2016 Holiday Shopping with Google – What You Need to Know

By Tinuiti Team

Get Ahead of the Holiday Shopping Game

Don’t get left in the dust! Start planning for the holiday season early. You can expect to see growth in conversion rates starting in November and retailers will begin ramping up even earlier this year. Plan early and lay the framework for a successful holiday shopping season and you’ll be in a much better position to get the most out of what is expected to be another big year for Google Shopping.

Do everything necessary to keep your store open during the holiday period. You can expect an increase in purchase intent. Whether you are forecasting budgets or setting priorities for seasonal campaigns, no stone should go unturned in order to capture all expected growth in Google Shopping during the holiday season.

Be Mobile Ready

4 in 5 smartphone holiday shoppers used their phone during spare moments or while involved in other activities last year. Capture these shoppers by using mobile bid adjustments to optimize bids towards the performance of your mobile campaigns. This will help maximize growth from your mobile traffic. Give your best products a boost by segmenting them into their own campaign to increase efficiency and capitalize on additional impression share for those products. Mobile searches related to “best” products grew by more than 50% year over year. Keep that in mind when creating any new holiday campaign strategies.

Expand Your Category Footprint

Online shoppers who aren’t searching branded terms are often undecided in their shopping intent, which means they will likely begin searching in the overall category. By using category keywords with text formats and shopping ads, you will have greater coverage in the SERP. After shoppers identify a product they are interested in, they will be looking for additional information, including but not limited to: product reviews, price comparisons, more images, etc. Text formats and Ad Extensions in conjunction with PLAs are a great way to cover your category keywords. Don’t forget about your Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) either. DSAs have been found to generate incremental clicks with similar ROI. They have also been found to perform quite well with any automated bidding strategies that may be in place.

Don’t Forget About Local Shoppers

Supply your omni-channel shoppers with options including, but not limited to buying online and picking up in-store, and free shipping promotions. You can expect another significant increase in shopping searches including the phrase “near me” during this holiday season. If you have brick and mortar locations, implement a location bid adjustment strategy for areas around your physical stores. Consider using Local Inventory Ads (LIAs). With location-specific data and product inventory, shoppers will be able to find what they’re looking for in your local store. As the holiday season nears an end, local foot traffic will continue to increase for weekends and after holiday shipping cut-offs. For Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, local Inventory Ads drove eight dollars of in-store sales for each dollar invested. Local plays a major role between Thanksgiving and Christmas – make sure you’re in the game!

Loyal Customers = Best Customers

During the holiday season, your existing customers are going to purchase more. Loyal customers will always be there for the holidays and it’s very important to remember your dependable clientele. Leverage your audience – RLSA (Retargeting Lists for Search Ads) and Customer Match strategies are great ways to engage returning customers during peak holiday periods.

Give your customers a reason to return and make another purchase. Guide them through their holiday shopping by utilizing style guides, best product or product group gift ideas, Black Friday Deals, and more. Provide additional incentives to your customers. Everything from an extra discount when signing up for email updates to free gifts with a holiday purchase; work with your customers and provide all shoppers with the best possible holiday shopping experience.

Want to learn more about mobile shopping? Read our case study on Spring ushering in a new way for mobile shopping.

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