Holiday shopping predictions for the Q4 ecommerce season are here, and they are pretty impressive.

  • US Holiday sales are expected to increase 15% YOY 
  • Projected holiday spend is estimated to reach $83.2 billion (emarketer)

Overall, ecommerce is expected to grow significantly for 2013:

US ecommerce traffic growth 2013

That’s a lot of tamales. Tamales you could be missing out on.

Check out these resources to get more holiday revenue:

8 Ways To Get More Revenue With Your Google Shopping Data Feed This Holiday
Q4 Ecommerce Strategy Checklist
Q4 Ecommerce Strategy: Google Holiday Tips
Q4 Lessons For 2013 [Infographic]
Q4 Sales & Shipping Tips
Q4 Fulfillment tips
11 Places to Earn More This Q4 With Mobile Commerce 
Q4 Local Preparation
Q4 Marketing Best Practices 
Retargeting Tips For Q4
Q4 Social Strategy 

What will Q4 2013 look like for Google Shopping?

Last year Google Shopping (PLA) traffic doubled following Q4, and for Q3 2013, Google’s traffic and revenue beat out all of the other Comparison Shopping Engines. It’s clear that shoppers find Google a useful shopping channel, although what numbers we see for the Q4 holiday remain to be determined.

To help get you ready for the Q4 ecommerce holiday, here are some holiday predictions and recommendations from veteran search marketers, who have watched ecommerce traffic for over 7 years:

Google ecommerce strategy, holiday

“I think that Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are going to make it more convenient for shoppers to find what they are looking for.What this means for merchants is they need to make sure that they are adjusting accordingly moving in to Q4 and the holiday season.

This may mean different things to different merchants, but Google PLAs is likely to be a higher driver of traffic and will be very competitive around this time.

“As a merchant you will most likely be paying more per click and having to increase your bids to maintain your PLA position.”

-STEPHEN, Google Data Analyst

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • Monitoring bids and budget based on the time of day, season and competitor bids
  • Make sure you have ad groups broken out and bid hierarchically for best sellers, holiday items, price buckets,and similar product categories that perform well.

“I’m excited to see what Google Shopping can do in it’s first official Q4. When it was free it was a great source of traffic and revenue during the Holidays, but you had very little control over it.

It either did well or it didn’t, but now you have that control. With the right Campaign structure & strategy I expect to see a lot more traffic, and more importantly, a lot higher conversion rates this year.”

-WILL, VP of Account Managment

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • Monitor your PLA and AdWords campaigns during the holiday season
  • Delve into Analytics prior to Q4 to create goals for the holiday season and look at what performed well
  • Be prepared for more PLA traffic: Monitor your budget and ad spend regularly

Google Q4 2013 ecommerce strategy
“As Q4 approaches and merchants are ramping up for the busiest time of year, Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are poised to have yet another incredibly successful, year.

If it isn’t clear by now, Google has a firm hold on the eCommerce sphere and PLAs are the key to success for online merchants. As they continue to develop, they have become more and more impressive with the amount of control you are given over your campaigns.

During this busy time, when your traffic levels will undoubtedly increase, it can be easy to fall into the “if we spend more, we’ll make more” mentality. However, this can be a slippery slope that is difficult to recover from.

The best way to prepare yourself for this extremely busy time is to go over all of your campaigns with a fine-toothed comb to be certain you’re in the best condition possible.”

– ANTHONY, Google Data Analyst

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • Audit your PLA campaign structure to make sure there isn’t any bid overlap, wasted spend, or missed conversions
  • Monitor your PLA spend for ROI during the holiday season
  • Avoid too high of a holiday budget which doesn’t translate to sales
  • Don’t be afraid to downbid or cut products which aren’t performing during Q4

Google Q4 2013 ecommerce strategy
“Traffic will increase for sure as Q4 is a huge time for many retailers. PLAs will be a great source of driving revenue at a consistent cost of sale as there is no mandatory holiday rate card hike like there is on many CSEs.

Since the market will be more competitive during this time, retailers should feel free to be a little more aggressive in their bidding strategy especially as they can expect higher conversion rates in general during mid to late Q4.

If your PLA campaign is not dialed in and highly efficient already, you will want to make sure it is going into November, as the holiday rush can be a golden goose or a missed opportunity.”

– JOSH, Paid Search Analyst

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • Break out & increase bids on select products and categories for more Q4 traffic and spend
  • Remember competitors will likely increase their CPC rates during Q4. Keep an eye on your traffic and rankings on the SERPs to ensure your bids stay competitive

Google Q4 2013 Ecommerce strategy

“Keep in mind that there are more competitors on Google PLA this holiday season. Optimizing your campaigns prior to Q4 and during the holdiay season will be very importatn to keep the results flowing in.”

– JASON, Senior Account Manager

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • Audit your PLA campaign structure before Q4
  • Consider increasing bids on items you are limiting traffic to or have removed from your data feed
  • Use Analytics, all the time. Before, during and after Q4 to keep tabs on what prodcucts, categories and campaigns are converting

Google Shopping Q4 2013 ecommerce strategy
Product Listing Ads is going to be the single most important product-based marketing channel to advertise on in Q4.

Traffic’s obviously going to go up because it’s Q4, but it’s going to vary by category & strategy so it’d be difficult to get more specific than that on a broad level.

CPC rates are also likely to increase because a) retailers are going to be vying for position during the holidays and b) improved conversion rates are going to warrant higher bids so even retailers that are concerned primarily with controlling ROI (as opposed to growing volume at all costs) are going to be able to bid more.”

– JEFF,  Account Management Director

Make More Revenue on Google Shopping for Q4 by:

  • List on Google Shopping Product Listing Ads for Q4
  • SEO optimize your site to rank on Google Shopping
  • Broaden your budget for Google Shopping holiday traffic.




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