Holiday Shopping Survival 10 Tips to Keep Your Shopping Campaigns Healthy and Successful During the Holidays Check out our Holiday Shopping Readiness Checklist to ensure your product data and campaigns are in tip-top shape for the holidays. Once those are locked-and-loaded, it’s time to build on top of what you have to optimize for the busy season.
Keep the Lights On Make sure that your digital store is open for business. Don’t miss out on relevant and converting traffic by cutting your campaign bids and budgets short. Check that you’re not going dark midday or mid-season Why: Holiday traffic can be unpredictable. Monitor your account to ensure that you are there when your customers are searching for your products. Take Action: Actively measure your “burn rate” (dollars spent to date divided by the budget allocated to date) to see if you’re over-pacing. If budget is limited, view your campaign performance and prioritize product groups to see what’s spending the most. Adjust budgets to match search growth for longer holiday peaks Why: There was a 60% increase in total holiday traffic YoY for Black Friday to Cyber Monday in the U.S.1 Plan ahead to capture increased holiday search queries. Take Action: Look at your historical performance to find when traffic peaked (e.g. week of Black Friday) and raise budget caps to meet increasing demand, especially with the longer holiday season this year. Enable time-of-day bid adjustments to push ads during hours with highest traffic. Avoid suspensions and disapprovals Why: You’ll miss valuable holiday traffic if your account is suspended or top products are not eligible to show. Take Action: Keep your primary technical contact up-to-date. Continue monitoring the Diagnostics tab in Merchant Center or product insights in AdWords to fix top issues and get disapproved products back in the auction during the holidays. Target easy wins if you need more volume Why: Start with low hanging fruit to drive more holiday traffic to your products quickly. Take Action: If you’re underpacing, bid more aggressively on products that drive the most profit and higher conversion rates but have low impression share. Reach more shoppers on YouTube and image search by enabling Search Partners for Shopping campaigns.
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Be Competitive More than 150,000 retailers actively participate on Google Shopping.2 Put your best foot forward to attract your customers during the most important time of the year. Bid aggressively to capture high-converting traffic Why: Take advantage of increasing conversion rates on Shopping (up to a 60% increase in the U.S. in 2015)3 during the holiday peak season. Take Action: Review bids regularly and bid above your competition to capitalize on increasing conversion rates during holiday peaks. Show in the top results for your high value products Why: Shopping ads in the top results on mobile see up to 3X the engagement from shoppers.4 Take Action: View overlap rate and outranking share from the auction insights report to compare performance with competitors on your most important products. Increase bids strategically for top products with gaps in click share to ensure that you show above the competition, especially on mobile where visibility on a small screen matters. Prioritize your holiday merchandise and top-performers Why: Gain the flexibility to optimize budgets and promotions for strategic products without affecting the performance of your core campaign. Take Action: Manage seasonal and/or strategic products with a separate campaign at a higher campaign priority so you can actively manage their bids and budgets without affecting the performance of your core campaign. Use custom labels to segment and bid on high priority products. Maintain a catch-all campaign of “All Products” on low campaign priority with a low bid and make sure products aren’t excluded in your campaign settings.
Meet Shoppers Wherever They Go You’ve got your customers’ attention. Now, reach more shoppers no matter where they are in their shopping journey. Capitalize on mobile traffic and increasing conversion rates Why: There was a 140% increase in smartphone click traffic to retailers on Shopping during the holidays in 2015.5 Shoppers use mobile throughout their shopping experience, so don’t undervalue mobile with a low mobile bid. Take Action: Check your mobile impression and click share. Boost mobile bids to show in the top results for your most valuable products and capture increasing conversion rates during the holiday peak season. Account for cross-device conversions and use the Bid Simulator to find mobile bid opportunities based on your historical performance.
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Seize opportunities to drive nearby customers to your stores Why: Shoppers are using mobile phones as a guide to local stores. Search queries with local intent (i.e. “near me”, “nearby”, etc.) increased by 100% YoY in 2015.6 Take Action: Promote local inventory and increase location bids with location extensions on days when you expect more foot traffic, like weekends and after holiday shipping cutoffs, to drive in-store purchases.
Measure Your Success Stay on top of your accounts. Make better strategic and informed decisions throughout the holidays based on the right data. Evaluate cross-device impact on your performance Why: 67% of customers start shopping on one device and continue onto another.7 Take Action: Have correct tracking in place to properly give value to each touchpoint during your customer’s shopping journey. Bid to CPA parity across devices, accounting for cross-device conversions. Automate performance reports to monitor your KPIs. Last, but not least, remember to take a breather during all the holiday hoopla. Have a candy cane, build a snowman, and be merry. Consider it a holiday gift to yourself.
Google Shopping Data, Feb 2016 Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized searches that trigger a Product Listing Ad, Global, April 2016 Google Internal Data, US, Q4 2015 4 Google Internal Data, 2016 5 Google Shopping Data, Feb 2016 6 Google Trends, Search for “near me”, US, 2015 vs. 2014 7 Google/Ipsos, The New Multiscreen World Study and Google & Ipso Multi-Screen User Behavior Study 1 2 3
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