If recent search traffic spikes on Bing have proven anything, it's that the holiday shopping season is off to a promising—and early—start.
Microsoft recorded more than a 40 percent lift in retail-related search queries in October compared to the same month last year. According to executives, shopping-related searches in November have swelled by an even larger rate, even with several days to go before Black Friday and Cyber Monday—typically two of the biggest days in traditional and online shopping.
Of course, Microsoft completely overhauled its search business last year with the rollout of its well received Bing platform. So some of this growth could be attributed to greater adoption of that product.
But the growth in retail-specific searches—especially this early—could also indicate that e-commerce is bouncing back nicely after a rough couple of years. Online shopping tends to build over the coming weeks, peaking a few weeks after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
According to comScore, Dec. 15, 2009 was the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year. And per Microsoft’s own data, the heaviest period of search ad spending and clicks for retail occurred from Dec. 1 through Dec. 17.