Practical Ecommerce

Holiday Tips for 2010, Part 3

The 2010 holiday season is nearly here. With that in mind, Practical eCommerce is publishing a few good holiday-selling tips each week. Our third installment, provided by experienced ecommerce professionals, is below.

Be Everywhere

“Signup and post products in shopping comparison engines. As much as 70 percent of a store’s annual sales can occur in the fourth quarter. You need to be everywhere to get your piece of the opportunity. Last year, shopping engines along with Google Product Search dominated the SERPs [search engine result pages] for product related searches.

“Google continues to emphasize its product related features and will surely do so this holiday. Make sure your products are present and getting returned in Google’s results. Ensure that UPC codes are included in your Google feed so you can benefit from the new structured products showing up in Google more frequently. Finally, leverage the comparison-shopping engine’s rating systems so that you get ratings to show in your ads. You should see a nice uptick in the click through rate as a result.”

Stephanie Leffler


Don’t Assume the Keywords Change

“Shoppers’ keyword targets may not change radically during the holidays. Rather than just sticking ‘gift’ after each product type or ‘holiday’ before, analyze the keyword data. Google Keyword Tool identifies whether searchers change their behavior in large numbers to search for your products with gift modifiers (sweater gifts or holiday sweaters); or, whether they continue to search for gifts using the same words in greater volume (sweaters). Analytics from Fall/Winter 2009 will also shed some light on keywords users search on your site during the holidays, but keep in mind that you tend to get what you optimize for.”

Jill Kocher

SEO Manager


Identify the Gift’s Recipient

“Nothing beats the glow of finding the perfect gift within a budget range. Identify the recipient who will love the gift–her surroundings, needs, or anything else relevant. Whether it’s ‘give your cat many blissful naps in a sunny window’ or ‘any professional chef will be thrilled with the ultimate paring knife,’ the value proposition that extends to the giver has never been more important.

“In video, show the product in use by/for the recipient envisioned in the copy, with real-world audio (humans talk, lawn mowers roar, cats purr). Skip the talking head or voiceover. Product videos are often over-scripted and too long. Minimal words or sounds are the best accompaniment.

“Leave the shopper honestly curious to see the gift in use, if you can. As always, share drama, mystery, suspense, comedy – it’s the holidays and we’re celebrating life.”

Laurie Gelb

Senior Consultant of Marketing Strategy and Research

Trellist Marketing | Technology

Make Your Shipping Commitment Clear and Ever-Present

“Reliable delivery of holiday gifts is a key consideration for many holiday shoppers. Your website needs to have a clear holiday shipping policy that is easily accessible throughout your site. Shoppers should not have to get all the way to the payment page to find out how quickly you can deliver their holiday gifts. Add a link to the shipping page near the add-to-cart area of your product pages to help customers feel confident about when their purchases will be received.”

Michael Stearns



Make SEO Adjustments Now

“Adjust your natural search parameters now to improve SEO revenue for the holidays. Although paid search, social media outreach and email marketing can offer more immediate traffic results, updates made to augment natural search can take months to become fully realized.”

Jeff Muendel


Triplejump SEO

Got a great holiday idea? Email Kate Monteith at

Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

Bio   •   RSS Feed


Sign up for our email newsletter

  1. Andrew August 13, 2010 Reply

    Quality post PracticalEcommerce. I’d add gift cards to the list. This gives the shopper an additional level of flexibility if they can’t decide between two products or can’t figure out exactly what the recipient would like.

    Comparison shopping engines present a huge market to display your products and some of the biggest names are free. You mentioned Google Product Search, but don’t forget about and Bing Shopping, also free CSE’s with tens of millions of unique visitors.

    The paid CSE’s perform very well during the holidays as well. If you’re on websites like PriceGrabber, NexTag, ShopZilla or make sure you utilize coupons and marketing messages to enhance your product listings.

  2. Steve @Erraticblog August 17, 2010 Reply

    Andrew highlighted a very important point with utilizing coupon and marketing messages on all the CSE’s. I’d like to expand on this a little and recommend that all of the available fields in your CSE datafeeds be used. Don’t just use the required fields. Most of the CSE’s have an extensive list of fields available that can really help extend the reach of your listings.

  3. Elizabeth Ball August 19, 2010 Reply

    With the holiday season a major chunk of orders for many online retailers, manyconcentrate almost entirely on the Christmas market, but a sizeable proportion of customers continue to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, new babies, christenings, engagements and weddings during November and December.
    Not only that, etailers might consider targeting the many customers in the southern hemisphere who get engaged and married in November, December and January, which is summer then.