The opening of the Madrid Book Fair in El Retiro Park on Friday 25 May is one such opportunity when booksellers can leverage the heightened interest the fair stimulates in literature and convert this period into a major generator of additional income. The phenomenon of these “special dates”, such as Valentine’s Day, Black Friday and World Book Day, each present a great opportunity for revenue growth and a boost in sales for online retailers. In addition, as the online sales grow, so too does the use of the online search engine with customers using it not only to find specific items but also to be inspired.

Bookstores have their own dynamics and challenges, Angel Maldonado, Founder of , experts in improving online search and navigation experiences, explains: “The way in which book buyers interact online differs from other sectors; they look for specific titles and authors but they are also open to suggestions and inspiration, and they are interested in knowing which are the most popular books at any given moment. At EmpathyBroker we help to create a more positive search and browsing experience. One that generates empathy, emotions and inspiration within online customers to create irresistible and memorable experiences.” Casa del Libro recently experienced a similar special date trend for World Book Day on 23 April, with consumers’ rediscovering their love for reading and books generating a huge increase in online traffic, searches and sales. Madrid’s bookfair, which lasts from 25 May to 10 June, is predicted to create a similar impact for Spain´s largest bookstore.

“It’s a period in which we expect to see a very significant increase in visits to our online store,, especially from mobile devices, as many visitors to the Fair will decide to look for books instantaneously during their visit,” says Fernando Herranz García, Director of eCommerce at Casa del Libro . Casa de Libro, which has 46 physical stores and is Spain´s largest online bookstore, provides a good example of how fairs and special dates influence sales figures. For example, on World Book Day, the bookshop recorded increases in all its online metrics: traffic, searches and sales. Queries on World Book Day were in fact 114% higher compared with an average day, over 265% more than the previous day and the average queries by session also grew 7%. It´s also really interesting to see the top queries and what products people searched for, perhaps especially surprising that The Little Prince came in as the third most searched product, suggesting an inclination on World Book Day towards the classics.

This dynamic diagram highlights the impact and fluctuations of searches on that date. Experience is the key to a great search engine EmpathyBroker has recently worked with Casa del Libro to help re-design and improve their site search, navigation and customer experience . “Today, online experiences are becoming often even more important than the products themselves. Consumers relate to brands that understand them, that know what they want in a way that’s transparent and that fills them with inspiration,” says Maldonado. By analysing and utilising search and browse data on special dates, online retailers like Casa del Libro can better anticipate demand and customer needs . “Through a better understanding of data and customer behaviour, online stores can enrich user interactions, create longer session duration, improved findability and design more joyful, personalised and meaningful shopping experiences ”.

The importance and value of search in ecommerce has increased exponentially in recent years, and we continue to see its evolution and growth in terms of appearance, design, and prominence. And it´s not only its usage that has increased but it´s been shown that in some cases up to 17% of total revenue comes from search sessions and that visitors who use the search functionality buy between 3 and 8 times more.

Understanding the different behaviours and patterns on these special dates and shoppers’ unique intent and behaviour can help brands to not only anticipate trends but also to enhance the customer journey, the user experience and as a result boost sales and brand loyalty.