Last-Minute Tips for Generating Stellar Online Holiday Sales
While some have their shopping completed and presents wrapped under the tree, the holiday shopping season isn't over yet. There are a few critical shopping days remaining that savvy online retailers can take advantage of by following these tips:
1. Capitalize on last-minute shopping. In order to ensure you get traffic that will drive sales, messaging needs to be relevant and timely. Make sure your ads are up to date. Employ desperation ads — i.e., ads targeted to last-minute shoppers desperate to make sure they get their gift in time for Christmas — by changing messaging. For example, try “Get it in time for Christmas” as your shipping deadline looms.
For many online retailers the holiday season is over after their shipping cut off has passed, but those with brick-and-mortar stores will be able to squeeze a little more life out of their online marketing through the use of “Buy Online, Pick Up in Store” targeting. You should also continue to advertise on products that don’t require shipping, like e-gift cards.
2. Engage with your customer before it’s too late. When shipping deadlines expire, procrastinating shoppers will turn to their mobile device even more than they did in days prior. Google predicts that 44 percent of queries for last-minute gift items and store locations will be made on mobile devices. There's a “double peak” in search volumes for retail brands — the first around Black Friday and then again the week before Christmas as mobile users locate stores for last-minute shopping. Make sure your brand is present in mobile search results. You can even up the ante by using Google’s Bid by Distance, offering to be more competitive to consumers in close proximity of your stores.
3. Don’t sell out … get the merchandising basics right. Inventory management is one of the biggest areas where online retailers can stumble in their quest for greater revenue. Make sure a product is in stock if you're promoting it. According to Bloomberg, only Amazon got it right this year by being almost fully stocked with toys while big-box retailers including Walmart, Target and Kmart all had inventory shortages as early as Dec. 9. If you’re one of those advertisers who still has plenty of inventory to sell, make sure your ads and messaging emphasize that.