While most of the world is enjoying the kick-off of the season of good cheer and peppermint mochas, those who work in the retail space are well into the season of late nights and energy drinks. Luckily a few simple steps can ensure your campaigns are running smoothly throughout the holiday season.
Holiday shoppers are starting their gift search earlier and earlier every year, and it’s our job to be prepared before they are. According to a Google survey, 30% of shoppers start their holiday gift purchasing before Halloween and nearly 50% of shoppers start planning out their holiday spending by July. This isn’t to say everyone should start rolling out the Christmas in July specials, but instead that it is critical to maintain a consistent presence in consumers’ minds throughout the year. Just because they’re buying Fourth of July fireworks or Halloween costumes doesn’t mean consumers are not also developing an opinion as to where they will be spending their money during the holiday season.
Embrace the Power of Mobile
‘Tis the season to shop, and thanks to smartphones, people are shopping during their lunch break, while waiting on a flight, and from the comfort of their bed before their morning coffee. According to a joint Google & Nielsen study, 93% of those people who researched on mobile devices later ended up purchasing a product or service, mostly in store, and 52% of smartphone shoppers used their phones throughout the shopping process during the 2013 holiday season. Having a presence on mobile, especially for upper funnel search terms, is necessary in order to ensure your brand will be top of mind for a later in store or online purchase.
A Wall Street Journal article earlier this year stated that in store holiday traffic fell from 38 billion in 2010 to 17 billion in 2013, and yet retail sales for that period increased by almost 15%. If people aren’t coming in store to shop, you need to be able to reach them whenever they’re looking for you, no matter what device they’re using.
During this time of year, it is almost guaranteed that you will have a multitude of promos and at least half of those will be launching in the early morning hours. In order to maintain your sanity and a healthy dose of REM sleep, it’s imperative you take advantage of the tools available to you and use scheduled actions whenever possible. Need to launch a Black Friday sitelink at 6pm on Thanksgiving? Schedule that baby a week in advance and you can still make it to dinner before the turkey’s carved.
Perform Regular URL Crawls
Nothing is more frustrating for both a consumer and an advertiser than a consumer clicking on your search ad and ending up with an error message. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, you should be running regular URL crawls in order to ensure you are directing traffic to working pages and not just throwing money away., and on major promo days, when items may go out of stock extremely quickly, it is also important to run regular URL crawls throughout the day and add “out of stock” to your crawler to ensure you aren’t bidding on product terms you can no longer procure.
Following these few simple steps will help ensure that your holiday is spent in a food coma instead of brain dead from lack of sleep.