While the last week before Christmas beginning on December 21 picks up and becomes very local, marketers need to keep in mind that there is an entire week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Shopping queries such as “where to buy” increase up until December 23, but queries recover to the pre-Christmas frenzy and remain steady for the final week of the year.
It's not just online. Google notes that 20% of all December store traffic happens in the six days after Christmas. Searches for "clearance" typically spike on December 26, when shoppers look to redeem gift cards, make returns and complete exchanges.
Retailers may push holiday deals earlier and earlier each year, but some shoppers still wait longer to make purchases.
When shoppers consider a new purchase, they spend 13 days on average shopping for the item. But once they decide to buy, nearly half expect it either the same day or the next day. In fact, mobile searches related to "same day shipping" queries rose 120% since 2015.
"With mobile, shoppers know they can easily find and get what they are looking for up until the last minute," wrote Emily Eberhard, head of shopping at Google, in a blog post. "That means a lot of December’s holiday shopping happens right before — and even after — Christmas, giving more reason for retailers to continue to drive store traffic from online and offline media throughout the season.
Regardless of the day of the week that Christmas actually falls on, the in-store holiday rush begins on the Friday one full week before Christmas. The Saturday after that is the second-busiest day of December.
December 23 is the busiest shopping day of the year. It's also the day that searches for "where to buy" increase the most. For example, "where to buy Cards Against Humanity," “where to buy Yeti Cups," and "where to buy that black handbag with the gold stripes that sold out at Bloomingdales."
Mobile searches for “open now” and “store hours” continue to grow through December and peak on Christmas Day. Searches like "what stores are open near me on Christmas” and "what grocery stores are open on Christmas."
The study says that because Christmas falls on a Monday this year, retailers have an edge. There are two full weekends in the 10 -ay period before the holiday, which works well for store traffic.