Marin Software, provider of the leading enterprise-class paid search management platform, today released key search marketing data and insights from the 2009 Christmas period, as well as retail best practices for this Christmas, in a new whitepaper entitled “The Search Marketer’s Guide for the Holidays: 10 Tips for a Successful 2010” (link). Marin’s analysis is derived from extensive 2009 Christmas search campaign data gathered from Marin Software clients across the world that, in total, spend more than $1.3 Billion dollars annually on paid search.

Key themes and statistics from the report include:

• Dispelling Myths of the Early Shopper -- Despite research indicating a trend towards early shopping, consumer purchasing activity online still rises most dramatically immediately after Thanksgiving in the US and remains elevated throughout the month of December. From November to December of last year, paid search clicks and conversions rose by 18% and 66% respectively, indicating that the majority of holiday purchasing still happens just before Christmas.

• Higher Conversion Rates, Higher Bids – During the Christmas period, consumers exhibited higher conversion rates than they did in the months leading up to the end of November. Last year, conversion rates from paid search increased between 25% and 50% for select weeks. Advertisers looking to capitalise on this behaviour need to anticipate bid changes to meet rising consumer purchase intent.

• “Peak week” -- While Black Friday in the US and Mega Monday in the UK are often touted as the most important days for online retail, Marin’s research showed that the first full week of December easily outpaced both those days. During the December “Peak week” in 2009, paid search campaigns run by leading retailers registered the highest cumulative results for all of November and December with 24% of all impressions, 18% of all clicks, and 25% of profits.

• The Sunday effect – According to Marin’s research, online shoppers appear to be the busiest on Sundays. Throughout the entire Christmas period, Sundays outperformed other days of the week in terms of average conversions, conversion rates, and profit for paid search campaigns.

“Last year, shoppers spent $27 Billion online during the Christmas period alone,” said Matt Lawson, vice president of marketing for Marin Software. “It’s no wonder that retailers spend heavily on paid search in the run up to Christmas, since a large part of their sales are generated during these critical weeks. For smart marketers, increasing bids in advance of shifts in consumer buying behaviour can be the difference between a good selling Christmas and a great one. Marin Software gives marketers the tools to understand their customer, and deliver exceptional profits and ROI from paid search.”

Published on: 11:48AM on 1st October 2010