Get more out of Christmas with Search

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say; Christmas! A day to celebrate, eat, drink, be merry, and of course, open presents. For retailers worldwide, a significant portion of a total years sales happen in and around the Christmas period. In New Zealand (and worldwide), the month of December sees huge peaks in sales for retailers. Since 2009 the trend in electronic card transactions has been on the rise, with the value of transactions being significantly higher in the month of December than any other month of the year.

This begs the question, what should retailers be doing to make the most of the inevitably large increase in consumer spending that occurs in December? Put up Christmas decorations in their shop front? Offer special Christmas delivery options? Extend opening hours during December? Taking these actions would likely help, but they all assume that a consumer is already aware of who the retailer is.

Google Search trends indicate that people in New Zealand start searching about Christmas as early as October. That’s not to say that they are purchasing in October, but would certainly suggest that people are in research mode and looking for answers to the question ‘what should I purchase for Christmas?’ The graph below illustrates interest in the search term ‘Christmas ideas’ is at a high in December, but starts to lift from September and even more so from October.

Without a strong online presence in this early research phase, retailers face missing out on being present in customers minds before they start shopping. Take the phrase ‘kids toys’ as an example. The volume of people searching for kids’ toys picks up significantly through October and November (as illustrated below). This doesn’t provide an indication of when people purchase kids toys but certainly suggests that retailers selling kids toys would benefit from a search engine presence from at least October, to ensure that they put their brand in front of the increased number of consumers who are looking for the product that they sell. With Christmas just around the corner, there is a high chance that consumer research would then turn into consumer purchasing.

Achieving visibility in search engine results can be done in one of two ways – via Search Engine Optimisation or Paid Search – with SEO results being achieved over the longer term, if a Christmas search strategy isn’t something that you’ve given a huge amount of thought to, your best bet would be to run paid search campaigns which can deliver results fast. By putting your brand in front of consumers as they are researching, you’re increasing the likelihood of making more online or in store sales in the Christmas period; provided your paid search campaigns are set up, run and optimised effectively.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, I’ve combined one of my favorite things – search marketing – with a classic Christmas tune that fairly accurately describes how I, and many others, go about Christmas shopping.

*Cue Jingle Bells tune*


Scrolling through I go

On my mobile device

Favourites start to grow

Finding the best price


Spirits feeling high

Floating on cloud nine

What fun it is to find and buy

All my presents online


Online stores, online stores

Online all the way

Oh, what fun it is to shop

Without entering a store, yay!


Online stores, online stores

Online all the way

Oh, what fun it is to shop

Without entering a store, yay!


Here’s hoping that version is as catchy as the original!

Tessa has years of experience in data analysis and number crunching, following the completion of a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in both Finance and Economics. Since discovering the ever changing, complex, and data driven world of digital marketing and SEM she’s never looked back. Tessa currently manages campaigns for clients across a range of industries; specialising in the management of both lead acquisition and e-commerce campaigns. Finding the sweet spots to maximise the return for clients is all in a days work.

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