Worldwide, consumers will spend $383 billion USD on Christmas.
Digital marketers have been constructing and fine-tuning their festive campaigns to get in front of customers across multiple channels and markets. As key dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and final posting dates all draw closer, we take a look at three things you can still be doing to ensure that your campaign stays on track.
The ‘feed’ in ‘Google Shopping Feed’ can inspire a certain sense of complacency: it’s tempting to assume that you can set up a feed and let Google do the rest. Christmas commerce is fluid and shopping feeds don’t react to every variable. It is important to use your shopping feed like a physical store if you want to get the right products in front of shoppers who intend to purchase somewhere. Think of your shopping feed as a window display – a place to put best sellers and draw people in.
Google Shopping Feed’s priority settings allow you to place your best-performing products in this space and to react to changes in what’s performing well. Maintain a list of these best sellers within a high priority campaign and raise bids to ensure their exposure. Continue to monitor best sellers through other channels, but ensure that your products are actually performing via the shopping feed.
Planning social media activity ahead of time is important in order to ensure messaging appears at critical campaign moments and to keep the brand in the consciousness of potential customers (who are more likely to have less work on during the period). However, planned corporate messaging isn’t social media’s natural mode of operation: to this end, you should complement your scheduled activity with a little spontaneity (compliance allowing).
Dedicate more time to interacting with customers – there will be more of them asking questions, more of them receptive to sales-related messaging and a greater sense of Christmas cheer for you to contribute to. Ask followers about how they will be spending Christmas, run a poll to choose a discount on one of a range of popular items and generally find ways to innovate. Social-media exclusive offers are a great way to build your social following for the future.
Finally, if your business typically neglects channels like Pinterest and Instagram, Christmas may be the perfect opportunity to grow a following – these platforms are ideal for gift ideas.
Even with the best planning in the world, you cannot always be prepared for the popularity of certain products, or for supply-chain issues that present themselves when it becomes time to restock. Suddenly, an item that is lighting up your analytics is a dead-end for potential customers – they’ll be going elsewhere to get it, or they’ll be stuck waiting for it to restock next year. While ensuring that all channels start steering away from these pages, now is also a good time to strengthen these pages to make the best of a less than ideal situation (as people will still continue to get through the net).
As far as possible within your templates, direct your traffic to similar alternatives, or make the argument for gifting vouchers instead. Emphasise re-stock dates, back-order options and order cancellation policies so that potential customers are still informed. If the item is in sufficient demand and out of stock elsewhere (for instance, in the case of a “must have” gadget or toy), people may still be shopping with you. You could offer a printable “IOU” that gifters could wrap and place under the tree in place of the real thing. Also, consider being transparent about popular items running out of stock – create blog and social media content informing people of the shortfall, give them alternatives and reasons to return for future purchases.
Don’t miss out on the $383 billion USD Christmas spending.