The busiest time of the year has arrived for online retailers. According to a new analysis from Critero, retailers saw online sales on Black Friday nearly equal those of Cyber Monday last year. Do you have everything in place to dominate this Black Friday? We are highlighting a few tips that can be done in a matter of hours to help put your campaign in better shape.
Here are 6 last-minute ecommerce tips to help boost you Black Friday Sales and get your business ready for the big day:
1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday Structured Snippets
Google launched a brand new ad extension, Structured Snippets, a couple of months ago, which allows advertisers to further share details of their products or services. If you aren’t familiar with Structured Snippets yet, dive into your Adwords Ad Extensions tab and play around with them. This month, we are seeing the first addition to the new extensions. Advertisers can now display a snippet titled “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” that will only appear for the respective days. This is huge for many reasons:
- Efficient: First, it allows us to efficiently advertise a promo, special sale, holiday hours, etc..
- Free Messaging: The extensions display the words “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” so you enjoy the free message and don’t have to worry about fitting an extra 12 characters into your ads.
- Saves Time: This can be utilized at the account, campaign or ad group level to save us hours of altering ad copy and pre-planned testing.
- Multiple Snippets: More than 1 snippet can be added! With multiple holiday specials going on, it’s great to be able to easily display the different offers.
- Holiday-Focused: The snippets only run during the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday so business carries on as usual after the sales.
- Unique: Many Adwords users are not currently using Structured Snippets, let alone the Black Friday or Cyber Monday versions. Take advantage of its uniqueness while it’s there.
2. Auto-Apply Code and/or Landing Pages Displaying Codes
If your company’s promotion requires an offer code, make the process of applying it as simple and memorable as possible. This is really useful across all channels and times of the year but especially in PPC during the holidays.
Our recommendation at the minimum is to show the code in the ads followed by a landing page that also provides it. The last thing you want your visitor to do is get all the way to the cart, realize they forgot the code, go back to find it and never make it back to the cart. Ideally the code would auto-apply using a unique URL from the ad so the promotion is already applied once your customer makes it to the cart.
3. Quick and Aggressive Remarketing
When our clients give us a special offer to advertise and a budget for that time frame, we see that as an opportunity to get as much use out of the offer until its gone. Clients typically like to see that their planning into creating competitive specials was given the best chance at success.
Use a fraction of your budget (maybe 1/10th) and put it towards a short-life remarketing strategy. This has all of the potential benefits of typical remarketing with the added benefits of honest urgency and shorter life span. You don’t have to fake the “Today Only!” tactic because most people are aware that they really will not receive that special all year long. Black Friday only lasts a few days, so you run a low risk of annoying the customer with retargeting ads. Take a chance at the opportunity while you can and use the data to better strategize for the future.
4. Review last year’s search query report.
This is a basic yet very important aspect of preparing for the holidays. Go through the searches that triggered your ads last year and make sure that all the negative keywords still make sense. Spot any successful trends, and make sure you are set to be at least as successful as last year. A lot has likely changed over the past 12 months, so the changes you made in January might not be appropriate.
5. Look at search impression share lost by budget.
Search Impression Share Lost (Budget) is a great column to have in all Adwords accounts. This column tells you if a campaign is losing traffic solely because the budget isn’t large enough. You can use it this Black Friday to analyze your top performing campaigns, discover room to grow and explode the accounts success over the holidays.
For example, if your top converting campaign spends $2,000 a month and has a 50% Search Impression Share Lost (Budget) then you can potentially spend $4,000 and get the same performance. Even if the Lost % is minimal, it’s still easy money left on the table and an easy way to impress your boss or client.
6. Set times to check on the campaigns over the Holidays.
This is really a personal tip, but I think it goes a long way at showing your commitment to a campaign. Create a list of quick KPIs that you can check on during the vacation and set maybe 2-3 times for the few days to check on them. If anything is going super well then send your client a quick email explaining it. If anything is drastically underperforming then you’ll be glad you checked on it before Monday morning. Do it or don’t do it, but it can only be beneficial.