It’s no surprise that the end-of-year holidays see the highest review usage consistently each year. Not only is November to December the biggest shopping season of the year, but reviews are uniquely helpful then, because shoppers are choosing gifts. When shopping for someone with different interests and tastes, reviews help someone like Mom, for example, understand which of those Xbox accessories her gamer son will like best – by letting her read opinions from other gamers like him.

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Just how large is the spike in review usage during the holiday season? In 2013, review pageviews for the months of November and December exceeded that of all other months by 38% and 48%, respectively. Drilling down further, we find that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most review-trafficked days of the year, beating the November daily average review pageviews by 77% and 84%.

This post is an excerpt from The Conversation Index Vol 7. Download the full report here to see how other shopping seasons like back-to-school, the summer travel season, and Boxing Day affect consumers’ review habits.

And getting even more granular on Cyber Monday, we see that review traffic hit its peak for the entire year at 2PM CST on December 2, and again later that evening at 8PM. It’s likely that some shoppers browsed deals during the day, perhaps while at work, and then again later at home.

Make reviews especially prominent during these heavily shopped days. For example, display top rated gift lists on your home page and in marketing content. And be sure to load up your review volume now, before the holiday shopping season kicks off. Make an extra effort to gather reviews on your predicted holiday bestsellers early to ensure you have a good volume of content on those products as the season heats up

Consumers become first-time mobile shoppers during the holidays, and get hooked for life

Mobile has an increasingly important role in end-of-year holiday shopping. Whether at home on the couch or battling crowds in the aisles, holiday shoppers turn to mobile to research, buy, and, of course, to read reviews. In fact, data suggests that many people try mobile shopping for the first time during November and December – and become mobile shoppers for life.

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Following review pageviews on a mobile device over time, we see that mobile traffic to review pages consistently jumps from October to December. But more importantly, the traffic doesn’t fall back to pre-holiday levels after the New Year. This suggests that newly converted mobile shoppers stick with their new habit even after the gift-buying season is over – making the holidays an excellent time to win their mobile loyalty.

In November and December 2013, mobile accounted for 21% of all online transactions across our network. And one in ten (10%) mobile shoppers consulted reviews in December, compared to 12% of desktop visitors. But while people are still less likely in general to buy products or read reviews via mobile, data shows that the impact of reviews on mobile shoppers is much greater than it is on desktop shoppers.

Desktop review readers are 66% more likely to buy than desktop users who don’t read reviews. On mobile, however, review readers are 127% more likely to buy. That’s right – reviews have nearly double the impact on conversion for mobile shoppers versus desktop shoppers, making reviews an essential part of an effective mobile experience.

This post is an excerpt from The Conversation Index Vol 7. Download the full report here to see how other shopping seasons like back-to-school, the summer travel season, and Boxing Day affect consumers’ review habits.