3 in 4 consumers say online research will help them decide which gifts and brands they’ll buy this holiday.
Much like 2013, holiday marketing in 2014 is more critical than usual because the holiday shopping season is shorter. With Thanksgiving falling at the end of November, this season has relatively few shopping days, making each single one more valuable. By knowing and preparing ahead of time, retail marketers can set realistic expectations with their bosses and budget accordingly.
SEO: Build out holiday deal pages with content. The earlier they are built, the more authority they will have in search engines, so earlier than October is even better. What do you highlight in your content?
- Price comparisons & discounts. 92% of shoppers will check prices online for the best bargain & 81% of shoppers will rely on discounts.
- Free shipping. 76% of shoppers will take advantage of free shipping.
- Store locators and/or product locators. 36% of shoppers search on mobile devices for store locations & directions.
PPC: Use 3rd–party tools or automated rules to turn promotional ads on and off key dates. 6 in 10 shoppers will pay attention to search ads (particularly weekends, especially the one between Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
Email: Create your email calendar and include an email send to subscribers so they can set frequency expectations and give preference options to avoid high opt-out rates. 49% of marketers created and launched a holiday campaign before Halloween last year. (Only 15 days left!)
CRO: Finish up any high-impact CRO tests and make sure the optimized page versions are ready (and look good on mobile/tablet devices too).
SEO: Keep the page(s) fresh for search engines. Links and social shares are also a great capture at this time. Consider advising some ‘deals’ sites to watch a page for upcoming deals.
PPC: Continue monitoring prices for competitiveness and update ads accordingly (retargeting, Google Shopping, social media, etc.)
Email: Monitor email metrics such as opt-out rates, complaint rates and open rates to keep campaigns running smoothly.
Despite early research, 41% of shoppers will not complete holiday shopping until mid-December. And 24% of shoppers will not complete holiday shopping until the “last minute.”
- Use a countdown timer until the deals are live for a playful sense of urgency.
- Set up ‘Out-Of-Stock’ notifications.
- Implement code/test freezes on important and high-volume site pages, determine potential lower-impact tests for lower-volume pages.
- Determine places for improvement for the year ahead with review of previous year’s metrics vs. goals.