With £24 billion spent online in the UK in the 8 weeks running up to Christmas in 2015 and a further 11% rise predicted for 2016, how prepared are you to take advantage of this years bumper sales season? In this post I am going to explore five top tips to turn up the dial up on the activity you are doing already to boost ROI.
Dedicated Landing Page / Onsite Content
Your onsite strategy must include bespoke landing pages dedicated to Christmas, ideally getting pages live in October so they have time to bed in and become well established in time for the busy period.
Make sure your customer is at the heart of your content, consider how they might be searching, who are they buying for, what budget will they spend? Creating relevant onsite content that is useful, engaging and that has a clear call to action will be key to driving conversion.
Curate your best edit into a Christmas Gift guide, price band filtering to easily aid customers who have a specific budget in mind, along with ‘Gifts for him’, ‘Gifts for her’, ‘Gifts for kids’ to direct users to the most relevant content.
Getting your onsite content nailed then allows you to integrate your offsite strategy and funnel people to the most relevant content. Creating a consistent message on and off site, increasing awareness, engagement and ultimately conversion through a targeted approach.
Make sure messaging, offers and promotions in your offsite activity are clearly detailed on the landing page you are directing customers to, there’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a page without the relevant information on the offer, promotion or product you’ve seen.
Brand Paid Search
Brand Paid Search can be used cheaply and effectively to promote onsite messages and promotions. Creating consistent messaging across touch points.
“But no one is bidding on my brand term” I hear you cry “why would I pay for traffic I am getting organically?!” A very valid question…
Not all retailers run brand Paid Search year round, if you have no competition on your brand terms why would you? Competition or not, tactical use of Brand and Brand + Product Paid Search gives you seasonal and time sensitive flexibility in your message, that your well optimised but generic Natural Search listing can’t. Using site links to drive traffic to your Christmas content, gift guides and dedicated landing pages, plus call out extensions to highlight key messages such as delivery, price matching, returns etc.
If you haven’t already completed your trademark authorisation with Google, this allows you to associate your Adwords account as the trademark owner, create a list of authorised resellers if appropriate. We’ve seen clients brand CPCs drop after they have claimed and managed their Trademark authorisation.
Personalisation of offers
Use your data wisely, tap into your customer segments and personalise your message across touch points. Offering your customers relevant and timely offers that will drive them back to the site to buy.
Not all site visitors are made equal, use your remarketing lists and customer segments to create a more personalised message depending on the visitors site behaviour.
Abandon baskets being the Holy Grail and those primed to buy. Often retailers are all too quick to go straight in with a discount, when people can be tempted back without taking a big hit on your margin. We have seen great success with a tiered offering, for example:
No purchase within 24 hours – Free Next Day Delivery
No purchase within 1 week – Gift with purchase / free gift wrapping
No purchase within 2 weeks – X% discount
New vs returning – Depending on your strategy whether that be acquisition, retention or both! Use your remarketing list for search ads to show new and returning visitors different, relevant and personalised messages e.g. introductory offer to new customers, returning visitor promotional code. Also optimise bids based on behaviour so perhaps a 25% bid increase for returning customers.
RLSAs will also allow you to target terms you wouldn’t normally target, it opens up keywords that perhaps would be too expensive and perhaps broad, just for visitors who have been to the site or who have converted before.
Create sense of urgency
Black Friday was the busiest trading week last year with estimated sales of £4.3 billion last year, up 62% on 2014. In just two years the shift from Black Friday being a Bricks and Mortar event on a single day to a week of online offers.
Why have we all gone so crazy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Creating that sense of urgency with time sensitive offers is a brilliant conversion tactic to push people to purchase, however don’t over use it or people will learn to ignore it.
- Some examples on how to do this:
- Flash sale / promotions for a limited time period
- AdWords dynamic countdown ads are a great, they have proven to significantly increase CTR and drive more traffic to the site
- Sneak previews for your VIPs – let them have access to say the Christmas edit, Sale or similar 24 hours before it’s unveiled to the general public
- Shipping offers for a limited period
- Last order dates to get in time for Christmas
- Stock levels for products with limited availability
So you’ve spent 2016 gaining followers, driving engagement, so how can you monetise social further in the busy period?
Optimise your calls to action, for example on Facebook:
- Shop Now – direct fans to your website if sales are the primary objective
- Send Message – Allows fans to send a private message directly to your Facebook account, where you could start the order process
- Call Now – you get the idea right!
Most ecommerce platforms now have an app or plugin to pull your site inventory into Facebook. We saw sales increase 50% after launching a Facebook Shop and promoting through Paid Social ads. With the rise of mobile commerce people are far more comfortable buying direct from their phone and through social commerce.
Ensure that content is optimised for each channel. This will ensure a high quality appearance, better visibility within users’ timelines and increased engagement. One size does not fit all!
Organic reach has declined dramatically on all platforms, particularly Facebook. Boosting posts on Facebook and Twitter with small amounts of budget can drastically increase reach and engagement, as well as driving fan acquisition.
Ultimately these tips are designed to help you squeeze the ROI out of activity you are already doing, maximising visibility and efficiency of budget and time invested over the next 10 weeks.