It's important for ecommerce merchants to plan well in advance for key shopping dates. Consumers begin searching for the perfect gift for occasions like Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, and Halloween up to a month ahead of time.
The best way to see when consumers begin searching for specific products is by using Google Trends. This free tool will tell you how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume. Here's an interactive example using the term "Valentines Day Gifts" looking at last year:
You'll notice that people begin searching Google for "Valentines Day Gifts" starting in January. Search volume ramps up significantly by the end of January and reaches its peak from Feb 5 - 11. This search data from last year shows us that if you're planning on selling products for Valentine's Day, you better start strategizing your marketing and product campaigns now, because people have already started gift hunting online.