Black Friday through to Cyber Monday is fast becoming known as one of the most important times of the year for retailers, as shoppers respond in their masses to the major discounting that takes place during this weekend.
With retailers promoting sales earlier and earlier each year, we have seen a significant growth in search volumes for Cyber Weekend (see graph below), and not just in the USA and UK but also in other international markets.
In this blog we share the impact of the recent Cyber Weekend on our own Retail campaigns, and offer our top tips to help you maximise the bumper shopping period across the holiday season and beyond.
Graph: Year on Year Increase in search terms relating to ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’
Retail client performance across Cyber Weekend:
Across many of our retail clients where we provide international PPC coverage, we have traditionally seen the Americas perform strongly. However, it was interesting to see that over the sale weekend there was a significant shift towards increased revenue performance from Europe and in particular, South East Asia.
Our results show, as per the graphs below, that there was a clear upward trend with a 36.1% increase in search volumes across our campaigns, a 3.5% increase in conversion rate and 32.9% uplift in revenue.
Graph: Uplift in impressions and conversion rates over Cyber Weekend across our Retail clients
Graph: Uplift in revenue over Cyber Weekend across our Retail clients
Our Top Tips & Recommendations to maximise key shopping times:
With the scale at which Cyber Weekend drives sales and revenue, we have outlined a checklist for campaign preparation every PPC executive should be looking at for the holiday season:
• Campaign Settings
o Ensure budget caps are increased
o Set your ads to ‘accelerated’
o Create a variations and misspells campaign on your brand term
o Expand keywords that relate to gifts, gift cards, and relevant events/holidays such as Christmas sales
o Create brand + location keywords
o Ensure negative keywords are added around terms relating to ‘returns’
• Bid Strategy
o Set automated rules to increase bids during peak periods
o Consider reducing bids or campaign budget caps after last delivery dates have passed
o Conduct more regular CPC vs. EPC checks
• Ad Copy
o Schedule ads to run with promotions
o Check successful ads with high CTR from the previous year
o Include last delivery messaging – particularly for international territories
• Sitelinks, demographic targeting and mobile
o Include seasonal messaging/offers in enhanced sitelink description lines
o Test gender-specific ad copy e.g. “gifts for him”
o Test mobile bid adjustments particularly with retail clients
Our advice is that preparation is the ultimate key to a successful bumper shopping period and our performance overview from the Cyber Weekend proves this. Therefore we would suggest that you make sure you maximise all areas of your Paid Search strategy and ask clients in advance of their marketing efforts so that you can be prepared to maximise the big sale days! Good luck!