Q&A: Matt Lawson, VP of marketing, Marin Software

Online shoppers are procrastinators, according to research from Marin Software, a paid search management service provider. The company also found that consumers exhibit higher conversion rates in the holiday shopping season, and that online shoppers are busiest on Sundays, according to just-released research. Matt Lawson, VP of marketing at Marin Software, talks to Direct Marketing News, about how e-commerce companies should prepare for this holiday season.

Direct Marketing News: What are the main takeaways of the report?

Matt Lawson: A lot of people focus on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” indicating the start of the holiday shopping season. While those are interesting days, we would say that the first week of December is one of the most critical shopping periods for online retail. We are titling that “peak week.” That’s when we saw 24% of all searches and 25% of all profits for the season come in. That one week in December is critical, and the cornerstone for the entire November and December timeframe.

DMN: Why that week?

Lawson: That is when we saw the conversions spike. People aren’t shopping until that point, they are browsing, and they know what they want to buy but there is still a point when they can get it in time for shipping. That’s informative for retailers to who are looking to plan their promotions around that holiday.

DMN: What does that mean for e-commerce retailers?

Lawson: For online retailers, conversion rates actually increase during the holidays. That’s to say that when someone clicks through on an ad or a link, the likelihood they will buy is higher. The key takeaway for the multichannel merchants is not only when the conversion occurs, but also how much. If you can predict that, you can get ahead of the competition a little bit.

DMN: Any correlating cases happening in the search marketing space?

Lawson: What we are finding interesting this year is the role that Google Instant may play in people’s behavior. We are researching that now and are curious to see what the outcome will be.

DMN: What role is the economy playing?

Lawson: It’s tough to say. Last year, online shopping rose although retail sales overall fell. Online has continued to bump the trend…so the future is still bright for online retail and we things shifting from offline to online.

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