Google recently published a Retail Holiday Study that we found very interesting here at JumpFly. Granted it was conducted in September, and some answers might be different now, but there were some key findings I wanted to share.

1. Researching Starts Early: 31% of consumers planned to start shopping before Prepare For Holiday ShoppingHalloween, and 57% are researching right now, before Thanksgiving.

2. Research is Increased Due to Economy: 43% of consumers say they plan to spend more time this year shopping and researching gifts because of the state of the economy.

3. Online Research is King:54% of people go online to research than go to the store to buy, 49% research online and purchase online and another 28% research online, go to the store to check out the products and then go back online to actually buy the products.

4. The Internet is Key Influencer of Holiday Purchases: 86% of users will use the Internet to plan their holiday shopping and 63% of users plan on paying attention to advertising while planning or doing holiday shopping.

5. Post Holiday Sales Are Important: 63% of consumers say they plan on taking advantage of holiday sales.

A few other key nuggets of information, online shopping will gear up right on Cyber Monday, which is the first Monday after Thanksgiving, or December 1st for 2008. It continues to climb until right before Christmas.

And what are consumers looking for when they are online? 86% of users are looking for and plan on taking advantage of price discounts and sales, while another 75% of consumers are looking to taking advantage of free shipping. What does that mean for you? Unless you are the only player in your market, you better be offering some kind of special like a discount or free shipping or you are going to miss out on customers, plain and simple. Now is a great time to adjust your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising ad copy to reflect any available incentives.

The holidays are coming, so be ready. Plan now because waiting even a bit longer will be too late.

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