Boxing Day (December 26th) is considered to be the Black Friday of the U.K. and has been known to be one of the busiest days of the year for merchandise returns and subsequent sales. It is a time where many U.K. retailers have promotions with dramatic price reductions to take advantage of the heavy foot traffic.

Not only are U.K. retailers offering deals to in-store customers, but these sales are being extended to their online shoppers. On Boxing Day in 2013, U.K. retailers increased their investment in paid search and saw positive returns with tremendous year-on-year (YoY) growth in PLAs (product listing ads), online revenues, and tablet paid search performance.

We examined data from a representative sample of U.K. retailers using Kenshoo and saw increased investment in paid search and saw positive returns with tremendous year-on-year (YoY) growth in PLAs (product listing ads), online revenues, and tablet paid search performance.

In 2013, the U.K. retailers in our index increased their paid search spend on Boxing Day by 76% YoY. Their investment paid off, contributing to a 43% increase in ad impressions and 57% increase in clicks. Consumers responded positively, with U.K. retailers doubling the amount of revenue in 2013 when compared to Boxing Day in 2012.

Boxing Day Imps Clicks Spend

This year, U.K. retailers experienced a shift in the use of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) with a large portion of clicks, conversions, and revenue originating from tablets. With most shoppers being at home on Boxing Day, away from their work computers, they reached for their tablet devices to browse the web and make their purchases.

As seen in the charts below, 35% of spend, 37% of conversions, and 38% of revenue originated from tablet devices on Boxing Day this season. While computers still contribute the most spend, conversions and revenue, marketers are capitalizing on the shift towards smartphones and tablets by adjusting their investment towards those devices, with half of their spend on Boxing Day allocated to mobile.

Boxing Day Ad Spend by Device

 

Boxing Day Conversions by Device

 

Boxing Day Revenue by Device

Product Listing Ads (PLAs) offer an enticing platform for merchants to garner online traffic and now comprise the default ad format for Google Shopping. U.K. retailers saw the value of PLAs on Boxing Day and heavily increased their YoY investment, with a 1300% bump in spend. In doing so, these retailers saw a 1190% increase in clicks and 967% increase in impressions, proving the format to be powerful and effective.

Boxing Day PLA

Boxing Day continues to be a significant shopping day in 2013 in the U.K. By experimenting with new ad formats and targeting consumers on mobile and tablet devices, marketers have yet again been able to capitalize on this popular shopping day and capture online traffic and revenue.

Stay tuned for more global paid search performance data and insights in the full edition of Kenshoo’s 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report, coming out soon. In the meantime, you can download your copy of the Kenshoo 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Early Edition for an analysis of the early shopping season.