Practical Ecommerce

7 Last Minute Holiday Marketing Improvements

Christmas is less than five weeks away. Here are seven last-minute holiday marketing improvements you can make to maximize sales.

1. Shop Your Site from Mobile Devices

Smartphone and tablet users accounted for 22 percent of Cyber Monday ecommerce sales, according to published reports. Browse your site from an iPhone, an Android-powered smartphone, and an iPad. Ensure there are no drastic compatibility issues, such as obvious formatting problems, disappearing add-to-cart buttons, problems with your shipping and billing pages, or slow load times.

Even if shoppers place just 22 percent of their orders via mobile devices this holiday season, data shows that more than 60 percent of purchases start from a mobile device.

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Samsonite.com is an example of a poor mobile experience. When users go to Samsonite.com from an iPhone and press "Add To Cart" on a product page, that page refreshes and nothing seems to happen. On a desktop computer, users would have seen a confirmation on the top part of their screens.

Samsonite.com is an example of a poor mobile experience. When users go to Samsonite.com from an iPhone and press “Add To Cart” on a product page, that page refreshes and nothing seems to happen. On a desktop computer, users would have seen a confirmation on the top part of their screens.

2. Create Mobile Campaigns in AdWords

If your site functions well on a smartphone, consider creating specialized mobile-only campaigns in AdWords and budget for them separately. There’s much less competition in the mobile AdWords marketplace, which can mean cheaper clicks and more conversions this time of year.

3. Experiment with AdWords Click-to-call Campaigns

If you have sales representatives standing by, click-to-call could work well. Shoppers who are searching for products from their mobile phones can click to call your sales reps without visiting your website. These are often highly motivated buyers who convert into sales at high rates. You’ll pay only when a shopper calls you.

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Shoppers who search from a mobile device will see a "Call" button they can click.

Shoppers who search from a mobile device will see a “Call” button they can click.

4. Make Sure your Analytics Function Properly

Are you using Google Analytics’ latest asynchronous code snippet? It was launched in 2009, but a surprising number of merchants still use the old snippet. The newer code is optimized to ensure it does not slow down your site while collecting more accurate data and eliminate tracking errors. It’s critical that you get accurate data, especially if this is your busiest time of year. What you learn now will help with many improvements you’ll want to make in 2013.

5. Schedule Email Marketing Triggers

At what point does a shopper trust you the most? It’s likely immediately after he buys from you. He’s done his research and presumably believes you’ll ship the right merchandise at the right time. This is a good time to use email marketing. You could generate additional sales from shoppers who may be in a holiday shopping frenzy.

Schedule email campaigns to shoppers immediately after they buy from you. You can advertise other popular products, and if your cross-sell rate is high enough, you may be able to justify increasing your pay-per-click bids without sacrificing profits. This enables you to grow sales even faster.

6. Begin Your Google Shopping Campaigns Immediately

If you’ve read my articles over the past six months, you know I’m a proponent of Google Shopping. It’s the best bargain in online advertising today. Google sends a tremendous amount of traffic through Google Shopping ads, but most online merchants have yet to catch on.

A short-term boost to holiday sales isn’t the only reason to add Google Shopping this holiday season, however. Over time, I predict that Google Shopping’s Product Listing Ads will overtake traditional text ads on many searches, especially searches on broad terms. Merchants with higher Google Shopping quality scores will earn higher positions for their ads at a lower cost per click. These merchants will have a distinct advantage over merchants that start using Google Shopping later. The holiday season is a great time to begin building your Google Shopping quality score.

7. Add a ‘Holiday Deals’ Link to your AdWords Ads

A good way to lure spontaneous holiday shoppers to your website is by advertising a holiday deals section in the Site Links that accompany your paid ads. You can set up Site Links to accompany all of your campaigns, or for specific ones. Either way, by updating your Site Links you can bring extra attention to special holiday content on your website.

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Adidas advertises special gift guides in the Site Links section of its pay-per-click ads.

Adidas advertises special gift guides in the Site Links section of its pay-per-click ads.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that social media is growing quickly, and it may be the biggest driver of holiday revenue growth next year. As for this year, however, the basics of search engine and email marketing will still dominate. There’s still time to implement last-minute changes to improve your holiday sales.

 

Scott Smigler

Scott Smigler

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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Mike Darnell November 28, 2012 Reply

    Great article. All seem valid points to consider by serious e-commerce owners. I would also add thinking about integrating product video.

  2. Carlos Rivera December 29, 2012 Reply

    I would also add to this list:

    1. Offer Free Shipping
    2. Offer discounted expedited shipping methods
    3. Decorate your site for the season