Online retailers are getting more and more sophisticated, and staying on top of competition is an uphill battle definitely worth fighting.
This year the e-commerce retail sales are expected to maintain the growth trend from past years, but at the same time the competition is going to be ruthless.
We are continuing our shopping series guide in preparation for the 2016 holiday season. Today we are sharing three strategies that will give you an advantage over the competition, with powerful insights and strategies.
Keep an eye on the Cross-device conversions
The shopper path to purchase stopped being linear a long time ago, and now it's made of micro-moments and multiple touch-points.
Customers will start their shopping journey browsing and purchasing across multiple devices: desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Being present where the customers are, while providing them with a seamless experience on all devices is a challenge all retailers are facing.
If you have that already figured out, the next important step is to closely monitor the cross-device conversions data and act accordingly.
The insights and data will give you the overall picture of your campaign performance and will show the shopping device preferences of your customers.
Armed with this data it's easier to adjust the bids accordingly and set mobile preferred ads. Read more if you want to optimize your campaign for cross-device conversions.
Up until recently if you wanted to have data on the cross-device conversions you needed to go to the Adwords settings and enable it, otherwise it would not have shown in your conversions column.
Currently, no additional enabling is required and the cross-device conversions show up, if enough data is gathered, in the total conversions data.
Next step is to use the new data in your bidding strategies. If you prefer manual bidding then you can use the cross-device conversions and adjust your bids to reflect the new insights. Otherwise, if you are using automatic bidding this data will be taken into consideration when the strategies are set in place.
Prioritize bestsellers and holiday top performers
We have already discussed in depth how you can drastically improve your campaigns by simply improving your bids for your bestselling products. The bestsellers are low hanging fruit and every bidding strategy should be more aggressive for them.
For the holiday season, on top of setting higher bids for your all time top-performing products, take a side step and look at your past holiday top performers.
Look at past analytics data and campaign performance to find which were the items that drove highest traffic and sales and create custom labels for the holiday bestsellers,
Pro Tip: Keep shopping procrastinators top of mind. They are the ones used to getting their purchases within 24 hours at their doors, so increase the bids for the very last days of shopping before the actual holiday.
Spy on competitors bidding for the same products
Compare the performance of your ads with the one of the other merchants bidding for the exact same products.
Even if you are not getting access to the campaign structure, bidding strategy and feed quality of your competitors, the data available in Auction insight statics is still valuable:
Impression share is the number of impressions received for your ads divided by the number of total impressions you were eligible for.
Overlap rate is how often competitor ads show up when your ad shows up too.
Outranking share is the number of times your ad ranked higher than another participant’s ad plus the number of times your ad showed up and theirs not, divided by the total number of auctions you participated in.
While the insights might seem limited it's enough to give you an idea of where you are doing a great job and where you should work more to improve the performance.
The holiday season can be a make-or-break for retailers in all shapes and sizes with November and December driving 30% more e-Commerce revenue than the rest of the months.
No wonder it's the most stressful period of the year with new trends and channel updates to follow. That is why it is extremely important to list all scenarios in advance and be prepared to quickly adjust strategy.