As soon as the scent of pumpkin spice hits the air (or your local Starbucks lol), you know the holiday season is near, and this year’s Think Retail on Air event hosted by Google was all about getting your business ready for success this holiday season.
Yes, it’s only August, but according to Google, searches for “holiday gift ideas” has already surpassed 2020. Shoppers are holiday ready with 58% saying they will shop online more this season than previous years, and 59% saying they will shop earlier to avoid items going out of stock.
Here are some tips to having a successful holiday retail season:
Keep Local Inventory Ads Up to Date
Post-pandemic habits are sticking around and it’s all about convenience. Did you know that searches for “Curbside Pickup” on Google Maps have increased 5000% year over year? That’s why Google announced that local inventory ads will be extending to YouTube and Google Maps, with ad extensions showing products available for: curbside pick up, in-store shopping, and pick up today. So, keep your local inventory ads up to date with product information, store hours, etc. to ensure a smooth shopping journey for your customers.
Omnichannel Customer Experience is Key
Google noted that the ways we shopped during the pandemic as well as before, will continue and blend, which is why omnichannel advertising is more important now than ever before. Shoppers are going to use multiple channels while shopping this season. For example, someone may do an online search for a product, but decide to pick up in store. In fact, Google reported that: “In the U.S., searches for ‘local gift shops near me’ have increased 440% in just the past month as people switch between online and offline shopping” So, it’s important, if you have a storefront, to make sure your customers can find you and that their shopping experience is as seamless as possible.
Use Automated Planning Tools & Reports
Check out best sellers report in Google Merchant Center to view your most popular brands and products across Google Shopping free and paid listings to help you prepare for the holidays. Google stated on their blog that: “If you’re running sales or promotions to move inventory especially in the lead up to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, then you’ll soon be able to see real-time with deals reporting in Merchant Center.”
Ensure your ad campaigns are successful, by utilizing tools like: Insights page and Performance Planner to help you identify trends and plan budgets. If your business has an app, Google is introducing two new tools to help verify you’re sending shoppers to the right places within your app: the deep link validator and impact calculator.
Utilize the Google Ads Growth Formula as a Holiday Campaign Checklist
- Set Objectives & Determine Investments – Use trends to inform your holiday advertising strategy. Tools like Google Trends show what shoppers are searching for in real time and is a great tool to use when determining your goals.
- Get Ready – Google stresses having the “Big Three” in place: privacy-safe measurement, a value-based smart bidding strategy, and powerful creative.
- Take Action – If you’re an omnichannel business, take advantage of local listing ads, as mentioned above, and also utilize Google Search Ads as well as Smart Shopping Campaigns, and video action campaigns on YouTube.
- Evaluate & Expand – Ad campaigns should never be “set it and forget it”, but rather businesses should continue to evaluate and optimize for opportunities. By routinely checking your optimization score and account recommendations, you will ensure your ads are in tip top shape.
Watch the full Think Retail on Air 2021 event here:
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