This information was presented in a webinar by Yahoo last week. I went into it hoping to learn something new but wasn’t expecting to learn something new – but it turned out to be a very insightful webinar full of good stats that you can cater your PPC advertising campaigns to this holiday season.

General Holiday Shopping Stats:

  • Women this year are planning to spend less.
  • More comparison shopping will be done this year over any other previous year to try and find the best deals and offers. This means it’s likely your click-through rates will decrease due to an increase in impressions from consumers clicking on various websites looking for deals. This also means more shopping will be done on comparison shopping engines like, and to name a few.
  • More shoppers are buying practical gifts/necessities as Christmas gifts. This could mean gift cards to a grocery store over a whimsical Christmas sweater with Frosty the Snowman on it.
  • Online shopping does still continue to grow year over year. So having an online presence is critical during the months of November and December.
  • 26% of men will be shopping online, while only 20% of women will be shopping online. You know what this means, electronics! Men love to shop for electronics online and look for the best prices. If you sell ipods, TV’s, etc. make sure you have a promotion going on like Free Shipping or a discount offer for these male shoppers.
  • 25 – 34 year olds will be shopping online mainly. Older people still aren’t 100% comfortable shopping online and will likely make the trip to the mall instead.

Statistics on Categories of Gifts:

  • Clothing and accessories trump Black Friday sales.
  • Books, DVD’s and games fall in second place.
  • Then electronics and toys fall in third place.

Peak Days for Shoppers:

“Cyber Monday” (busiest online shopping day of the year) is most popular for people who have access to the internet at work and shop during their 8 – 5 office job.

Christmas Day is large in sales for shoppers (mainly women) looking for sales!

What are women looking for:

  • Clothing and accessories
  • Jewelry and watches

Other categories of items have peak shopping days too:

  • Books/dvd/video games = sales peak cyber monday
  • Home category = Black Friday sales begin to rise, real peak is second week of December.
  • Toys = sales peak Cyber Monday, sales begin to declines after Christmas Day.
  • Gift cards = Sales peak Cyber Monday.
  • Game consoles = sales begin to increase Cyber Monday, but largest peak is on Christmas Day
  • Consumer electronics = largest sales peak is during first week of December.
  • Computer hardware = sales begin to pick up Black Friday, Cyber Monday is highest sales peak.
  • Sporting goods = sales peak is day after Cyber Monday
  • Travel = searches for travel rise towards the end of December, but really picks up after first of the year.


  • If you think you can still make good sales without the use of promotions and incentives, think again.
  • 1 in 5 shoppers will only purchase a product online when free shipping is offered
  • Most retailers offer free shipping both ways, free shipping over a certain amount or free shipping when…
  • National free shipping day – December 17

Consumers are mainly finding their Christmas Gifts via:

  1. search engines
  3. catalog
  4. ebay

Search Statistics:

  • 50% of black Friday terms contained 4 or more keywords in 08.
  • Black Friday conversions increased 147% compared to a normal day in November.
  • Cyber Monday conversions increased 73%
  • Lower CTR indicate more comparison shopping and more research
  • Yahoo strongly recommends more ad text testing and the use of the content network during these peak sales times.
  • Yahoo also recommends using campaign scheduling, advanced targeting geographically, or demographically, and help with optimization by an account manager.

Yahoo’s Buying cycle:

  • Step 1:  Learning:  What do I want/need, how can I learn about xyz.
  • Step 2:  Shopping: What brands, features are available.
  • Step 3:  Purchase:  Who stocks this model number, “I want that one daddy”

yahoo buying cycle

More Yahoo Tips:

  • Take users to landing pages!
  • Ensure you site has effective on site search
  • Confirm prices/promos throughout all your pages.
  • Enter a daily spending limit – you can see how many impressions and clicks you may receive
  • Make good use of dynamic keyword insertion to target your ads better.
  • Ads with slogans or too much sales jargon don’t perform as well. Simply state what is being offered.
  • Read user ratings!!! Put this in your ads and you may see increases in CTR’s.
  • Maximize your ad space, use all characters.
  • Be specific in your ad, not general.
  • The yahoo marketplace is underserved by sites that actually sell items. Most are sites that aggregate other sites, like parked domains.

Overall I thought it was a great webinar and very insightful. It’s important to keep in mind these are just Yahoo! statistics for previous holiday seasons. If there is any time to increase your budget for PPC advertising it would be during the end of November and all of December. If you have a travel related website, increase your budget after Christmas and during the month of January. Good luck this holiday season!