We already know that Christmas can have a massive impact on the online industry, and this year, despite the ‘credit crunch’, there has been no exception. Already we are seeing considerable fluctuations in the CPCs as more advertisers compete for position in the paid search results.
It is interesting to hear in a recent Hitwise report that those online retailers who also have a high street presence have seen a decline in web traffic over the last week. On the other hand, the online only retailers have experienced an increase which may be due to a few reasons. It may be that customers are now becoming more trusting of later order and delivery dates, or it may be that customers are leaving it later to buy presents or have decided to buy online for convenience.
I have also read an article from Hitwise that more customers are searching for vouchers and discounts, with the top 10 recent voucher related searches include “paypal voucher”, “amazon voucher”, and “ebay voucher”. This could have impacted on the number of people buying online and using their discount vouchers, rather than buying from high street online retailers.
In addition to this, Hitwise have reported that there were twice as many UK shoppers searching for 'free delivery' during November 2008 than in 2007. Those who searched for free delivery options were presented with several voucher websites in the search results which they usually went on to visit, illustrating the link between delivery and discounts.