With Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place over the next few days, I was interested to see how search volumes for some of our favorite retailers were fairing against years prior. Intuition tells me that the search volume exercise would be much more relevant and applicable come Cyber Monday(December 2nd, 2013). Consumers will be using Google to search for their favorite retailers and the respective deals offered. Although it’s not a one to one relationship, the more people that search for a particular retailer via Google, the better the chance that retailer has at converting searches into sales. More sales means more profits, and from an investor’s point of view would be a positive factor in whether or not an investment into the respective company’s shares should be made. I chose a few retailers search volume trends and compared it against the prior 9 years:
You’ll see in the below volume search trend for Amazon that November 2012 search volume (indicated by the blue dot for which a green line is running through) for the term is currently greater than November 2013 search volume. It’s not to say that searches wont increase over the next five days, because I can guarantee you that they will. In the event that searches cannot at least meet the 2012 search volume line, I would be concerned.
Next up we have Best Buy, an electronics retailer that will most likely benefit much more during Cyber Monday just by nature of the items that they sell. Search volumes for the term Best Buy are not looking promising as there is a long way to go with five days left in November 2013 to meet or exceed November 2012’s search volume for the same term(as indicated by the green line). Also, take note that since 2011, the search volume spikes of November and December months have become relatively less severe to the point where we may now have an official downtrend. (As indicated by the down trending red line.)
This retail juggernaut is the heavyweight of the three and will most likely benefit much more from the Black Friday than it’s Cyber Monday Sale. At the moment, search volumes for November 2013 will need to increase drastically over the next 5 days in order to match the same period last year.
There are some that say 2013 Black Friday/Cyber Monday is poised to break records according to this CNET article here. I would beg to differ in that, unless interest picks up over the next 5-7 days, we may be in for a not so pleasant surprise.
Investors, I would suggest that on top of whatever investing strategy you employ, that you keep a close eye on search volumes for these retailers, as this may be the early eye you need to make a determination on making the respective investment.
(Side Note: For anyone interested, I can provide a day by day update on the search trends for the aforementioned retailers with analysis at no cost. Feel free to reach out.)