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3 tips to maximize the holiday shopping season

This year, holiday sales revenue is predicted to top $1 trillion for the first time ever, with the average household gearing up to spend more than $1500. At the same time, online and mobile sales are accelerating, with year-over-year (YoY) increases predicted to be +14.9% and +28%, respectively.
In fact, according to Adobe, paid search has achieved a 6% increase in revenue share YoY, as it becomes increasingly important in the consumer decision journey (CDJ).

Below, we’ve outlined some digital marketing tips from Microsoft Advertising to help retailers to maximize sales this holiday season.  

Tip 1: Build awareness now to capture early birds

'Tis the season for holiday planning, especially since 60% of consumers intend to begin shopping in October, or even sooner. The good news is that from a budget standpoint, cost per click (CPC) is a good value — 20% lower than during Cyber Week.

To make the most of this timeframe, start building an audience of your best customers. Use Microsoft Advertising tools like Conversion Tracking to build remarketing pools and to measure online and offline impact. Extend reach beyond search by building awareness of Black Friday and Cyber Week deals with Microsoft Audience Ads. Start influencing consumers who are still choosing brands with dynamic search ads (DSA) and broad match

Tip 2: Maximize efficiency during Black Friday and Cyber Week

Did you know that 37% of total holiday revenue is generated during Cyber Week? To optimize this lucrative timeframe, focus on efficiency and ROI.
 
Use automated rules and bids to adjust budgets and to optimize campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Increase your chances of capturing conversions when CPCs are most competitive with tools such as Target CPA (cost per action), Enhanced CPC, and Maximize Conversions. Rely on Microsoft Advertising to adjust your keyword bids in real time to achieve the desired CPA. You can also leverage your own internal data to increase audience targeting with Custom Audiences.
 
Additionally, your best chance of competing is by leading with offer-focused messaging. Display special product offers and sales such as “buy one get one free” or “Free Shipping” with Merchant Promotions. Highlight competitive offers and value propositions with Callout Extensions. And don’t forget to entice visitors with compelling offers through remarketing.

Tip 3: Make it easy for last-minute shoppers

In the weeks following Cyber Week through January 5, 64% of holiday gift givers plan to complete their shopping. To capture their dollars, consider using Local Inventory Ads to promote time-saving incentives such as in-store pickup for online purchases and Location Extensions to help shoppers find your retail business.
 
Also, be direct. Use clear calls-to-action with Action Extensions. Use countdown customizers to ensure customers know when shipping promotions end. Leverage Shared Budgets to redistribute unused budget to top campaigns to increase your chances of getting more customers.

For more insights to help your business this holiday season, be sure to:
Happy holidays!