy for
the Holidays. All right, so I'm going to now hand things back to Sara to summarize our
Holiday recommendations. >> KLEINBERG: Okay, great. So, hopefully you
found this valuable and have some things that you can immediately take away and implement.
So, let me just recap five of our recommendations that we want you to walk away with. First,
use the data that's at your disposal to make smart marketing decisions for the Holidays.
So, Mark and I talked about a couple of free tools that Google has that you can see what
people are searching for, what the fastest rising search terms are. So, match that back
to your products and your strategy, it can help guide you in which keyword you want to
bid for and also, what your creators can say. So, feel free to use those tools. Second,
start promoting holiday now and stay on to get those last minute shoppers that would--up
until the weekend before the holiday. And think about what your Black Friday, Cyber
Monday strategy is and potentially start promoting them right now. For three and for four, you
know, the message here is about incenting the consumer. They're expecting coupons. They're
expecting free shipping. And you know there's a lot of competition out there, so you want
to make sure you stand out by providing incentives. And again, you might not be going for the
low cost angle here, but even what we're seeing in the news with the--with books, you know,
with the Walmart, Amazon battle over books and the pricing of books at 8.99, and today,
we read that Target has joined in on the game. So, it's an indication that discounting will
still be hot again this year, so figure out how you play there, how you offer value. Make
sure you advertise it and make sure you stand out. And I think standing-out, again, is our
fifth recommendation. You know, use these new social media tools, whether it's Twitter
or Facebook or YouTube, that's where the--that's where customers are living, that's where your
consumers are. So, think about creative ways to interact with them and creative ways to
stand out from the crowd for this Holiday Season. So, that's all. We'll take questions
in a moment, but a couple of reminders. You can find more information as it unfolds about
what Google expects to see for the Holidays and what we're learning. There's a couple
of sources--we have the Google Retail Blog, you can find it at
We'll be having Daily Blog Posts about the Holidays and that starts today. So, make sure
you go there, sign-up for the feeds and we'll be revealing the information as soon as we
find it. The same thing with Twitter, we offer six different industry-specific Twitter Google
accounts where you can kind of keep track of the latest with Google search trends and
other things we're finding throughout the industry. On the retail, for sure Google Twitter
account you'll be finding lots of holiday information. Finally, before we take questions,
you are going to receive a copy of a recording of today's presentation over e-mail in the
next day or two. And please, as you sign off today, we really appreciate you joining us
and we want to hear feedback from you. So we make sure that this is a bit easier time
moving forward--so, please fill out the survey. That would be really helpful for us. Okay.
So, let's take a couple of more questions. There were a couple of questions about simple
gifts, like gift cards and flowers and have we seen any trends there. And I--I didn't
look at those trends specifically before heading into this hour, but I think that, you know,
give some thought to when consumers are shopping and for last minute gifts, those seem to fit
really well to think that would be suitable for the last minute purchases. So, I was just--think
about what you have to offer and think about how to word your creative to make it fit into
what's going on at the time. So, if it's a last minute shopping frenzy, make sure you
position flowers or gift cards as something that would be perfectly suitable there or
something that would, you know, resonate well, you know, in today's economy. So, I certainly
encourage you to be creative there. There was another question about Green Monday. So,
we talked about cyber Monday, we talked about Black Friday. We didn't talk about Green Monday,
and the reason why is because in 2008, we just didn't really see a Green Monday bubble
up to the top. So, I think we had anticipated from 2007--we anticipated a Green Monday to
kind of be that first Monday in the early part of December. And this year, we actually
saw the largest e-commerce sales any single day was on Tuesday, December 9th. So in 2008,
Tuesday, December 9th was the one biggest e-commerce day at $877 million of e-commerce,
and we got that number from comScore. So--you know. Monday, Tuesday--I think that, you know--I'm
not sure quite which day to expect this year to be the number one in commerce, but I think
we certainly know Cyber Monday, Black Friday. Mark talked to us about National Shipping
Day on December 17th and of course, as we saw from our Google Consumer Intentions Research,
people are planning to do that majority of their shopping in the middle December, you
know, kind of early middle December. So, not sure what to expect exactly for Green Monday,
but I anticipate that that week will, you know, that first early week of December will
be big again this year. I think we have time for one more question, and that was about
the Holiday Season affecting the hotel industry and home services requirements. And again,
we saw increases in searches for the travel industry, so I would expect again the same,
sort of trends Mark showed that there's an increase in this--interest in domestic travel
packages. So I would anticipate, given that things look a little brighter, I'd anticipate
a little bit of a comeback, but I don't have specific trends. But I do encourage to you
to go to Insight for Trends in Google and play around where it's costumed for you, for
your category, your products whether in trial or other categories.
>> MARTEL: Sara, we also have a question here from someone who asks about other Google free
tools that can help keep an eye on highly searched keywords. We did mention Insights
for Search. There's also another tool we may want to mention for the audience as well,
which is Google Hot Trends. You can either search for Google Hot Trends or go,
and that will show you some of the hottest queries, the top 40 on each day. You can scroll
through those day by day. >> KLEINBERG: Sounds great. Okay folks, so
we're coming up on the hour and we really appreciate you spending time with us today.
Please seek out more Holiday information from Google Blogs and Google Twitter. And we really
wish you the best of luck this Holiday Season. Thank you very much.
>> MARTEL: Thanks for joining us.