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The busiest time of the year for most online retailers is nearly upon us, Christmas. For a lot of businesses this twelve week period eclipses the previous nine months of the year. More and more UK consumers are choosing to do their Christmas shopping early. Also and more importantly, they are choosing to go online rather than go to the high street.

In fact the British retail consortium reported that nearly a quarter of all December 2016 purchasing was done online. Gift season is huge and everybody knows.

December 2016 Online Shopping

Tie that in with the earlier fact that more and more people are choosing to purchase their Christmas gifts online, getting prepared early for the festive period is an absolute must.

Plan Ahead:

Sounds simple of course. Some people come late to the party during this period and do not know what to expect.

Forecast your budget and set relative KPI’s
– The most important things to look at here are; how much are you happy to spend on Google AdWords during this period. From that point set realistic KPI’s in terms of traffic and revenue to ensure you have a good lead up to Christmas.
– Be realistic though, just because it is a busier period this doesn’t mean that you will suddenly generate a better ROI on your existing budget. The main thing to look at here is that demand is higher than normal, so increase your ability to supply.

Set your promotional calendar
– The lead up to Christmas brings so many peak days, the main one being Black Friday.

Black Friday is comming

In total £1.23bn was spent on online sales in the UK during Black Friday 2016, according to IMRG. This saw an increase of 12.2% on the previous year’s sales.

Prepare for the worst
– Not the most positive thing to think of. Sometimes you may expect to hit a certain ROI during this period and you invest based on that.
– Make sure you have a plan in place to help you come January if you haven’t hit your expected KPI’s.

Optimise For Mobile:

Something that ourselves and Google have been speaking about for a while, especially after our inclusion in the Vanguard Programme. Mobile is not only the future, it is the present. Mobile search is continuing to surpass desktop search month on month. With that in mind you have to embrace the change of emphasis towards mobile:

  1. Look at your conversion rates in certain campaigns for mobile devices and adjust accordingly. Monitor this on a regular basis and view how many clicks it generally takes to gain a sale so you do not miss out on potential customers.
  2. Is your website mobile friendly? Your website must look nice and be easy to use on a mobile device. Also it must be quick enough to keep the customers attention. On average 40% of website visitors will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, roughly about the time it has taken to read this sentence. You can test how fast your mobile website is using Google’s tool (https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb)

Use Christmas Related Themes In Your Ad Text

Using Christmas related themes and terminology within your advertising gives you much more of a call to action, but also creates more urgency for the customer when they are looking to buy.
Adding a Christmas delivery countdown, promotion deadlines and the like all help the customer make a decision faster.

Be Competitive

Another simple one, but it still does not get as much attention as it should.

Ensure you are both competitive on the pricing of the products you want to promote, but also with the budget you assign to them.

If there are certain product ranges that you really can not compete with, do not waste valuable budget on them. Get together a range of products you know people want that you can be competitive with and focus on them.
Supply and demand is key during this period.

Review everything

This is the time of the year where you will most probably spend more on your AdWords advertising. With that in mind it is vital that you review everything in your account on a more regular basis.
If you are a client of Mabo already this will be done by your account manager because we understand the importance of this period.
If you are not, then contact a member of our team today for a free review on your existing AdWords advertising.

Good luck with the last quarter of 2017 and the run up to Christmas everybody.


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Post by James Lees
September 26, 2017