Yext, Inc. (NYSE: Yext), the leader in digital knowledge management (DKM), today revealed new data that highlights when and how consumers are searching for businesses leading up to the holidays. The research revealed new insights into consumer search behavior during the month of December, including a dramatic uptick in clicks for directions to retail stores on December 26th—70% above average—when consumers are looking to return gifts or use gift cards.
Brands invest year-round to capitalize on the holiday rush, but it can be difficult to measure what this period looks like in terms of real consumer search behavior. Yext’s research provides a window into consumer intent during one of the most commercially active times of year, reinforcing the importance of ensuring information like store hours, offerings, and locations are up-to-date across channels.
Yext examined data on clicks for driving directions to businesses in the month of December and compared them to an average from October through December,* finding:
- December 2nd is a peak day for banking. Directions to banks are up 14% on December 2nd compared to the average for that day of the week, as people stock up on cash for their holiday shopping.
- Jewelry shopping ramps up throughout the month. Driving direction requests to jewelry stores start rising on December 10th, at 23% above their average levels in the months prior, skyrocketing to 180% above average on December 22nd.
- Gift-givers send packages one week before Christmas. December 17th and 18th are big days for mailing and shipping services—with clicks for driving directions rising over 70% above the norm—as gift-givers send gifts and cards.
- Clothes shopping peaks on Black Friday and stays high. Clicks for directions to clothing retailers remain well above average through December 23rd. December 20th is the biggest clothing shopping day in December by direction clicks, at 46% above average.
- Pets are a last-minute gift. Shopping for a last-minute puppy? So is everyone else. Directions to pet stores are up 54% on December 21st.
- Gadget shoppers head to stores on December 22nd. When it comes to electronics, many shoppers are waiting until December 22nd to head to stores, when clicks for driving directions spike to more than 50% above average. Directions spike 50% again the day after Christmas, when shoppers are looking to use gift cards—or to return gifts they got the day before.
- Families stock up on Christmas Eve. Grocery and liquor stores hit 70% above average as shoppers look to stock up on December 24th.
- Retail stores are empty on Christmas Day. On December 25th, shoppers stay home, with 64% fewer directions requests to retail stores than normal. In contrast, direction requests to pharmacies are up 95% on Christmas Day, as one of the few businesses open for last-minute items.
- Retail bounces back on December 26th. Retail stores see a 70% spike in clicks for driving directions after the holiday as consumers look to make returns or use gift cards on December 26th.
- New Year’s Eve parties drive liquor shopping. December 31st is the peak day of the month for liquor stores, 123% above average in fact, as shoppers stock up for New Year’s parties.
“Everyone knows the holiday season is a peak time for commerce, but our research shows the holiday rush comes at different times for each business category,” said Marc Ferrentino, Chief Strategy Officer at Yext. “This underscores the importance of providing perfect business information everywhere to bring in consumers when they’re most interested in transacting. it’s especially critical for brands to be in control of data like special hours, locations, events, and promotions across the web during the holidays, in order to take advantage.”
*Yext examined the volume of ‘clicks for driving directions’ among Yext customer businesses across industries for December 2017. The statistics above compare the volume of directions clicks on the specified day in December 2017 to the average volume of directions clicks on the corresponding day of the week from October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.