A look back at a merry multi-screen Christmas season!

Suppose that we could have hopped onto a flying sleigh for a quick trip around the world during Christmas. What would we have seen from up high? The twinkling lights of millions of multi-screen homes. This was a multi-screen Christmas season. People shopped online at all times, from everywhere, on all kinds of devices.

Cyber Monday, the first Monday after the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day in the US and the busiest online shopping day of the year, provided people with limitless opportunities to shop and save while being constantly connected. Thanksgiving may not be a European holiday and Cyber Monday may not be a well used term on the streets of Paris, Madrid and Milan, but our research proves that Europeans are just as likely to begin their shopping sprees in the week after Thanksgiving as their American counterparts. What’s even more interesting – in Europe – is that shoppers were getting a head start with their mobile devices the Sunday before Cyber Monday.

We looked at several popular Christmas present search queries across the US and Europe, and discovered a surge of mobile queries on Sunday 25th November. In the United Kingdom, for example, mobile queries for electronics surged 103% YoY on the 25th when people were using their phones while out shopping. The following day, people turned to their PCs and tablets to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals while at work and we saw PC and Tablet (where we see similar search behaviour) queries grow by 105% YoY for top electronic gifts.


These same multi-screen trends carried us into 2013 as people researched how to shed those extra Christmas pounds and get healthier in the new year. On New Year’s Eve, people did their research on smartphones while shopping for last minute outfits or getting their hair done. In the United Kingdom, mobile search queries rose 288% YoY on New Year’s Eve for gyms, cleanses and diets. And on New Year’s Day, as people sat on their sofas at home recuperating, search queries on PCs and tablets rose 128% YoY for gyms, cleanses and diets.

Advertising implications for businesses
So we know that today’s shoppers are constantly connected. We know they move seamlessly between many screens, in the moment, without second thoughts. And on all screens, they search. Now that we know that, what do we do?

One good answer is to think about context. All these new search patterns have created a world of new context-based marketing opportunities. When you know the time of day, a shopper’s general location and the kind of device that they’re using, you can guess quite a lot about what they may be looking for and where they are in the buying cycle.

Need help? Upgrade to enhanced campaigns in AdWords to make your cross-device advertising smarter, more powerful and more measurable. Enhanced campaigns can help:

1. Manage your bids across devices, locations and time.
2. Show the right ad creative, sitelink, app or extension based on user context and what the device can handle.
3. Track conversions like calls. And soon, you will be able to track digital downloads, in-store purchases and other cross-device conversions.

Get the context right on the next day of note, say Mother’s Day or Easter. To learn more about AdWords enhanced campaigns click here.

Posted by: Suzanne Mumford, Product Marketing Manager – Mobile Ads

Source: Google Internal Data. Growth based on YoY data.
*Top electronic gifts defined as smartphones, tablets, ereaders, mp3 players.
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