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Report: Search dominated Thanksgiving weekend sales decisions


With many Thanksgiving weekend digital purchases stemming from searches, the convenience of mobility is helping to drive this uptick.

That’s according to the “2016 Search Spend and Purchase Report,” from NetElixir. The study analyzing more than 11 million visits across four different verticals (food and gourmet, consumer electronics, apparel and gifting), starting on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.

The report showed that mobile devices (both mobile and tablet) surpassed desktop in terms of visit share, reaching between 53% and 55%. However, desktop still leads in sales with a sales-share close to 60%.

“Retailers need to pay attention to the influx of mobile commerce. It can very well be the case that next year, mobile might overtake desktop, changing drastically the landscape of how people buy,” said NetElixir founder and CEO Udayan Bose. “Factors like location and ease of purchasing on a mobile device might become critical to consumers making purchasing decisions. The time for retailers to shift to mobile is now.”

One process that could drive this trend is the value of search. During the holiday shopping weekend, search spend year-over-year (YoY) growth peaked between 18% and 20%. Voice-based searches increased 200% from last year, and “Near Me” searches increased 45% from last year, the study said.

Consumers shopped most on Sunday over the weekend, and the most popular times of day to buy were between 5 and 6 p.m. on Black Friday and between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Cyber Monday. Clicks were up by 38% while impressions — when an ad is viewed by an online visitor — were up by 71%. Meanwhile, latency, the time between when a consumer expresses interest in a product and actually buys the product, was lowest on Sunday, suggesting that they were driven to purchase by the offers on this specific day, the report said.

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