Search Surprises: Unexpected Holiday Bumps

It easy to figure out that in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, people are much more likely to be searching for romantic restaurants. What is surprising, according to a new research report from Synup, is that the strongest interest in restaurants, as measured by people searching for driving directions, peaked on Feb. 17 this year, the Saturday after the holiday itself. 

“Maybe it’s people wanting to avoid the Valentine’s Day rush, or people were busy with work on the actual holiday,” says Ashwin Ramesh, Synup’s founder and CEO. “But the point is that searching for driving directions is a better intention of purchase than search itself. By the time someone is in the car and clicking on directions, they’re pretty committed.”

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Ramesh tells Marketing Daily that the new report, which focuses on searches for 3,600 of its small-business customers, also turns up plenty of insight for marketers of all sizes. The weeks leading up to Halloween, for example, emerge with unexpected clout: “October is one of the best months for the shopping sector,” he says, second only to the interest in shopping over the summer vacation, when people are thinking about going back to school, and Christmas. 

The yearlong study analyzes both search and direction requests, pinpointing the best days and months to market to customers by sector. “Our aim was to help business leaders fine-tune their efforts by anticipating consumer behavior. The idea was that if we could understand exactly when consumers are looking, we could then help these businesses get found.”

Synup, based in Bangalore, India, says that while Feb. 17 was the best day for direction requests in the restaurant sector, hotel-travel requests peaked on July 1, and directions for shopping hit their highest level on Dec. 23. In terms of search, restaurants peaked on July 21, hotels on July 17, and shopping on Dec. 18.

He says close to 60% of the searches it tracked were done on mobile.

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