Here’s What Consumers Are Searching for on the Days Leading up to the New Year

Directions requests to liquor stores spike to 160% above average on Christmas Eve

Some business categories, like toy stores, jewelry stores, arcades and liquor stores spark more consumer engagement depending on the day. YEXT
Headshot of Mónica Marie Zorrilla

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … directions to an ATM?

Though the remixed lyrics to the classic carol are bizarre, there’s a chestnut of truth in them (at least that’s what Yext, the New-York-based search-engine cloud company, found in their latest holiday season data research).

Conducted in-house by Yext, the global consumer study examined the amount of requests for directions and clicks for websites from a sample of over 4 million in search listings, analyzing behavior between Nov. 15, 2018, and Jan. 15, 2019, and comparing it to the average amount of requests and clicks for that day of the week during the research period.

What did they find? Per Zahid Zakaria, senior director of insights and analytics at Yext, some business categories, like toy stores, jewelry stores, arcades and liquor stores spark more consumer engagement depending on the day leading up to the new year.

For example, Yext’s research shows that shoppers intending to fill their carts with gifts click for directions to toy stores up to 231% above average the week before Christmas.

On the other hand, people who already got their shopping on during the Black Friday rush (when directions requests for gadget and clothing retailers rise by 24% and 83% above average, respectively), wind down their gift seeking—at least for electronics and clothes—by the first week of December. (Seventy-seven percent below average for electronics on Dec. 6 and 74% below average for clothing on Dec. 5.)

Those looking to hit the mulled cider hard on Christmas Eve request directions to liquor stores up to 160% above average.

Yext, which was founded in 2006 by Howard Lerman, Brent Metz and Brian Distelburger exists to help brands to take back control of their facts online by delivering brand-verified answers to curious consumers (instead of the sea of “bullshit articles that mention a particular topic, but are completely made up,” Lerman described to Adweek this past October). Because the holiday season is one of the busiest for businesses across all verticals, the threat of misinformation being read from sources other than the brand increases.

“Our research reveals when different businesses can expect a surge of customers at their doorstep so they can be prepared to take advantage of the influx—whether it comes at the beginning, middle or end of the season—with accurate information about themselves online,” Zakaria wrote in a statement.

Here’s what else Yext found was piling up on the internet’s sleigh in the lead-up to 2019:

Dec. 1: Move over, Ebenezer

Consumers cash in early to make sure they’ve got bucks handy for holiday shopping. Clicks for directions to ATMs rise up to 25% above average starting on Dec. 1 and continuing for the next couple of days.

Dec. 6: I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Direction requests for vacation rentals spiral to 85% below average as consumers prefer to cozy up at home for the holidays. Clicks for hotels remain low throughout December as well until the last few days of the month.

Dec. 11: five golden rings

Jewelry store inquiries spike on Dec. 11 and remain high throughout the rest of the month. Directions requests peak to 87% above average on Dec. 20.

Dec. 20: I wrapped it up and sent it

Consumers are done checking their lists twice by the time Dec. 20 comes around, prioritizing presents and packages that need to be shipped out on time by requesting directions to mailing services at 55% above average. (On Christmas Day, these searches drop to 90% below average.)

Dec. 25: Happy Xmas (let’s panic)

Those who procrastinated their proxy Santa Claus duties spend Christmas Day in a last-minute shopping scramble: Directions requests to toy stores hit the zenith of stress at 53% above average, jewelry stores 56% above average, flower shops 33% above average, and, when all inventive gift ideas are worn out, direction requests to ATMs 53% above average.

Who else is having a bad Christmas? This is the worst day for food-delivery businesses, as searches for these companies and restaurants drop to 44% below average.

Dec. 26: un-Boxing Day

Clicks for directions to clothing retailers push to almost 60% above average on Boxing Day, when consumers want to treat themselves with a fresh outfit in preparation for the new year.

Dec. 27: gamin’ around the Christmas tree

Holiday cheer needs to be maximized and stretched from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. The solution? Consumers request directions to arcades at 98% above average on Dec. 27 to keep the merry vibes going strong.

Dec. 31: bubbles, baby

Directions requests to liquor stores go up to 145% above average on New Year’s Eve. Consumers are getting their drink on at bars and clubs too, as directions requests for these boozy establishments pop up to 50% above average.

At the tail end of the New Year observances, after celebrations end and calorie surplus has largely been ignored, consumers are ready to adopt a “new year, new me” mantra. Directions requests to gyms increase 46% more than average on Jan. 3.


@monicroqueta monica.zorrilla@adweek.com Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.