comScore, a global leader in digital measurement and analytics, reported that $46.5 billion was spent online from desktop devices during the full November-December 2013 holiday season, with a 10% increase when compared to 2012. If you own or manage an online store, this shouldn't surprise you, as the holiday season is the time of the year with most volume of sales for ecommerce.
If you want your online business to thrive during the upcoming holiday shopping season, then you should be aware that the perfect time to strategize and prepare your online marketing efforts is right now. Below, I have outlined five tactics which I believe will be key for a successful holiday shopping season.
1) Painstakingly Optimize Your Shopping Campaigns
Recently, I was speaking with the owner of a large e-commerce website, and as I was stressing to him the importance of well-optimized Shopping campaigns, he said: “I heard that Shopping campaigns are very easy to run, you just set them once and they’ll run on autopilot.” – I looked at him stunned, as the remark came from the owner of a company that sells more than 25,000 products. Needless to say, their Shopping campaigns are unprofitable and that’s one of the reasons why he reached out to MoreVisibility to ask for help.
I showed him how with Shopping campaigns ongoing optimization is key in making an e-commerce effort successful, and how this process entails a very specific set of “best practices’” and procedures in order to maximize exposure for bestselling products and take advantage of seasonality and promotions, while at the same time minimizing exposure for non-converting products. In a nutshell, painstakingly optimize your Shopping campaigns, and be amazed at the results!
2) Extend the Reach of Your Shopping Campaigns to Qualified Shoppers
This is a brand new feature of Shopping Campaigns, and you better take advantage of it as soon as possible, as it certainly looks like a game changer. Advertisers can now opt their shopping campaigns into Google’s search partners, in order to reach users as they search or browse for products on retail and commerce sites in the Google Search Network. These retailers, such as Walmart.com, are part of AdSense for Shopping, Google’s latest product to help monetize site traffic.
3) Re-Think Mobile
Just last week I had a very productive phone conversation with a Google representative (who also happens to be an e-commerce authority); she shared with me that, according to data from Google and Ipsos MediaCT, 52% of online shoppers used their phones throughout the shopping process during the 2013 holidays. Plain and simple, your products need to be easy to find and purchase across screens, and if you’re neglecting this key factor, then you are missing a significant opportunity.
4) Leverage Ad Extensions
It’s not a secret that using ad extensions has a positive influence on ad rank and overall campaign performance. I recently analyzed a large quantity of e-commerce data from many different retailers, and I noticed that campaigns which used ad extensions almost always outperformed campaigns that didn’t. For regular search ad campaigns, make sure to use sitelinks, location, call, review, and callout extensions, while for Shopping campaigns leverage promotion extensions and product ratings. By doing so, you’ll not only expand the physical space that your ads take, but more importantly, you’re almost certain to gain a better campaign performance and overall ROI.
5) Track, Analyze, Optimize. – Then Track, Analyze, Optimize Some More!
There are many elements within your campaign that can be tracked, analyzed, and optimized to improve performance: start by looking at geo targeting, day parting, keyword bids, ad copy, ad extensions, and shopping feed quality, just to name a few. Recently, we were able to dramatically improve one of our client’s e-commerce performance just by adjusting bids for specific geographical areas. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can be used to analyze your website traffic, and it is simply a must if you're serious about online advertising.
To learn more about how we can help your online business conquer this upcoming holiday season, email us and one of our Interactive Advertising experts will be available to assist.