- The holiday season can be a busy time for many businesses, so having a solid PPC strategy in place can make a big difference.
- When managing the holiday rush, don’t forget to factor in your company’s long-term sales goals.
- Data collection and analysis are essential because they can inform long-term strategy.
The Black Friday/Christmas season is the most profitable for many ecommerce businesses, and it can even make or break the year’s sales. However, with so much at stake during this time, it’s easy to overlook some of the most important steps that maximize profitability.
Whether you’re a seasoned Black Friday seller or preparing your business for the first time, there are a number of considerations and processes that can have a significant payoff if you devote some of your time and energy in advance.
As a result, we’ve asked Peter Marshall, Chief Marketing Officer at Add People, to highlight some of the most common mistakes he and his team see time and time again to ensure your holiday PPC strategy is rock solid this year.
Top Nine Ecommerce Mistakes Made During Black Friday and Christmas
Expecting a single peak
Though Black Friday has traditionally been the day after Thanksgiving, it has evolved into an international sales holiday that contributes to a significant increase in sales for businesses of all sizes. However, as Black Friday has grown in popularity across ecommerce and physical retail, sales typically last throughout the build-up period (7-14 days prior) or the entire month of November. If this is the case, you will need to plan your PPC strategy for the entire period ahead of time.
Because the cost per click (CPC) of your ads typically skyrockets on Black Friday, we’ve discovered that by extending deals on either side of the holiday, we ensure our clients benefit from lower average level CPCs and pull in more sales over a longer period of time.
You’ll also want to think about your overall holiday strategy and how you can maximize sales all the way up to Christmas.
Our UK and US clients come to us with multiple discount codes across different brands or ranges, the complexity of which can result in customers dropping off or abandoning cart. Given that sales during the holiday season provide an opportunity to ramp up sales to compensate for the price drop, it’s critical that converting is as simple as possible.
A consistent strategy from Black Friday to Christmas will help you streamline your purchasing process and entice shoppers to return at various points throughout the holiday season.
Scaling discounts is a strategy we occasionally use with our clients, such as 10% off over £100 or 20% off over £200, but any more complexity may deter customers by adding conversion barriers.
Having ambiguous sales-period goals
The most successful businesses will use sales events such as Black Friday and Christmas to achieve multiple business objectives. While high-traffic events are ideal for increasing revenue, you should also consider the broader implications of these activities.
Businesses can use Black Friday and Christmas to attract new customers who have never shopped with them before and to build audiences for repeat purchases. Our clients can combine their PPC strategy with other channels such as email and paid social to extend profits later down the line, even if the initial sale was made at a lower-than-average margin.
To make the most of the holiday, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time how your activity will fit into your long-term goals. For example, if your Black Friday campaign includes running loss leaders, estimate how much revenue you’ll need to generate from other marketing activities to make it profitable in the long run.
Changing things up on the fly
Google Ads is useful, but it is not without flaws. Changes to the platform cause the algorithm to adjust, and some changes can take hours or days to stabilize. If you make bid adjustments on the day, the algorithm may react sub-optimally, causing a disruption in your performance.
This is why planning ahead of time is critical, and why we begin organizing Black Friday sales for our PPC clients well in advance. Changes you can make include increasing your budget, activating your campaigns on the day, and enabling promotional ad copy, but any other changes could jeopardize the performance of your Black Friday campaign.
Consider how this fits into your forecast as well as any other dates before Christmas that you’ll need to be prepared for to avoid destabilizing your ads at any time.