Don’t like what you find under the Christmas tree this year? Blame it on YouTube.
Google released its 2015 holiday trend report based on Google data and research from the 2014 holiday season. Among the report’s findings is YouTube’s influence on purchasing decisions as more consumers visited the video channel last year to watch product reviews.
Of the people who watched online videos to help with their holiday purchases, 80 percent watched product reviews and 68 percent preferred videos from “people like me.” Meanwhile, 45 percent preferred videos from experts.
The report also highlighted online shopping, especially through mobile devices; consumers’ desire to try new brands and retailers; and hints to an early shopping season for 2015.
Consumers started shopping early in 2014. A quarter of participants said they started shopping before Halloween, and about half did most of their shopping on or prior to Cyber Monday.
Shoppers reported spending more time researching and purchasing online than they did in years past. The majority of shoppers (78%) used the internet for holiday research, and an increasing amount of holiday shopping occurred online (40%).
Online traffic came from people researching and purchasing on smartphones. Nearly $1 trillion, or 28 percent of all sales, was influenced by related mobile searches, and 53 percent of consumers who shopped online used smartphones or tablets.
Consumers were also eager to try new stores and brands—a sign that brand loyalty continues to dwindle. Over half were open to buying from a new retailer, and 41 percent purchased from a new retailer.