New 2014 Holiday Season Shopping Habits, Trends & Data

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

As retailers begin to gear up for the holiday season, new data suggest that consumers are getting ready as well.

Google recently released data from research of online and offline consumer shopping habits during the holiday season. We’ve rounded up the quick hits that you need to know to better understand your customers and stay ahead of the competition this year.

We’re researching and shopping all night long
One third of all shopping-related Google queries are taking place between 10 PM and 4 AM. This shouldn’t come as a surprise though. As online shopping becomes more affordable and convenient for everyone, consumers are more likely to spend extended periods of time making sure we get the right present or product.

Black Friday no longer takes place overnight
The times of camping out for door buster deals instead of eating turkey with your family are over. Online retailers are now offering deals throughout the whole month of November, with one of the most popular days being Cyber Monday. Check out Google’s calendar of 2013’s biggest in-store and online shopping days below.

26% of surveyed shoppers said they’ll start researching their purchases before Halloween. Moreover, the ways in which consumers are doing their research is continually increasing. Shoppers were reported as to using 5 sources of information prior to making a purchase in 2010. In 2013, the number of sources jumped to at least 12.

Moreover, the ways in which consumers are doing their research are shifting. Though magazine reviews and ratings may still be relevant, the hottest new way shoppers are searching out opinions are YouTube product unboxing or “haul” videos. As evidence of this, views for these videos has nearly doubled since last year. Also, these videos aren’t just being viewed while lounging on the couch or sitting behind a desk; a quarter of shoppers surveyed said they view YouTube videos while considering a product inside of a store.

Smart Phones are the new sales associate

Google’s research showed that 75% of shoppers with smartphones planned on using them in-store during the holiday season. While shoppers historically came to the store with questions for sales associates, consumers are walking in being more informed than ever. And even when shoppers do have questions, it was reported that a third will use their phones instead of asking for assistance from workers. However, just because consumers are relying on their phones more does not mean they are less likely to make a purchase. Just under 50% of consumers that use their phones in-store still buy the product, which is an 11% increase from 2011.

Links to the full research can be found here.

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