Pubishers Holiday Shopping Search Data

2022 holiday season: How can publishers deliver high-intent shoppers to advertisers?



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October 31, 2022 | 6 min read

With the 2022 holiday season upon us, publishers need to make sure their online properties are ready to attract high-intent shoppers to match them with the right advertisers at the right moment

In this article CodeFuel shares some tips on what publishers need to consider for their digital properties.

Holiday season means shopping season, an exciting yet challenging time for publishers.

Although rising costs and supply chain issues will increase the cost of goods this holiday season, we are likely to continue seeing double-digit growth in e-commerce sales, similar to what we saw last year. In 2021, holiday sales grew across all channels for a total increase of 16.1% over 2020.

A major challenge publishers face during this holiday season is figuring out what content strategy will help them attract high-intent shoppers to their properties, so that their advertisers can maximize their campaign results. For instance, due to supply chain issues, consumers are likely to start shopping earlier than ever or favor purchasing gift cards over physical gifts. How can publishers best appeal to shoppers' present state of mind entering this holiday season? The answer lies in identifying consumer intent and adapting to new consumer behavior.

Learning from last year: A look at 2021’s most searched shopping categories

Based on millions of daily search queries over the 2021 holiday shopping season, CodeFuel, Perion’s (NASDAQ: PERI) Intent to Revenue Technology Division, shares some interesting online consumer trends and product discovery patterns:

  • The first significant spike in search traffic around shopping was spotted on November 6, five days before Singles Day in China. CodeFuel noted a 15% week-over-week increase in searches in the technology and computing category and a 20% increase in the style and fashion category. On Singles Day itself, there was a ramp-up in all categories.
  • Right before Black Friday, there was a sharp 28% increase in week-over-week searches in the overall shopping category. Growth continued from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, with an over 12% increase in the sports category specifically, over 48% in the style & fashion category, and over 18% in the home and garden category.
  • In the weeks before Christmas and all through New Year, the style and fashion category exhibited 12%, 19%, and 25% increases week-over-week. The entire shopping category showed an increase of 14%, 17%, and 20% for the same weeks.

Based on these CodeFuel search query insights, publishers may want to focus efforts this season early enough and focus on the categories that saw the most growth last holiday season. This means publishing more content around these popular categories to attract relevant consumers.

Adapting to new consumer behavior

Appealing to consumers in time is just the first step. Following are a few additional tactical suggestions for publishers on how to best prepare for the 2022 holiday season:

Deal seeking - With the average cost of goods seeing double-digit increases this year, consumers are hunting for deals more than ever. They will probably start their holiday shopping early to avoid price hikes, as global inflation is expected to rise by Christmas. We recommend that publishers deliver online best practices for early shopping and maximize their online exposure to attract the sizable crowd of Black Friday deal seekers. If you own and operate an app or website dedicated to product and price comparison, you are well advised to showcase the best tips on how to get discounts and deals.

Apps - Mobile apps are predicted to drive nearly 50% of all e-commerce sales in 2022. In addition, shopping app revenue in the U.S. has doubled since mid-March 2021. This year, publishers are advised to utilize a combination of website and app presence to best reach consumers wherever they are.

Gift cards - The popularity of gift cards is expected to reach an all-time high this year due to both budget-cutting and supply chain issues. Fiserv's third-quarter 2022 Gift Card Gauge examined the current mindset and expectations of consumers and discovered that 83% of consumers expect items to be out of stock and 74% are concerned they won’t be able to afford what they want to purchase. This makes gift cards an attractive option and a topic of interest to many shoppers this season. Make sure your site features content that helps consumers understand what their options could be and what are some of the best practices when shopping for gift cards.

Popular search categories - To successfully target high-intent consumers online, being able to identify what's trending on consumers' minds is essential. CodeFuel’s data from last year’s shopping season might suggest what we can expect to see this year.

  • During the days leading up to Chinese Singles Day, November 11, we noticed a 15% increase in search queries in technology & computing and 20% in style & fashion.
  • November 26, Black Friday, brought a 22% increase in searches within the overall shopping/retail categories, with search numbers continuing to rise until Cyber Monday.
  • Search queries for style & fashion increased up to 25% during the week leading up to Christmas and stayed high all the way through New Year.

Publishers would do well to expect similar category interest for the holiday season of 2022.

Getting started for a strong finish in 2022

While the shopping season usually begins in November, last year we saw a shift in consumer behavior with people noticeably beginning their holiday shopping as early as October.

According to an Insider Intelligence report, 28% of shoppers started their holiday shopping before November 2021.

Early Black Friday promotions, as well as concerns about supply chains and shipping issues, largely contributed to last year’s trends. With rising costs and ongoing supply shortage issues, people are likely to begin shopping for holiday deals and gifts earlier this year, too. In fact, according to a recent Insider Intelligence report, 25% of shoppers either already began their holiday shopping as early as August or plan to begin shopping in September.

What does this mean for publishers?

With at least a quarter of holiday shoppers already scouring the web looking for bargains, it’s not too early to start putting holiday season 2022 content features in place now. By utilizing consumer insights, such as those offered by CodeFuel, to understand trends and customer needs – and by staying focused on encouraging direct response – publishers should be able to successfully attract high-intent consumers to their properties this holiday season.

Pubishers Holiday Shopping Search Data


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