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Happy Holidays: Prepare For A HUGE Spike In Mobile Searches, Clicks

Good news, and better news about the 2012 holiday season, from Google on its Mobile Ad Blog. The company's historic data heralds a surge in activity on tablets and smartphones over holidays, with mobile ads outpacing mobile search.

On Labor Day 2012, searches on smartphones were up 7% compared to a typical Monday, and up 25% on tablets. But while ad clicks on smartphones grew 9%, those on tablets surged by 39%.

But what of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, typically the biggest shopping day of the year? On last year's Black Friday, smartphone searches were up 17% compared to a normal day, while ad clicks were up a whopping 61%. Tablet searches rose by 40%, while clicks on tablet ads skyrocketed more than 100%, and stayed above average in the days following

Google offered no data about Cyber Monday (just after thanksgiving), but according to comScore data (reported via Bing Ads), it was first in 2012 for ecommerce spending. The following two Mondays were second and third, and each day exceeded $1.1 billion in spending.

According to a Google and Ipsos survey released in October, 4 in 5 mobile device owners plan to use their devices to assist them with holiday shopping. For example, 45% of smartphone users will use them to compare prices, 44% will find a nearby store based on their location, and 39% will look for coupons. Alas, an Accenture survey found that they are likely to use the devices to "showroom" (see a product in-store then shop for a better price), with 56% of consumers reporting they are likely to do so this holiday season.

But shoppers chiefly use search, mobile sites and apps to showroom, and a 100%+ spike in ad clicks can't be ignored.

Google offers a few suggestions to make ready.

  • Have campaigns and ad text for holiday promotions or messages ready in advance.
  • Boost your budget cap on holidays to account for additional clicks.
  • Use an always-on strategy to ensure your budget lasts throughout the day. (Consumers are researching and shopping at all hours.)
  • Segment your historic campaign performance by device to understand how people interact with you on smartphones versus tablets, and tweak your campaigns accordingly to capitalize.
  • Expand keyword lists to include holiday-related terms and ensure keyword parity between PC and mobile campaigns, so that you reach customers regardless of which device they using.


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