An Online Christmas Carol: Part I

    November 28, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

There is so much to tell you, it’s hard to find where to start. Start at the beginning? No, I think we’ll start with today. Today is Cyber Monday, the latest buzz-phrase hitting commerce news and the online answer to the frantic, good-will-towards-men elbowing and man-handling that occurs on Black Friday, all in the name of a guy who told us to give all our stuff away, not collect more. Ahem. Sorry bout the preachin’.

Okay, Cyber Monday it is, then. On Friday, we found out that after shoppers recover from the hysterics induced by Xbox 360, an impending iPod shortage, and $400 laptops, they limp back to work on Monday and, with their spreadsheet on toggle, begin perusing online.

In fact, 77% of online retailers report a substantial increase in sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. Undoubtedly, the price of gasoline will drive more customers online than ever before, but a few of them will be deterred from brick and mortar establishments after reading passages like this one:

Consumer rage flared as several men tackled one shopper to the ground at a Wal-Mart in Orlando, Florida, in an apparent fight over a bargain item.

And this one:

In North Dakota, a 17-year-old boy, being one of the first to purchase the console at 12:01 AM Tuesday, found himself Xbox-less one minute later as two assailants punched him in the face and ran off with the goods.

Ah, Christmas. Family, homemade candy, eggnog, giving, and a good old-fashioned beat down at the mall.

It really shouldn’t be all that surprising that the more prudent shopper is staying warm, energized, richer, and safer by becoming a virtual shopper, who can drop by, if he wants to rumble.

For online shoppers, the season really begins the day after Halloween, not Thanksgiving, and online retailers as well as search engine marketers should be thinking about ways to grab a piece of the $415 billion holiday spending season that begins November 1st.

It was the first day of November this year that US Internet searches on the term [Christmas] jumped 41% over the previous week. During the same week, queries for [Christmas gift ideas], [Christmas gifts], and [Christmas decorations] were up 185%, 92%, and 75% respectively, according to Hitwise.

And as Search Gal informed us last week, Christmas searches are continuing to ramp up.The top Christmas keywords, from Overture, are as follows:

christmas 17,556.9/day
nightmare before christmas 5,160.3/day
christmas decoration 4,684.5 /day
christmas card 4,420.9/day
christmas gift 3,910.4/day
christmas tree 3,665.5/day
christmas ornament 3,383.5/day
christmas crafts 2,697.2/day
christmas light 2,174.6/day
christmas song 1,906.9/day

Do with this information what you will, and I’ll meet up with you tomorrow for Part II.