Can you sell auto parts online for the Christmas shopping season? The shopping season isn’t just about sweaters. We analyzed Google search trends over the past few years and bust some myths.

Myth#1: Black Friday: the most important online shopping day of the year?

This myth is definitely busted. Black Friday isn’t even in the top five best online shopping days. Depending on the products you sell, it may not make the top 10!

Black Friday is the day everyone thinks of that kicks off the holiday shopping season. But, the most important online day is Monday after Thanksgiving, which kicks off Cyber Week.

Your most important online selling days are Mondays, ending Dec. 17. Sundays and Tuesdays are important, too. Depending on what you’re selling, the biggest Sundays would start either the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25, 2018), or the Sunday 10 days after Thanksgiving (Dec. 2, 2018).

Black Friday has evolved into a general term to use all year, and eBay even used it in March and April.

Myth #2: Christmas shopping is for gifts, not for auto parts

Definitely busted.

Daily search queries for automobile engines and engine parts, 2017 shopping season. Source: Google, used with permission. Not a projection for 2018.

All consumers know there are sales after Thanksgiving. They’re online looking for deals.

Here are some examples of daily search activity for auto parts that are not considered “gift” products. In these heat grid charts, the busiest search query days are darkest.

This first example is a heat grid chart for daily search queries for engines and engine parts. Search queries peaked on Cyber Monday, November 27, 2017. Black Friday was relatively slow.

You can see how strong search activity is on the Mondays leading up to Christmas. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are strong, too. Either pistons are the perfect Christmas gift, or consumers are looking for deals for their winter project in the garage.

Daily search queries for performance parts, 2017 shopping season. Source: Google, used with permission. Not a projection for 2018

Here’s another heat grid chart, for performance parts search queries.

Again, search queries peak on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

You can see search queries are generally strong on Mondays and Tuesdays, and they taper off through the week. Fridays and Saturdays before Christmas are weakest. Search activity increases on Sunday and peaks on the Monday of each week.

In both heat grid charts, notice that search activity also increased on the Tuesday and Wednesday after New Year’s Day, which was on a Monday in 2018. These search peaks are on January 2 and 3, 2018. These are probably consumers just looking for deals.

Translated to this season, these peaks would be Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 2 and 3, 2019. Keep these dates in mind as you plan your digital strategy this shopping season.

Myth #3: December is the slowest time of year for auto parts

Wow, busted. Just, busted.

Online sales success during December is up to you.

Seasonal click trends for car mats showing a spike in October, November and December. Source: Google, used with permission.

Many successful auto parts online retailers have adapted their product line to sell more products in December, adding products they may not sell at other times of the year.

Others emphasize products that normally sell well in December and put a promotional spin on them. For example, look at the seasonal click trends for car mats. There is definitely a spike as winter approaches, that only makes sense. Knowing this, if you sell cat mats, do you feature these as a gift item? Do you suggest these as a great Christmas gift on your website? Do you promote these in email?

The heat grid chart for car mat search queries show the peak days for car mat searches are Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays after Thanksgiving.

What’s your digital marketing strategy for auto parts?

As we publish this post (November 12, 2018), the holiday shopping season is upon us. If you haven’t looked at your digital marketing strategy for December now’s the time.

Do you do paid search marketing on Google? If you do, do you have your ads ready? Is your merchant center feed in good shape for Google Shopping? We’re a Premier Google Partner digital agency and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about your online marketing, for this coming December or for all of 2019.