Incubeta Ignite: The CSS Q4 Opportunity

Read Time: 3 mins

With Christmas, Black Friday, and the post-holiday sales, it’s an overstated but vital fact that Q4 is the biggest opportunity for retailers in the year. With consumers getting savvy with planning their shopping, Alex Haynes takes a look at how you can use CSS to boost your reach – and hence your revenue – throughout the season. You can find the slides from Alex’s presentation here

There’s a lot to be on top of during Q4, so as you prepare your campaigns and activity for this highly lucrative periods the first thing to be conscious of is the key dates in the calendar. 

There are two points of note that should be on your radar: the Brexit Deadline – which is still fraught with a lot of uncertainty – and the November Pay Day, which is before Black Friday for the first time in several years. The impacts of both dates are still uncertain, but retailers would do well to consider the implications as they plan for the quarter.

Cyber Weekend

The Rise of Research

Our focus will specifically fall on Cyber Weekend – looking at the trends that have formed over the past few years that you can take advantage of. Interest in Black Friday has grown steadily over the last three years, but how this interest is reflected in searches has shifted. Research now plays a much bigger part in the user journey; with consumers spending more time looking up deals ahead of time to make sure the brands they’re after have the deals they want. This then translates into the decline of Black Friday terms being searched on the actual day.  

The Pyjama Panic Buy

Cyber Weekend is host to a unique purchasing habit: the Pyjama Panic Buy. At 11pm every night during this period, we see ROAS spike. This is likely due to people worrying that the deals won’t be available the next day, and quickly placing an order before midnight. With it being so late, consumers are likely in their PJs – hence “the Pyjama Panic Buy”.

Together, this tells us two things:

  1. Consumers know what they want before they start browsing.
  2. They often need something at that very moment.

Using CSS to Make the Most of Cyber Weekend

While these trends have brought in a unique set of challenges, CSS provides a unique way to tackle them.

First, CSS allows you to be the best at the bottom. With new CSS formats, you can communicate any offers, highlight what they are, and allow customers to click through to the right product page all through the same interface. This becomes incredibly beneficial as it takes away the browsing element of finding offers, making it easier for consumers to identify the products they like at the price point they want. When you’re getting your feed set up, make sure you’ve optimised to Black Friday terms so that you have a better chance of showing during this period, and use machine learning to ensure you’re serving the exact right product when it counts. 

When it comes to beating out the competition, CSS offers a number of opportunities to get one up over your rivals. With cheaper CPCs, you have much more bidding power within the auction. On top of this, CSS providers can often work alongside your in-house teams or primary agency to take over more of the SERP; pushing out competitors and delivering incremental revenue by supporting your current coverage. 

Finally, CSS can give you the flexibility to pick the moments you want to push. Make sure your budget doesn’t run out before you hit peak periods like Pyjama Panic, and be open to the flexible CPAs available on the performance model.