Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide: Webinar 1

Uploaded by GoogleBusiness on 28.08.2008

>> Again, thank you for joining us to Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide. We are excited to present
this first session in a series of three, and we hope that you'll get a great idea or better
idea of what to expect this season as we begin to plan for Q4. So let's do some quick introductions.
My name is Marco and I'm a Relationship Manager here at Google. I work directly with retail
advertisers. >> And I'm Veronica. I'm an Industry Specialist
on the AdWord team and I help our retail team build strategy based on retail data and search
trends. >> Great. So, as we all know holiday is coming
soon. Consumers are going to be searching for all types of gifts. So, why are we talking
about this in August? I mean, decorations aren't up yet in stores and, you know, to--things
to get come earlier and earlier as we start thinking about holiday. And so, it is important
for us as marketers to start as early as possible to get a good idea of where we want to go
and how we want to get there. So for Q4, most retailers this is the biggest quarter, and
sometimes in some cases it carries most of the year for sales. And so, you know, it's
really important that we understand our strategy and roadmap in terms of media buys, holiday
product bundles, lending pages, promotional calendars all that. It's very important to
start. What we're going to be focusing on today is really the kind of trends and expectations.
Hopefully, this is just a refresher for most of you since you live and breathe this three
to four months out of the year. We really hope that you'll be able to take a step back
and get a new perspective on holiday '08. Maybe something we mention will trigger an
amazing idea on how you can kind of capture more of the shopping spike this year. So,
let's take a look at the agenda. We're going to focus on 2007, what happened then in some
of the trends, and maybe a look forward to 2008. Then we'll focus do a little bit more
of a deeper dive into consumer trends and retailer expectations. And then, we'll do
kind of an introduction to the next two sessions. So this is really a session to set the stage,
get us to start thinking, start having conversations with our own teams about, you know, how to
plan. In the next two sessions, we'll really talk a little bit more about, you know, more
of the tactical implementation of these strategies. So, I also want to say that anytime you have
a question feel free to chat in. We'll be answering most of those questions at the end
of the session. But feel free if you--if you have a question along the way to just chat
it in and we'll keep track of that and try to answer it later on.
>> So before we jump into tips and tricks regarding consumer expectations, let's take
a step back and review the holidays last year and see what's expected for this year's holiday
season. So, what's the little secret? Online is becoming more and more of a significant
channel for holiday sales. In 2007 alone, 34% of holiday sales were generated online.
We can see from the chart the consumers are shifting spend from stores in other spending
outlets to the online base. In fact, $31 billion was generated online during the 2007 holiday
season alone. Overall, online holiday sales increased 19%. Now, we've seen increases in
online holiday sales the year over year. With rising deal cost in consumers comfort with
online shopping, we definitely expect this growth trend to continue for 2008. The 2007
holiday season was clearly strong for online shopping. But let's take a closer look at
key dates. To start, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas had a 21% growth rate over 2006.
Both the [INDISTINCT] were close on Thanksgiving Day online only special with Black Friday
promotions attracted shoppers. This increased online traffic to retail websites 20% over
2006. This really goes to show that shopping is a 365 day event. It's important to always
have you campaigns on. On Black Friday, traffic was up 16% compared with 2006. The Monday
following Thanksgiving Day, also known as Cyber Monday, ranked as the 9th heaviest shopping
day of the year. So, here are the top 10 online holiday spending dates for 2007. Online shopping
activity reached its apex on the second Monday prior to Christmas. This day is also known
as Green Monday. Keep in mind that budget should line with consumer behavior from the
search end purchase trends perspective. It's also good to note that Mondays are hot shopping
days online. Online holidays spending will grow in 2008. Make sure your marketing dollars
reflect this [INDISTINCT] and are aligned with top online spending days. So now that
we have a better sense of how the overall online base performed during 2007 holiday
season, what retail category for our growth? This chart illustrates the fastest growing
retail E-Commerce categories last holiday season. If you sell products and video games,
consoles and accessories or furniture, appliances and equipment, you saw a jump in online sales
last year. Be prepared for any increases in online sales this year by monitoring your
accounts, budget and inventory. So what's different this year? With record gas and food
prices and consumer's tight wallet, this holiday season will prove to be more challenging.
Consumers are forced to be more selective regarding their purchases. As a result, they're
researching and comparison shopping. It'll be very important for retailers to focus on
areas of opportunity and be more aggressive to reach these consumers. However, there are
some good news. July 2008 ends the consumer confidence freefall that began last October.
In addition, online sales are healthy in comparison to total retail sales. According to comScore
report, online sales are growing at five times the rate of total retail sales. So, history
can be used as an indicator. E-Commerce will be even more important to retailers this holiday
season. Recent data suggest that even in poor economic conditions, E-Commerce tends to hold
firm. In fact, E-Commerce continues to grow with the percentage of overall sales. If families
try to save money by not filling up their cards and by looking for deals, they'll turn
to the Internet for the holiday shopping. Retailer should put even more resources behind
their online initiatives this holiday season to help ride out this economic storm. Last
year, online holidays sales actually increased by 20% to $39 billion despite economic condition.
Online retail sales continue to grow steadily and appear to be incubated from economic events.
We know that consumers are more price-conscious this year, and this will certainly affect
their shopping behavior. How are you adjusting this change in consumer behavior? This year,
we know that consumers are cherry picking. They're looking for deal with more intensity
than before and as a result we expect the price--this holiday season to be highly promotional.
So what does this mean for you? Prepare yourself and start thinking now about creative and
engaging promotional strategies. How do you keep users on your site and enable them to
purchase more on your site? Consumers will also be skimping on certain items so that
they can selectively splurge on a few price of your favorites. How do you get users to
splurge on you site? Do you have any low ticket gifts ideas that consumers can purchase? And
for those of you with brick and mortar stores, it's important to note that consumers will
be trip-chaining this holiday season. They'll plan their shopping trips with more research
and will create a plan of what to buy and where to buy it in order to save on gas. The
research that they're doing is happening online, and this is the opportunity to get in front
of costumers. For example, we've seen this trend of Thanksgiving Day when everyone's
at home with the family and using that time to plan out their strategy for their early
morning Black Friday shopping. This year, given the fact that it will be more promotional
and consumers will be even more desperate for deals, traffic to retail websites on Thanksgiving
will surge. We'll see more planning online in order to spend less time driving around.
So what are you doing to get users to include your store on their trip chaining list this
Thanksgiving Day? >> Thanks Veronica. Now, we're going to move
into a little bit more of a deeper dive into consumer trends and retail expectations for
the coming season. And the first slide I want to talk to is how consumers are researching
online and purchasing offline. And we know this to be the case for a lot of particular
product categories, and this is hopefully a reminder for some of you who have particular
product categories here listed where there is a huge percentage of research happening
online where people are actually doing the final purchase in store. And so, for multi
channel retailers, if you sell any of these product categories, it's important to show
your online presence to this consumer. It's important to make sure you're reaching them
earlier in the buying cycle on to help kind of persuade them to buy from you, whether
online or in store. Also, how can you leverage both channels to boost overall sales? Can
you find a synergy between your online property and physical store? Maybe an online coupon
to be redeemed in stores or an in-store kiosk to leverage the endless aisle of products
available on your site. So, multi channel retail is--you have a really--a really great
opportunity to capture some of this interest online. For propriety retailers who don't
have any stores, physical stores, it's important that, you know, this could be look--seen as
a threat and I definitely want to point out this is an opportunity that people are seeing
the online channel as an opportunity to learn, to understand what products they want to buy,
and it's a great opportunity for you to capture them and hopefully keep them on your site
to buy from you. So, first thing you want to ask is why are they not buying from you
online? Why are they researching online and buying offline? If you can isolate those particular
objections and see if you can solve them online whether it's creating more of an in--kind
of an in-store experience on your site or perhaps shifting hurdles that they are concerned
with. You know, really trying to find those areas that are going to help them feel more
at ease with buying online and being able to deliver on time for the holiday season.
The biggest take away here is trying to find any way you can to keep people engaged on
your sites. And we're going to lead into that with the next slide. So we see that there's
a lot of people are doing extensive compares in shopping, doing a lot of research before
purchasing. And one third, one of the highlights, one third of shoppers spend two days or more
researching before they purchase. And I know that online retail, we tend to focus most
of our time on instantly--sorry, next slide, on instantly converting new visitors, nut
it's important that that we make sure that we know what the researchers are wanting to
purchase and what they want in the purchase decision. So, are they looking at specific
types of third party product reviews? Are they wanting to compare prices? How can you
do, you know, how can you present your product and in a way that allows people to stay engaged
on your site and basically shorten the research time or engage them again later on to close
the decision on their--on their front. So I think a lot of people, again, they focus
on that front. First couple of hours what can we do to convert them on our site? And
I think we should be also asking the question, you know, what do we do after that? What about
the people that drop off our sites that are continuing to research? How do we--how do
we capture them again? Let's go to the next slide. This slide highlights the fact that
people are visiting more sites before purchases so it's more of a continuation of the last
data, but they're visiting about two to five websites on average before making a purchase.
So, the first question is where are you in that--in that sequence? Are you site number
one or are you site number five? If you're site number one, what's going to make them
come back to you after they visited two or three or four additional sites? Can you differentiate
yourself from your competitors? How do you keep them on your site? How do you--how do
you keep them from shopping around? I think these are the areas you want to focus on.
And definitely for shoppers, if they can find what they're looking for and you could put
them at ease that they're not going to find a better deal or more information, robust
information elsewhere, I think you're definitely going to close that gap. Next slide, this
is more about--to highlight the fact that people are finding you more and more with
research. They're finding your site through--whether it's organic or PPC and the rate is growing.
So, as we can see, about 18% growth of referrals to the top retail websites were--where it's
all for search clicthroughs. And so the main takeaway here is, you know, it's important
that you have very good strong keyword coverage on all branded terms and your flagship product
or product category terms. So, if more and more people are finding you through search
engines, make sure you have coverage where you want to have coverage. The next slide
shows the timeline and a map of what we can expect in terms of shopping volume. So this
is really quick volume from August to--through January and this is from Google. So, what
we wanted to highlight here is--and maybe you can use this as, you know, a chart that
you can overlay your roadmap and strategy for the next few months. So, are you capturing
everything you possibly can in the next three or four months? That's the real question here.
So, as you can see starting in September we're seeing an incline mainly for Halloween. So,
if you do sell Halloween products, obviously, this is--this is your holiday, a very, very
important season. You'll see early in November, people are starting to search more for holidays.
So, a lot of times we think, you know, it's after Thanksgiving that really things kick
off but we really start to see the incline start at the beginning of November. So, make
sure that you have all of your campaigns ready to go and that you're reaching out to people
with a clear holiday message starting November 1st. Thanksgiving, obviously, it's not a huge
holiday--shopping day for in store but for pure plays, this is huge. People are at home,
relaxing, they're jumping online and they're doing research. They're starting to do more
aggressive price comparison shopping and really getting their game plan together for where
they're going to spend most of their dollars for holiday. So, it's very important that
you stay up at all times and you're ready for that spike on Thanksgiving. Obviously,
Black Friday is very, very big for in store. It's also big for online as well. People are
doing a lot of, you know, again, researching online and buying offline. This is a great
time to capture that particular user. Cyber Monday, which we've all kind of prepared for
in the last couple of years, very, very important. Like Veronica said, every Monday is probably
the biggest shopping day of the week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, particularly.
So, this is, you know, all the shoppers who were doing all their shopping over the weekend,
they're coming back home, back to the office and they are looking for those deals that
maybe they didn't find over the weekend. So, make sure you are ready to take an influx
of traffic and sales every Monday. Cyber Monday is definitely big. And the Monday following,
which is now being termed Green Monday, actually is the biggest shopping day online in terms
of dollar amount. So, another important date to focus on. Obviously, the other--the other
dates are important. Looking at particular shopping cut off dates for your company, what
customers expect, you know, can you build any of that into your messaging for online
making it very, very clear if you offer, you know, expedited delivery. So that's very,
very important. Hanukkah also follows Christmas this year, so if you think that you're going
to turn everything off after Christmas, you know, think again. It's very, very important
to capture that particular segment of business. So, keep things running all the way through
'till the end of the year. One thing and it's important to highlight here is we actually
have five less shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, it's going
to be even more important for all of us to capture everything we can between those two
dates. Okay, next slide. Just a quick highlight of the top shopping dates, Veronica mentioned
this earlier, but I wanted to call out Green Monday in particular as the largest shopping
date. It's been growing quite a bit, 33% over from 2006 to 2007. So we expect that to be
a really strong day in 2008 as well. So, you know, be thinking about, you know, how important
it is to communicate that last-minute kind of urgent shopping, get what they want and
it's going to deliver when they need it. So that's why Green Monday is really important
that you adjust your messaging accordingly. Now, let's take a look at what retailers are
expecting for 2008 and I want to highlight just the first two bars here and that's the
fact hat most retailers are expecting more growth in the online channel than in store
channel. So, 71% of retailers are thinking it's going to grow. And I think this is all--we
all know this, but it's important to remember that a lot the more multi-channel retailers
are also recognizing this. And so, if you're a pure play, continue to ride this wave of
shifting buying behavior. Many of you are already well-prepared and you have the efficiency
and, you know, the back ends to really handle this kind of--this kind of traffic and these
particular users. But for multi-channel retailers, it's really important that you put a lot of
efforts on, you know, the online channel, get your efficiencies right to reach the--this
growing online audience. And we'll talk a little bit more about this in future sessions.
Finally, I wanted to highlight what a lot of retailers are expected to focus on and
increase their efforts on. And as you can see, this particular slide focuses on what
retailers are going to be spending more on in terms of marketing tactics and we have
data for 2006 and 2007. Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing still tops the list in terms
of where you're going to be focusing a majority of your increase of resources which is to
be expected, but I think it's really important to highlight that shifting offers are really
high on the list. And I know that some of you have tested this in previous years and
maybe you've stuck with this strategy, but I think it's going to be really, really important,
especially for the audience that is still skeptical about buying online for the reasons
of, you know, shipping issues. And so, the more that you can lower those barriers for
them, the more likely you're going to capture that traffic. So, maybe you can use this slide
as a gauge for where you're spending your resources for 2008.
[PAUSE] >> So it's no surprise, the holidays are approaching
given the current state of the economy consumer trends and retail expectations for this year,
it's really important that we begin planning for the holiday season now. To help, we've
designed this Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide. First, I'd like to introduce you to Liz. She's
51 years old, a nurse, she loves to cook, play golf, plan parties and volunteers. So,
why is Liz important? Why do we care about Liz? Because she's a mom and moms are key
decision makers when it comes to family purchases. In our upcoming webinar, you'll learn tips
and tricks on how to reach Liz and streamline her shopping process to help her reach her
goal of finding the right holiday gift for her family. To quickly highlight our upcoming
webinars in this series, I wanted to invite you to join us for the webinar next week on
expanding reach. During this webinar, you'll learn how to reach holiday shoppers like Liz
throughout the day or find your traffic to reach your target audience, create a media
plan to integrate search, traditional media in Google's Content Network and write ads
that really resonates with your audience. The following week, we have a webinar on Analyze
and Simplify. And the focus of this webinar is really to learn how to improve customers
like Liz's experience on your site, how to avoid common shopper frustrations with the
purchase process, how to boost your website conversion rates and track the effectiveness
of your online campaign. Visit our Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide to sign up for these
webinars and to also access additional information and resources. You can find them at the URL
listed on this page. And this should look familiar; this is where you signed up for
the webinars. In addition, just to note a copy of this deck will be posted on our Unwrapped
Retail Holiday Guide under the resources section and we'll also be posting a recording of this
webinar in case you'd like to go back and listen in on any of the tips that Marco and
I had shared today. >> Great. So, I hope this was helpful. Again,
our goal is--was not necessarily to present a lot of new information because this is what
you already know, you live and breathe this. But we definitely wanted to hopefully just
get your mind thinking about Q4 and hopefully start some ideas for you. So now we're going
to actually open up for questions and if you have been sending in questions, continue to
do so. We're going to take one minute to allow you to chat in and then we'll jump right into
the questions. [PAUSE]
>> Great. Thanks for sending in your questions. And we're going to address a few of them right
now. And if you still have additional questions, feel free to continue to chat them in. We'll
try and address a few of them at this moment. We're going to go back to the slides that
you guys have particular questions on. >> Okay. So, we wanted to start off with our
first question in regards to this slide, how consumers research online and purchase online.
The question was how does this change during the gift-buying season considering that this
data is from March. And I would say that while this data is from March, it really does encompass
how consumers research these products in these different categories online. So, while the
data might not have been taken during the holiday season, the data was collected right
after the holiday season and it still gives us a great indication that consumers looking
for products such as iPods or consumer electronics, that they're looking for appliances or books
and magazines, I mean, these are things that consumers go online to read more about, to
read product reviews and see how other consumers are liking these products in order to help
them determine whether or not they should buy products like these. As far as how this
may change during the holidays, the gift buying season, I would see fit to look at products
that consumers are buying during the holiday season. So we know, for instance, that consumer
electronics is hot during the holidays. We know that video games is hot, books and magazines,
home furnishing has been growing as well. Really, I think it's a great idea to use this
data directionally to give us a sense that consumers that they are researching and that
this year, we're expecting consumers to research even more given the current economy.
[PAUSE] >> We also had a few about the actual trending
chart here and I think a lot of the questions have to do with what kind of growth are we
expecting between, you know, September through December. Are we seeing two X growth, a five
X growth? We don't have that data per se to give you an exact number because obviously
it's going to vary across all categories, but I think in general, you know, just looking
at this chart you'll see, you know, a pretty significant growth in average across all product
categories. And so, I think the best data you're going to find is your own historic
data. You know, I think it's going to follow a very similar trend and I think a lot of
your strategy will be the same. However, if you want to look for a real gauge on what
to expect, you know, definitely look at 2007, 2006, you know, daily failed data for your
own companies to track that. >> And we do want to note a typo on the slide.
There isn't a November 31st, however Thanksgiving does follow on November 27th so do be sure
to plan accordingly. As far as the term Green Monday, if you want to wear that--and this
is actually a more recent term. This was coined by E-Bay and it was cited in a number of articles.
And Green Monday, again, this is known as the second Monday in December. Now, as far
as five less shopping days--as far as there being five less shopping days, again, this
is really the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and there is less time for shoppers
to be shopping for holiday gifts, but this doesn't mean that shoppers will be buying
less. It means that they have a shorter time to do these comparison shopping and actually
make their purchases and get any online purchases shipped to their home by Christmas day.
>> I think just that the [INDISTINCT] to the--Veronica's mention of Green Monday, I think it's important
to note that people are spending more later in the month in December and this is because
we're seeing a trend where users are feeling more confident about what they're buying online
and what they expect to be delivered on time. So, I think that's a really a positive sign
that, you know, I think in previous years Cyber Monday was the big day and we're starting
to see a shift further into December. So, I think that just means we're going to hopefully
have a more confident consumer base that is willing to buy even closer up to, you know,
December 25th. >> We'll go ahead and give you some time to
enter in a few more questions and we'll put you on hold as we review these questions and
we'll get started again. [PAUSE]
>> Okay. We're back again with a few more questions to answer. There's a couple of questions
about international and this data kind of translates to other markets and particularly
we're asked about the U.K. market and Brazilian market. We don't have any data in front of
us to suggest that this is a very similar or same trend, but I would say that, you know,
in the case of U.K., they're obviously a very mature online audience, online markets. So,
I think you're going to see a very, very similar, you know, trends in terms of, you know, how
far along they are in--as shoppers online. The Brazilian market has more of an emerging
market. More and more people are getting online. That's a great sign. But I don't have any
data to say that they're shopping more online, buying more online or if they're just doing
research. I think, you know, that's definitely a very interesting point to maybe dig into,
but we don't have anything specific to comment on those particular markets.
>> And we also have a question on where people tend to do research. And consumers, they're
certainly researching on review sites to learn more about the specific product, and also
at comparison shopping sites where they're actually reviewing and comparing prices and
see what users are rating these products. As far as the deck, we're getting a lot of
the questions as far as how the charts can be printed out or whether or not you'll have
access to the deck and you'll certainly have access to our PowerPoint deck. We'll be posting
it at our Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide. Again, the URL for this is sites.google.com/site/unwrapped2008.
As far as this slide here, slide 18, you'll December 17th to 23rd is the shopping cutoff.
Here, really think about when your shipping days are cutoff. This is the time that online
shoppers are buying any last minute gift in order to get them before Christmas day. And
then, we also have a question here in regards to what is the buying market after December
25th, what does that look like, will it go down or up? And I think it's fair to say that
this will actually--that this will go up especially because, you know, with economic conditions
and given that it's a more promotional holiday season, you can bet that consumers are going
to be looking at--for those after Christmas shopping deals when retailers are looking
to--looking to sell any excess inventory that wasn't sold prior to Christmas day.
>> Also the fact that Hanukkah does run through December 28th, you're going to pick up an
extra bump from that as well. You know, and I think a lot of times we think again that
we're going to turn off things right after December 25th, don't do that. A lot of people
are home, they're sitting on their couches after Christmas and they're shopping still.
They maybe have some gift cards they want to redeem or they want to do some returns
to find the right gift that they're looking for. I mean, there's a lot of reasons why,
you know, people are going to continue to do some shopping post-Christmas. So, definitely
make sure you stay online and you're available, your office doesn't go home between those
dates. At least the, you know, the key operational people are there to make sure that the things
are going to stay online and people are going to be able to continue to shop and find what
they're looking for on your sites. [PAUSE]
>> Okay. And we have a request for another copy of the year route. So, there's the Unwrapped
Retail Holiday Guide. It's now posted for all participants. If you have any more questions,
feel free to enter them into the chat. [PAUSE]
>> Okay. We're going to take one last question and it's regarding the marketing tactic slide.
And the question is really, you know, can we go a little bit deeper into this, and we
definitely want to. That's going to be the theme for the next webinar. It's really kind
of where do we go--what do we do from here? How can we best allocate our resources across
all these great channels to really engage the user and the shoppers? So, I think that
the key takeaway here is, you know, if there is something that is, you know, standing out
to you in terms of, you know, not being in alignment with what you're--what you guys
are focusing on in your marketing department, you know, again, this is just on average where
people are expecting to spend more resources on. And I think it's pretty, you know, expected
to see a search engine marketing be a very important part of that. Email marketing, obviously,
these are all direct response, you know, very, very focused on ROI channels and, you know.
So obviously, it's going to be a lot of effort there. Again, the shipping offers, you know,
is really important to close the deal for a lot of shoppers so that's becoming pretty
important. I think the other options that you have here I think is it's important to
see that a lot people are thinking about it, a lot of people are testing it. And you should
be doing the same. I think, you know, the more that you contest and recognize what users
want and what they don't really want or what they find valuable versus just an extra, you
know, service that doesn't really, you know, convince them to buy from you. You look for
those areas that really help close the deal. And we'll definitely dig into this a whole
more in the next session. [PAUSE]
>> So, we'd like to thank you for attending our webinar today. Again, we completely apologize
for some of the audio technical difficulties that we had in starting our webinar, but we
thank you for your patience and continuing to join us today. We hope you found this webinar
useful. We'll post it back and the recording of today's webinar on our Unwrapped Retail
Holiday Guide. We have the link here posted again. If you have any additional questions
regarding Unwrapped Retail Holiday Guide or today's webinar, please contact us at webinar-questions@google.com.
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