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Increase your December ad budget

Holiday spending guide for retailers: Increase your ad budget in December
December is the last stretch in holiday advertising and the most crucial. It makes good fiscal sense to allocate more advertising resources during the month of December.1 The increases that retailers and vendors see during the holiday shopping season should compensate for the increase in advertising costs, making such spending a wise business investment.1
December is the biggest month for holiday shopping and advertising
December is when many retailers pull out their “big guns” in terms of ads1, so don’t get lost in the crowd. In December, ad spending is fueled by shoppers clicking the buy button.2 Though many think shopping is winding down, 19 percent of shoppers start searching only two to four weeks before Christmas and 24 percent start two to four weeks before Hanukkah.3 Clicks on the Bing Network are higher in December than they are in November for the biggest Holiday retail categories: apparel, consumer electronics, and toys and games.3 

At the end of November, Cyber Monday kicks off a three-day streak of huge desktop search and ecommerce spending.3 December 11th (two weeks before Christmas) is the fourth highest ecommerce spending day.4 Invest in PC/tablet ads for the first half of December when the top PC/tablet search days are happening on the Bing Network.3 Keep in mind, desktop browsing tends to happen at the beginning of the work week3 so set your bids to take advantage of these searches. 

Download the Bing Holiday Planning Calendar to learn more strategies for December. 

Why invest in search on the Bing Network
Search continues to be an integral part of the holidays and your customers’ purchase-decision journey. Shoppers turn to search more than any other channel (46 percent of the time) to get gift inspiration.Search is also the most effective channel to convert those shoppers into customers at 58 percent most effective.6 The Bing Network delivers value for retail by growing click volume and click contribution during the Holidays, with a 46 percent average click-volume increase (November to January) year-over-year.7 The Bing Network audience also spends more. The Bing audience buying power index is 20 percent more than average Internet searcher during the holidays.8
Don’t forget about the fa-la-la-la last-minute shoppers 
December is a hot-spot when it comes to catching those last-minute shoppers with alluring ads and enticing deals.9  Five percent shop for Christmas one week before and 11 percent shop for Hanukkah one week before. Surprisingly, two percent shop for Christmas the day of the holiday and 14 percent shop for Hanukkah the day of.10 Create a Bing Shopping Campaign for last-minute shoppers and focus on the items they are looking for, like gift cards, greeting cards, stocking stuffers, gift baskets and gift wrap.

Advertising after the holidays
Even if consumers have completed their holiday purchases, you can anticipate another peak immediately after the season.9 Shoppers receive gift cards and cash under the tree, and with after-Christmas sales events and holiday merchandise being liqiudated, shoppers will be looking to spend on December 26th.9

Competition among retail advertisers typically decreases after the Holidays (shown by cost-per-click decreases), while the market of shoppers increases (shown by click-through-rate increases) on the Bing Network11 for apparel and consumer electronics. This means you can get the most clicks for the lowest cost after the Holidays. Don’t drop your bids after Christmas when clicks surge. 

If you are trying to clear out and liquidate merchandise prior to December 31st, it makes sense to capture maximum exposure through rock-bottom pricing, promotions or sales events to try and catch these customers prior to the end of the calendar year.9

Get the most out of your campaigns this holiday season

Check your budget now to make sure you are taking full advantage of shopping trends in December, both during and after the holidays.  For more digital insights and strategies for holidays search advertising, download the complete Bing Ads Holidays 2016 Insights Presentation. To access our entire library of seasonal and vertical insights, visit the Bing Ads Insights portal.
[1] Steve Olenski, Forbes, 5 Reasons to Increase Your Ad Budget During the Holidays, Nov 25, 2014
[2] comScore Inc., Final 2015 Desktop Online Holiday Sales Reach $56.4 Billion, Up 6 Percent vs. Year Ago, Jan 8, 2016
[3] Microsoft Internal data, All Devices, US only, December 2015.
[4] comScore Inc. Final 2015 Desktop Online Holiday Sales Reach $56.4 Billion, Up 6 Percent vs. Year Ago, Jan 8, 2016
[5] National Retail Federation, Monthly Consumer Survey, November 2015
[6] Forrester Research panel, The State of Retailing Online 2015
[7] Microsoft Internal data (O&O and Partner Network), Nov 2015–Dec, US only, All Devices Vertical Categorization: based on Bing Ads account categorization
[8] comScore qSearch (custom), December 2015; Bing Network includes Microsoft sites, Yahoo sites (searches powered by Bing), and AOL sites in the United States
[9] Steve Olenski, Forbes, 5 Reasons to Increase Your Ad Budget During the Holidays, Nov 25, 2014
[10] Rocket Fuel, 2015 Holiday Shopping Study: Influencing Shopper Decisions” conducted by Qualtrics, Nov 12, 2015.
[11] Microsoft Internal data, weekly searches Oct-Dec 2015, All Devices, US only