The Google AdWords program has just published their official 2014 holiday checklist, as well as some important trends regarding how brands and marketers can get the most out of this holiday season. With about 29% of shoppers planning on beginning their shopping prior to Halloween, it makes sense to really start pushing out your holiday marketing plans now.
Shopping Trends of Note
The following are some key pieces of data that you need to be aware of in order to understand just how massive the holiday shopping season can be. Even if you are not in what would have once been considered a ‘holiday niche,’ you will still find that you can capitalize on the fact that so many people are in the ‘buying mood’ this time of year.
- Massive Growth on Google Shopping – The Google Shopping platform has been something of a sleeping giant the last couple years. It doesn’t get the attention of Amazon or other sites, but it can help to drive huge sales for anyone selling products. Last Christmas season the site doubled, year over year, in sales. More impressive, however, was the July 2014 sales beat the sales from December 2013! This means that the holiday shopping this year should see massive growth. If you aren’t using Google Shopping yet, set it up now!
- Mobile Shoppers are Key – There is little doubt that this year the biggest area of growth will be in mobile online shopping. With more and more people shopping on phones & tablets, you absolutely must have a mobile ready site to market to these customers. In addition, it is easier than ever to track the conversions when running AdWords campaigns for mobile.
- Provide Information in Advertising – People want to know what they are getting into when clicking on ads for shopping. With this in mind, it is recommended that you include as many details as possible regarding things like shipping, prices and the product itself. The Google Merchant Center allows you to customize much of this information quickly and easily, as you can see here:
- Time to Stand Out – Millions of brands and marketers will be competing for every holiday dollar this year, so you really need to stand out from the crowd. Running promotions, for example, is a great idea. 92% of holiday shoppers last year took part in some sort of promotion, which shows just how effective this strategy can be. You can also benefit by showing the consumer ratings of your products right in the ads, a nice feature from AdWords that you can see here:
Setting Up Search & Shopping Campaigns
In addition to those trends, you will want to take a close look at the checklist provided by the “Google Best Practices” team. These steps will help show you what you need to do in order to get the best returns on your holiday marketing budget.
This checklist provides details about forecasting your budgets, setting up a promotional calendar, being ready for increased business and much more. This step by step guide is a great resource for today, or any time you are planning for a potential surge in sales.