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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

Retail Paid Search Strategies to Capture More Holiday Sales

Posted by Andrea McFarling on October 12, 2017

If you’re a retailer who experiences seasonality, you’re likely seeing website traffic tick up as we approach mid-October. When we surveyed 500 US-based consumers, we found that nearly half (45%) said they will start their holiday shopping this month.

Retailers who have strong search strategies in place early will have a greater opportunity to capture more sales than their counterparts, so we put together 15 total tips and Google tools to help you hit a home run this holiday season. You can access all of them in our report, Seven Retail Paid Search Strategies to Capture More Holiday Sales, but here are some of our favorites:

1. Text ads will be especially useful around Cyber Week

Thanks to the growth in mobile shopping, 2016 marked the first time that Google’s Product Listing Ads received a greater share of consumer clicks than text ads. However, over the 2016 Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday weekend, we saw the PLA click share trend reverse. Text ads received a greater share of clicks than PLAs as advertisers sunk more dollars into Expanded Text Ads. Why? During this hot shopping week, consumers typically search for their favorite brands to view their Cyber Week offers, resulting in more text ad clicks.

2. Reach individuals who shopped with you last year via Search

Prioritize searches that are made by individuals who have previously engaged with your website or made an actual purchase from your store in the past. You can do this in two ways:

Customer Match, Google’s tool for enabling advertisers to target searchers who are in their CRM, has been an incredible tool for marketers looking to customize messaging and bids based on audience segments developed from their customer database. With Customer Match, you can create a list of customers who made a purchase from you last holiday season. Send this group relevant messages and promotions to get them to buy from you again this year.

Remarketing Lists also help you target more granular audiences like site visitors or cart abandoners and bid more aggressively on relevant keywords by targeting specific categories. Google uses advertisers to leverage a 540 day lookback window which is really useful for the holidays. If you set up your remarketing lists last year, you can remarket to anyone who visited your site during the previous holiday season. If you didn’t, get them set up as quickly as possible so you can leverage this same data next year.

Audience strategies will be particularly useful, so take a look at our latest holiday infographic to determine how consumers are planning to shop this season!

3. Use Showcase Shopping Ads for top funnel searches

Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase Shopping Ads, a new Google offering, is a mobile ad type that allows advertisers to engage consumers earlier in their purchase journey when they’re discovering what to buy and where to buy it. These ads will show for upper funnel queries like “furniture” or “women’s clothing.” Instead

 of being forced to guess which product an individual is looking for, brands can now display a collection of products to give shoppers a preview into the type of products they carry. We set these up for several of our clients during Google’s beta last holiday season. Because we saw strong performance, we are rolling them out across all eligible customers this year.


4. Keep the lights on well after Christmas Day

According to NRF’s 2016 consumer survey, two-thirds of consumers had planned to shop after-Christmas sales. This is huge! At Adlucent, we saw year over year impressions grow 56% and orders by 34% from Christmas through New Year’s Day. To capture these shoppers, retailers deeply discounted items like 

apparel and jewelry, while Amazon lured shoppers online for “Digital Day,” offering up to 50 percent off digital content. With the right strategy, advertisers can keep the holiday momentum running well into the new year.

How are you changing your PPC strategies for the holidays? Do you feel ready? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Topics: Google, holiday ppc, holiday ppc checklist, holidays, Mobile, New Customer Acquisition, PLAs, Strategic PPC


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