The 2019 holiday season is fast approaching and is expected to bring $1.035 trillion to US retailers, a 3.7% increase over last year.1 Retailers make up to 30% of their annual revenue during the holidays,2 so every marketing decision made in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is critical in making or breaking the bottom line.
5 Digital Marketing Mistakes to Fix Before Cyber Monday
Don’t Miss Out on Holiday Sales
Don't let digital marketing mistakes negatively affect your holiday performance. By fixing some of these common digital marketing issues now, you can capitalize on the season and boost your revenue.
You're Standardizing Your Offers
Holiday promotions are about incentivizing people to take action. Studies show that 71% of consumers prefer ads personalized for their interests,4 so targeting your holiday promotions to fit specific shoppers is a great way to increase revenue.
Divide your audience into segments, such as new visitors, returning visitors, and VIP customers, and develop offers that will appeal to them. For new visitors, something like “Sign up for XX% off your first purchase!” For returning visitors, “Welcome back! Get XX% off when you check out today.” If you collect preference data in your customer accounts, such as favorite brands and departments they most frequently shop, you can create additional segments and personalized offers based on that information as well.
With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be wondering if you have time to personalize like this. Many eCommerce platforms include personalization capabilities. If yours does not, you can add on a simple and inexpensive tool like GetSiteControl or RightMessage to target certain segments with relevant offers.
A/B test multiple versions of each offer well before the peak shopping days and keep testing throughout the holiday season. You should have your best-performing tactics in place by Halloween, but be ready to implement changes based on what you learn. Since you’ll likely have increased traffic, data on what’s working will come in more quickly than usual.
We helped increase Lids’ holiday sales 17% by optimizing their offers. Learn more.
You're Giving Up on Prospective Customers After One Visit
For many consumers, the holiday shopping season is a time for researching and comparing options, which means they may not have their minds made up during their first visit to your site. This is where remarketing comes in.
Three out of five online buyers in the US will notice an ad showing a product they’ve seen on another website,5 and consumers who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.6 Knowing this, you’ll definitely want to make a plan for remarketing to shoppers who visit your site on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday.
Decide now what lists you’ll create to capture visits on those high-traffic days, and then what you’ll do with that information as it starts streaming in. One option is to bid more aggressively on the peak days themselves, targeting visitors you know are currently displaying interest in your offers. You can also use those lists to remarket to shoppers throughout the rest of the holiday season.
We recommend social media and display ads as the best channels for retargeting, and you’ll want to make sure the look and feel of those ads is consistent with the rest of your promotions. Once you have your plan in place, you can wait to create the actual lists until right before the peak days begin to ensure you are capturing only the most-recent holiday shoppers in the audience lists.
We used aggressive remarketing and strategic creative to boost Lids’ revenue by 498% on Cyber Monday in 2018. Learn more.
You're Ignoring Showcase Shopping Ads
Sometimes holiday shoppers begin the buying journey with a clear idea of what they want. More and more often, however, top-of-funnel customers are starting their searches with an open mind and browsing for ideas and options.
Google reports that mobile searches including the word “brands” increased by more than 80% between 2015 and 2017,7 which means that shoppers are starting with broad queries like “women’s apparel brands” instead of searching for specific retailers or products.
Google developed Showcase Shopping ads in response to this trend. This new functionality, which was tested during the 2018 holiday season, is now widely available for marketers to use. Most often appearing for top-of-funnel queries, Showcase Shopping ads sit alongside regular shopping ads but include lifestyle imagery and multiple products. Rather than leaning on a single product and search term, you can put your entire brand on the table with a mini catalog of products and imagery that supports your overall message.
Shoppers are browsing for holiday gifts as early as October, so make sure to develop your plan, prep your creative components, and start increasing your brand visibility early.
You're Only Driving Online Traffic
There comes a point in the days leading up to each major holiday when a shipped purchase will no longer arrive in time for gift-giving. If your brand has a physical footprint, this shipping cutoff date does not have to mean the end of your holiday revenue. Instead of continuing with your existing ad strategy and promoting products customers won’t be able to receive in time (potentially leading to disappointment and frustration at checkout), reduce promotion of your online-only products and shift your efforts toward driving last-minute shoppers to your brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Google, 42% of holiday shoppers wish that retailers provided more information about local inventory online. And, mobile searches including the phrase “where to buy” grew by 85% between 2015 and 2017.7 Local inventory ads answer those questions and can help you maintain revenue momentum even after your shipping cutoff date.
Establish a separate budget and KPIs for your post-cutoff push to brick-and-mortar stores. Then, create ads that promote actual products available by store. Segment users by proximity to each store and target search terms like “where to buy” and “near me.” Remember, you’re not driving revenue and return with these ads, but measuring how many customers you can drive into each location.
We used local inventory ads to generate a 115% increase in in-store visits for Lids. Learn more.
Paid Search Director
Conversion Optimization Director
Senior Media Planner
2. Winter Holiday FAQs, NRF
3. A Digital Marketing Playbook for Holiday 2019, Digital Commerce 360
4. Study: 71% of consumers prefer personalized ads, Marketing Dive
5. Online Buyers Notice Retargeted Ads, eMarketer
6. 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Retargeting, CMO.com
7. Holiday Retail Playbook, Google