Christmas Roundup: HTTPS, Christmas Shopping and Google Barometer

Here at Statement, we feel that keeping up to date with best practices in the industry is incredibly important. It’s a huge success factor in many projects. The digital landscape moves so fast and sometimes so unexpectedly that your knowledge could be out-of-date by the time you finish a project and the work you have done could be doing more harm than good. This is a big reason why many digital strategies are unsuccessful and why we strive to put research and knowledge as one of our priorities. It’s for this reason why every month we will be creating an industry roundup for business owners who wish to have up-to-date knowledge on how best to market their business online.

November was a great month for eCommerce with many plenty of Christmas promotions and let’s not forget Black Friday. Here is our industry round-up!

Predictions for Christmas shopping in the UK

It was predicted by the Centre of Retail Research that this year, we would have a growth of 19.5% in online sales during the festive period, with a massive £17.4 billion being spent. This is great news for online retailers and especially as these online sales were set to make up 23.4% of all sales from mid-November to Christmas. And not only are online sales rising, but high street sales are unfortunately dropping, albeit by a small amount of 2.1%.


Another great statistic is the rise in mobiles and tablets playing their part in online Christmas shopping. 29.8% of all online Christmas sales were predicted to be done through mobiles and tablets which is a 301% increase from last year!

Giulio Montemagno, the Senior Vice President of RetailMeNot, said that “in such a competitive retail environment it’s more important than ever that retailers have a solid mobile strategy in place to target shoppers as they shop online or in-store.” This is even more prevalent with these statistics.

It also looks like the UK was predicted to lead many countries in online festive shopping. Whilst 23.4% of our Christmas shopping was set to be online, the United States trail behind with 18.7%. Germany and France were predicted to be even more behind with 16.7% and 13% respectively. It’s great to hear that the UK has such a strong sentiment to the digital world.

Even business owners were putting more effort into their eCommerce strategy with three quarters of multi-channel retailers offering alternative delivery methods over Christmas with the likes of click-and-collect. How did you adapt your strategy over Christmas and what are your plans for 2015?

The ranking signal that is HTTPS

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be using HTTPS as a ranking signal but three months on, the change in rankings seem to be very minimal.


According to Stickyeyes, 5.52% of top 100 ranking pages implemented HTTPS in May. This has only increased to 7% in November, although Google did say that the ranking factor would be low so this isn’t unexpected.

If you’re planning on implementing HTTPS, don’t do it for the ranking, do it for the added security and user experience. This is good advice for any search engine optimisation strategy as Google implements more intelligence and personalisation which are harder to predict.

Google Consumer Barometer

Google have released a handy new tool called the Consumer Barometer. If you want to find some interesting insights on consumer behaviour online then this is the place to go. We all know that Google has a lot of power when it comes to the digital world. If Google implements a new ranking signal, many websites and businesses will change to adhere to this new ‘rule’. It’s good to see that the powerhouse is giving some data and insight back in the form of this tool.

Google Barometer

Here are just a few of our favourite insights that we have found from the Barometer.

  • 66% of UK Internet-users access the internet for personal usage several times a day, with 19% using it once a day and 9% using it 2-6 times a week. Those who still resist putting their business online are quickly missing out on many opportunities. Digital is here to stay!
  • 20% of UK internet-users do so solely and traditionally through just their computer - which means 80% of internet-users do so through other devices - is your website mobile-friendly? See the full chart on the right!
  • 64% of UK internet-users use search engines at least weekly, 42% visit social networks at least weekly and 62% check emails at least weekly. Is your marketing covering these bases?

We hope you will enjoy these monthly roundups and don’t forget to sign up to our free marketing newsletter!

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