Boost your Festive ROI – Five top tips to maximise Christmas sales

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

Social commerce

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!

Facebook Shop:

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.

Content Optimisation:

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!

Promoted Content:

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.

The Weekly Shop (23rd – 27th September)

In The Weekly Shop this week there is a big focus on mobile and how it’s fast becoming the dominant device for consumers. We also look at the latest news from Google as they quietly make changes to encrypt all search activity – what does this mean for your SEO strategy? In more SEO news, we also look at how SEO and social can work together and reasons you should be looking to increase your SEO budget in 2014.

Ecommerce evolution at a tipping point, with mobile now behind all online growth: new analysis

Analysis from etail trade associations IMRG and Capgemini has shown that ecommerce appears to have reached a tipping point, as new figures suggest that mobile devices are now primarily responsible for driving online sales growth. The two partners, who produce the monthly IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, have for the first time stripped out all the mobile data from its overall online sales data and found that ecommerce growth, excluding transactions made via mobile, has been steadily declining for the last two years. In the second quarter of 2013 it flat lined altogether, and by that point, mobile devices accounted for 23% of all online retail sales.

From analysing our clients’ transactional data, we’d back up this study’s findings!

Shopping experience improves online at Christmas and deteriorates in-store, while the importance of mobile continues to rise

A new study from eDigitalResearch and IMRG has found that a majority of shoppers feel that the online shopping experience improves at Christmas, while the in-store experience deteriorates. I couldn’t agree more! A whopping 96% of the shoppers surveyed said that they plan to shop online this Christmas with 64% saying they plan to spend more on their mobile this Christmas than the last.
We’ll be writing more on preparing for Christmas on the Frogblogg shortly, so watch this space.

10 inspiring uses of mobile in retail

So with mobile presenting the greatest opportunity for retailers to drive growth, Econsultancy has rounded up ten great examples of mobile use in retail, which makes for some inspiring reading. I particularly like the idea from Meatjack which certainly must have annoyed their competitors!

eBay offers high street in-store collection through Argos trial

eBay has just announced that for a trail period, customers will be able to pick up purchases from selected merchants from branches of Argos. The move gives eBay merchants access to Argos’ wide-ranging store network and means Argos will potentially share the bricks and mortar advantage with online traders of all sizes. This news comes at a time when Click + Collect services are booming in popularity, with retailers seeing up to 60% of their online sales collected in store.

Top 3 Ways SEO and Social Can Work Together to Make Each Other Insanely Successful

There are huge profits to be made when you strategically align your SEO and social media strategies. A successfully executed venture can see both areas benefitting in areas such as outreach and promotion, content creation, brand management and goal tracking. Here at Leapfrogg, we’ve seen great success from structuring our teams in this way so all our disciplines work harmoniously together yielding better results for our clients. This article from Search Engine Watch highlights the top three ways to set up and benefit from this powerful combination.

Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks

Google has recently made a change aimed at encrypting all search activity – except for clicks on adverts. In short, this means that in Google Analytics you will not be able to see the keywords that have driven organic traffic to your site. Google has stated that this has been done to provide ‘extra protection’ for searchers but there is speculation that this move may be to increase ad sales. The resonating behind this move is not clear, and this article from Search Engine Land looks at the implications of this change and the possible reasons behind it.

Google’s keyword data apocalypse: the experts’ view

More on this with a number of search marketing experts offering their view. Ben Potter, our Commercial Director, agrees with the view that this has been on the horizon for a while; ‘we’ve been seeing the amount of ‘not provided’ data steadily increase over the last year or two. I don’t think it has come as too much of a surprise that 100% of the keyword data would be wiped out in Analytics’. We’ve been working on various ways around this, which our clients are already benefiting from’.

5 Reasons You’ll Need to Increase Your SEO Budget in 2014

This article from Search Engine Journal outlines five reasons why it is in your best interests to increase your SEO budget next year. This includes outsourcing social media, SEO and having a strategic content marketing strategy.

How Search Engines Rank Web Pages

Last week, we shared an article on how search engines work, outlining the difference between crawling and indexing. To extend this further, this useful article from Search Engine Watch looks at the various ranking factors at play. It is a great good starting point to better understand the complex search landscape and therefore what is involved in executing a modern natural search strategy.


The Weekly Shop (9th – 13th Sept)

In our Weekly Shop this week – reasons to increase your SEO budget, why site optimisation is necessary throughout the site redesign process and the findings from two research studies, as well as some other useful bits and bobs!

4 Reasons to Spend More on SEO

Significant Google updates, such as Panda and Penguin, have meant many businesses are rightly moving away from low quality tactics and services, yet are reluctant to increase their SEO budget in line with the more complex and multi-disciplined approach required to succeed. This article from Search Engine Watch outlines four reasons why small business owners should consider spending more on SEO.

Why site optimisation is necessary before, during and after site redesigns

This article from Econsultancy highlights the important of testing a new website throughout the re-design process rather than as separate project post-launch. With huge resources poured into site re-design projects, testing can help to ensure the project is on the right track and the end result will deliver enhanced site performance and conversions.

Facebook Organic and Paid Posts with Photos Get Most Clicks, Engagement [Study]

This week ShopIgniter released findings of research that showed Facebook posts with photos received the highest click-throughs in organic and the most engagement on the paid side compared to other updates. This article from Search Engine Watch highlights the key findings from the study and offers best practices tips for Facebook posts and paid content. You can also download the full report here.

2 Reasons to Love the New Google AdWords Paid & Organic Report

Google recently launched a brand new report that shows the total traffic by keyword from paid and organic search. This is the first report of its kind and it’s available in the dimensions tab once you’ve linked your Google Adwords and Webmaster Tools accounts. This article highlights two reasons why the report will be valuable to marketers – co-exposure monitoring and keyword identification.

Why Google Wants to Know About Small Websites That Aren’t Ranking Well

Google’s Head of Web Spam recently tweeted about a new Google Doc which can be used to submit details of small websites that users think should rank higher in the engine’s SERPs for related terms. The form collects two pieces of information:

(1) The name and URL of the small site you think should rank well.

(2) Why do you think that small site should rank better?

This is great news for small businesses who have to compete with big brands for visibility, but the document does state that respondents  should not “expect this survey to affect any site’s ranking” and they are just collecting feedback. This also throws up questions as to why Google needs this feedback rather than using own data to rank websites.

Why are people showrooming and how should retailers respond?

Columbia Business School and Aimia have recently produced a study on showrooming, which they define as when an individual actively chooses to buy something after carrying out actions on mobile. The report contains some useful statistics on showrooming and also some tips on what retailers can do to provide an excellent in-store experience that cannot be replicated online.

Google Webmaster Tools Give Users More Link Data

This week, Matt Cutts kicked off SES San Francisco and announced a change to the way Google Webmaster Tools serves backlinks to users. Now, instead of getting a huge list of backlinks in alphabetical order, they are giving a better representation of all the backlinks as they are sampled uniformly from the full spectrum of backlinks. Shortly after this announcement was made, Google published a blog post detailing their changes. This is great news for webmasters, especially when trying to clean up after a bad backlink warning or penalty. This was a problem for larger sites that had thousands of low-quality/spammy backlinks pointing to a site.

A summary of great client results in Q2

What’s happened to 2012?  Bleak weather, bleak economic conditions, some light relief courtesy of the Olympics, but otherwise an air of uncertainty prevails.

In this climate, then, we’re so proud of the great work – and great results – we have delivered so far for our clients this year.   They reflect;

  • the confidence of our clients to put their money where their mouths are by investing in digital to start with
  • our own expertise to identify areas for improvement in client digital activity and then execute our work to deliver these improvements

Following on from my last post looking at results achieved in Q1, here are some highlights from our efforts during Q2:

Premium retail;

  • Luxury bedroom furniture retailer, Feather & Black; their non-brand term natural traffic increased by over 60% year-on-year.  Whilst I cannot disclose the actual figure, revenue from online sales is a very healthy % higher than this time last year
  • High-end fashion brand, Bastyan; for every £1 they spent on paid search the campaign generates ten times the amount in sales revenue
  • Emma Bridgewater; again, for paid search their campaign delivers return investment at a ratio of 19/1
  • Posturite; online revenue has increased by over 80%
  • Filofax; we have more than doubled their click-thru rates on paid search


  • Cox & Kings; their non-brand term natural traffic has increased by 60% year-on-year.  Revenue attributed to online also more than doubled year-on-year

Business Services;

  • Fruitdrop; their non-brand term natural traffic increased by over 100% year-on-year delivering return on investment at  a ratio of 5/1
  • Flexioffices; we’ve recently exceeded conversion rate targets by over 40%

This is a flavour of the great results we’ve delivered to our clients.  So far this year, then, we have helped them to win, to meet or exceed their own targets, about which we’re all delighted.

That said, we’re not letting the euphoria (nor the Olympic distraction) run away with us.  Our clients each have challenging targets and business environments.  Great results so far are lovely – but nothing like as important as making sure we’re focused on delivering more great results for them this year and beyond.

The economic outlook remains uncertain – the only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that growth is still a long way off.  Therefore, strategies need to be regularly reviewed, tactics revised where necessary, results have to be maintained and improved, sales and revenue must be generated.

In some ways there is freedom among the uncertainty.  If this causes the main focus to be on the here and now and making sure what we’re doing today and into the immediate future is working, then that’s what we’ll do.

That doesn’t mean we’re retreating into a tactical, short term shell, however.  In July we hosted an event at RIBA in London where we presented our Retail Marketing Machine, which will underpin our strategic approach for our work for the 2nd half of this year, into 2013, and beyond (with apologies to Mr Lightyear…)

I’ll be back with an update on more great results from Leapfrogg later in 2012

Calculating the true value of a paid search campaign

What makes paid search so fantastic is its accountability. The fact that you can so clearly see the revenue generated by a campaign against click spend, on the face of it, makes measuring return on investment relatively straightforward for retailers.

However, in many cases, just doing a simple revenue against click spend formula will not tell you the entire story. I am going to explain how we calculate the return on investment (ROI) at Leapfrogg in order to understand the true value of a paid search campaign.

Calculating costs

When calculating the true ROI of a paid search campaign, there will always be additional costs on top of the basic media spend (i.e. clicks). This is especially true if there are third parties involved, such an agency managing the account or where advanced technology and attribution tools are being used.

Even if you are managing your account in-house, it is likely that somebody is being employed to look after it (I hope so anyway!). How long are they spending on it each week/month? These staffing costs should always be accounted for in any ROI calculations.

For retailers, there are also other costs involved which come at the point of sale, for example the cost of any discounts applied (and therefore the impact on margin) and delivery costs. If you want to calculate the real value of paid search, these need to be taken into consideration.

Another cost to factor in, which is so often ignored, is returns. If 10% of all orders are being returned this can significantly alter the profitability of a campaign.

Calculating revenue

Reporting on revenue can be more complex than you think. Most analytics tools report on revenue using the “last click wins” model, which means that the last visit to the site (and therefore traffic source) is credited with the sale.

However, in the multi-channel world that retailers now find themselves operating in, most customers are likely to visit the site on numerous occasions via a number of different channels before converting. This is where the “last click wins” model discounts any sales which involve more than one interaction with the site in the user journey.

In Google Analytics, the multi-channel funnels report will show you a breakdown of sales by “last interaction” as well as “assisted” (which involve more than one visit to the site). If you are not already familiar with these reports, I would recommend reading our blog post on multi-channel funnels.

We usually report on revenue by separating out “last click” sales and “assisted” sales, however some clients have different attribution models depending on the complexity of the user-journey. For example, assisted sales could mean only sales made on a “first click wins” rule, or could include only those sales where the user’s last interaction with the site came on a brand term or by a direct visit to the site.

This is why it is important to agree on a sensible sales attribution model before you start reporting on sales and revenue. Many different channels (i.e. search, affiliates, email, display, etc.) will all be competing for the conversion and you have to be careful you don’t end up over-reporting on sales.

To take your reporting even further, we would also recommend calculating the lifetime value of a paid search customer. How many of these new acquisitions go on to make a repeat purchase? We found that 17% of new customers from paid search went on to make a repeat purchase for one of our clients. This sort of data is valuable and could alter the price you are willing to pay for a click when you understand the true value of a new customer.

And what about offline sales? If you have tracking mechanisms in place (such as voucher codes or call tracking) to attribute in-store or telephone sales back to paid search activity, you are in serious multi-channel ROI heaven!


In summary, calculating the true value of a paid search campaign is not an easy task but by doing so you’ll be in a far better place to make much informed decisions on the development of your paid search strategy and the price you are willing to pay to acquire a new customer.

How do you report on ROI?