How To Generate Monster Online Sales This Holiday Season

By Neeraj Maisuria, October 26th 2016 in Ecommerce
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With a month left until black Friday and 2 months for Christmas we are now approaching the 4 key periods that drive retail sales – Christmas Launch, Black Friday, Pre-Christmas Research and Winter Sales.

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In this Blog we will cover why this upcoming quarter of the year is so important, what we need to do in order to prepare and how to make sure we are taking advantage of the increase in traffic and customers ready to buy in this period.

What We Already Know

The reason it is so important to be prepared entering this quarter is because in 2015 we saw that holiday traffic increased 60% year on year and around 32% of christmas gifts were purchased online.

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We’re also saw mobile clicks on shopping increasing 140%. If you have a store then an increase in Ad exposure in your local area could help drive more business via footfall.

40% of shoppers say they started Christmas shopping before Halloween and 48% actually complete the majority of this shopping by Black Friday. If action is not taken now you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage against competitors who have already prepared and increased budgets and have enticing  campaigns.

Black Friday Is Huge In the UK and Getting Bigger

There is a misconception that Black Friday is only big in the US. It is huge here too and getting bigger. There is a 22% increase in search volume terms for Black Friday and a 35% increase in sales on Black Friday.

And it’s not just black Friday, it’s the whole weekend! There has been a 24% increase in sales on Cyber Monday as well. What we tend to see during Black Friday is potential customers searching for the manufacturer/category/product name, more than using general phrases. This is a good sign because the user is more qualified or in other words actually at the stage where they know what they want and are looking to buy.

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If Black Friday has not worked for you in the past, that isn’t a reason not to participate now. If there was even a small intent from a collection of customers when you did participate, then with the current increase in Black Friday traffic, there could be 20% more people searching now. £3.3 billion was spent last year between the Friday & Monday

Black Friday is an anticipated event. Customers wait for it and remain on standby and then literally jump at the opportunity. Last year we saw traffic spike at midnight, then again in the morning. You could spend 10 times the budget you usually spend over this weekend. If you do not have budget in place to participate in this sudden burst of traffic & high converting time period, then it could be a massive lost opportunity. That is why it’s so important to prepare now.

How Are Push Preparing

We started to prepare for Q4 just after last Q4 ended. We have a large number of new  scripts and processes. These will help us to – change ads across the board, control spend, maximise on the rapid increase in traffic, help with optimisation so we can remove wastage quicker and help us maintain position on search and control bids against ROAS/CPA on shopping because they are likely to fluctuate more in this period.

All customers should be finalising special offers for this period and communicating what the start/end date will be so we are fully prepared. We can then utilise tools such as Shopping Promotions, Banners and Exit Overlay to communicate offers.

Key Points For Success In This Period

  • Update all ad copies to reflect offers in this period

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  • Re-consider budgets over the holidays

Our general recommendation based on the increase in traffic and intent we saw last year is that budgets should be – 2x higher in October, 3x higher in November and then 5x higher in December in comparison to your normal monthly spends. Then it should drop to 2x higher in January.

We might even be able to spend more in some cases and it could be beneficial to set a  percentage of spend against overall revenue or have a cost per acquisition that is set at a an agreed amount.

  • Shopping feeds should have minimum errors (if any)

We have noticed Google becoming more strict with data quality of feeds. If you are aware of any errors in your shopping feed please resolve these as soon as possible because any red errors will stop us from advertising the related item.

  • Prepare in advance

Q4 is the biggest holiday season of the year so we need to be well prepared to take advantage of the increase in traffic. Decisions on offers and budget should be made by the end of October in order to be fully prepared for the holiday season

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Neeraj Maisuria

Head of e-Commerce - Push

Direct from Amazon, he certainly knows his stuff about e-commerce. Listen out for his stories about his own Pet Parrot! Chirrrp!

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