The holiday season is rapidly approaching and with it the flood of holiday shopping that makes business owners sing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at the top of their lungs. Most people love the holidays and can’t wait to get into the spirit, but for retailers, it can be a stressful period.
As you head into the holiday shopping season, these are a few tips for how to maximize your business’s online impact from the holy grail of search engine experts- Google itself!
Step 1: Get Visible Online
The holiday shopping season is a week shorter than normal this year since Thanksgiving is so late. It’s important that you get set up before Turkey Day to take advantage of every minute of the holiday season. Putting yourself out there on e-commerce platforms is critical to capitalizing on the online spending that vendors rely on. Google Merchant Center is a great way to become more visible to people searching for specific product types.
Using the Merchant Center platform you can post your store and product info on Google which makes it available across the entire search engine. That means that anyone searching on a Google property will be able to access information about your business and products.
Step 2: Go Global
You might already be using Google Ads as a marketing tool, but you should consider expanding your ads to cover the entire world. According to the Pitney Bowes report, 70% of global customers made at least one purchase from a vendor in a different country. You can find more engaged leads by making your products available to people around the world.
Google Shopping ads are now available in over 50 new markets and 95 markets worldwide. There’s no shortage of customers out there, so make sure you’re reaching every possible potential buyer by taking your ads worldwide. There are automated feeds and multi-country feeds that give you the option of quick and easy uploads, as well as bridging the language gap.
Step 3: Use Pictures
A picture really is worth 1000 words- and let’s be honest, no one wants to read 1000 words anyway! Google started enabling user-generated images in product reviews on their Shopping Ads platform. That means that people who have bought your product can post a picture of their purchase. This has a two-fold benefit.
It allows new potential customers to get a clearer idea of what they’re going to be purchasing which adds an additional layer of trust. It also lets them visually connect with the product so they can picture it in the context of how they would use it. Either way, they have a better idea of what they will be buying and are more likely to click “purchase”.
Step 4: Tell Your Customers What they Want
Your customers are just like you this time of year- they don’t know what to get their friends and family for Christmas either! Generating a list of products that will work for different price ranges and interests is a great way to inspire consumers to purchase your product above someone else’s.
Create a list for different buyer personas that you use in your marketing strategy and send it out to your email list! A current customer who sees a business trying to ease the pressure of buying gifts this time of year is much more likely to purchase said gifts from you.
Step 5: Be as Shoppable as Possible
According to this study, 48% of shoppers are open to new retailers during the holiday season. This is a great time of year to engage with people who will be open to your brand, and these shoppers are increasingly likely to turn to video for shopping inspiration. In response to this trend, Google has made Shopping Ads available on the YouTube home feed and YouTube Search results, which means the video platform can now act as an extension of your retargeting campaigns.
YouTube users are going to start seeing ads based on their video searches and interests that might potentially meet their needs before they even know what product they’re going to buy. YouTube video ads were also made to be more interactive and they now include actionable information like forms and store locations. It makes it easier for viewers to find the landing pages for products that are being marketed to them and gives them extra information about your business that they might find relevant.
Step 6: Focus on Retargeting
Keep in mind that your customers are going to be absolutely bombarded with options for gifts throughout the holiday season. Your job as a retailer is to keep that in mind and offer the type of value your typical customer is looking for. People who casually engage with your brand should make up a substantial part of your retargeting audience. Make sure you’re covering all of the relevant sites for retargeting without becoming a nuisance to your potential customer. Offering additional value is a good way to entice a reluctant buyer as well.
You have to stand out from the crowd as much as possible to successfully engage with new leads this time of year, and being a better deal than your competition is a good start. Retargeting ads are a huge piece of successfully converting leads and your strategy for these ads must include multiple platforms and effective implementation to return a high ROI. Proceed with enthusiasm, but make sure you’ve thought through the entire buyer’s journey before implementing anything.
Holiday shoppers are the only gift that retailers want for Christmas. This time of year is a boon for business owners the world over, and there’s no reason for your business to miss out on its slice of the pie. Getting your business set up effectively online is a critical part of the process. You want to expand your reach to target as many potential customers as possible, and Google’s platforms give you the tools you need to turn your small local business into a worldwide vendor. Following these steps will give you everything you need to reach your full potential as a business this holiday season!