With the holiday shopping season upon us, the size of the ecommerce pie increases significantly. Here are some tips to make sure you get your fair slice:
Create seasonal special offers
Applying the concept of “showing visitors what they are looking for” is always important, but perhaps especially so when shoppers are rushed, as they tend to be at this time of the year. Creating seasonal special offers is a way to quickly promote items that shoppers are looking for. These can be hot items with a special price, but also consider bundles and gift packs. If you can make “thoughtful shopping” easy, then the battle for the holiday dollars is won.
Use your prime real estate
Just as the stores carefully prepare aisle-ends and other displays to spotlight likely seasonal purchases, your site has the same type of prime “real estate” that should be maximized. Place your top merchandise offers above the fold, especially on highly visited landing pages. Also consider creating a “Holiday Specials” page and placing prominent links to it throughout your site.
Add seasonal keywords
You’ve probably used the various keyword-research tolls offered by the major search-engine marketing engines, but if you did the research in the summer, you may be missing a whole range of keywords that only appear at certain time of the year. Consider creating new campaigns or ad groups for seasonal keyword phrases. Once the season is over, don’t delete these campaigns, just pause them until next year.
It might also make sense to use the keyword research tools a couple of times throughout the holiday season, that way you can capitalize on new words as they arise. It’ll also give you a head start on next year.
Check your PPC accounts often
Compared to the rest of the year, the holiday shopping season is relatively short and frantic. This creates a rather more volatile PPC landscape than you might typically see the rest of the year. Checking your PPC accounts more frequently can help you to stay on top of rapidly changing bids and positions.
Consider alternate consumer habits
Since consumer spending and site visiting habits change during the holidays, consider how these changes could impact your marketing. For example, perhaps you are using Google’s day-parting function—consider whether the holidays dictate that you expand your hours of ad visibility. Also consider alternate strategies such as content match and site targeting—is there a way you can make these pay off, even if at other times of the year they are unprofitable?
Respond to hot sellers
No doubt many pundits have already identified this year’s most desired item, but every industry, target audience and niche has its own hot seller. If you see a spike in sales for an item that you hadn’t expected—go with it. Consumer trends are hard to predict, but in a closed-loop environment like a website, they should be easy to respond to. Prominently offering hot sellers and other closely-related items can create great additional revenue (and don’t forget tip No. 2—make sure that you add keywords relating to the season’s hot items). Overall, keep to the same principles that make your web marketing successful at other times of the year—keep a close eye on return-on-investment, do more of what works and refine or scrap what doesn’t.