12 Search and Social Tips to Drive Holiday Revenues
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the holiday shopping season is officially underway. According to Kenshoo's 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Final Edition, holiday season retail transactions in the U.S. increased 26 percent from 2012, while retail revenue from paid search increased substantially for some of the most important holiday shopping days, rising 34 percent on Thanksgiving and 24 percent on Black Friday.
The upward trend shows no signs of slowing as the National Retail Federation's annual Holiday Consumer Spending Survey revealed that shoppers intend to spend, on average, over $800 on holiday gifts, a 5 percent increase from last year. As more consumers turn to the web to complete their transactions, retailers are upping their game to get in front of more potential customers.
To help retailers prepare for the increased competition, Kenshoo has put together "The 12 Tips of Christmas." These best practices will help you guide your sleigh this season and deliver peak performance across your search and social marketing campaigns. Without further ado, here are the 12 tips:
1. Analyze historical seasonal data to understand past performance and adjust current programs to produce more optimal results. Don't be afraid to increase bids and open up budgets to account for heavy competition on key dates.
2. Use forecasting tools to gain insights into future performance, particularly on key dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to understand potential return at various spending levels.
3. Expand keywords to include seasonal-specific terms. Be sure to implement a negative keyword strategy to ensure your budget isn't going towards unwanted, unqualified search queries.
4. Develop relevant, holiday-specific ad copy with clear calls to action. Implement testing to ensure the most effective messaging is used at peak times during the festive season to drive the most engagement.
6. Ensure an optimal shopping experience across devices and applications with tailored copy and landing pages that allow for a simple, seamless conversion process.
7. Explore local search features so consumers can find brick-and-mortar stores nearby to make purchases and integrate this offline activity to get a full customer picture.
8. Retarget shoppers who have engaged with you in the past to help close the sale or promote complementary products.
9. Channel consumer passion by integrating social sharing options (e.g., Pinterest's "Pin It" button) into your product pages to drive engagement and sales.
10. Leverage insights from search campaigns to inform your social ad programs and reach your highest-value audiences — i.e., those most likely to convert.
11. Optimize campaigns more frequently during the holidays to continually improve performance by analyzing device type, ad copy and keyword day-over-day performance.
12. Give credit where credit is due through an integrated, multitouch attribution model that's tied to bid optimization.
During the rush of the holidays, it's important for marketers to get out ahead by proactively planning strategies while remaining flexible and nimble throughout the season to account for market changes. By following these 12 tips, retailers can ensure that they're taking advantage of all the opportunities available.
Kelly Wrather is the senior manager of content marketing at Kenshoo, a provider of predictive marketing software.