Another holiday season is behind us, and as anticipated, it was a big win for the retail industry. With a record number of shoppers and increased revenue, it’s fair to say many businesses were successful. See for yourself, in this 2017 holiday shopping recap:
*All data sourced from the National Retail Federation
Despite the impressive performance, the holidays are often a time of overwhelming competition. So, what’s the secret to overcoming that hurdle to increase holiday shopping sales? We’ll show you the real strategy behind one of our eCommerce client’s climb to 2017 holiday success with Google AdWords and the Shopping platform.
At Logical Position, we work with businesses to bring out the absolute best in their abilities within the digital marketing space. We gauge our own success by the success of our clients, so when our clients do well, we get pretty excited. This past year, we had a record-breaking holiday season, increasing average total revenue by 91% for our retail clients using Google AdWords. One of our clients that falls into this group of holiday shopping rock stars is Wildfang.
Wildfang is a forward-thinking clothing company based out of Portland, OR, that caters to tomboys, offering male-inspired clothing to rebellious women. They came to us at the start of the holiday season, looking to increase sales— and we delivered.
Together, we dramatically increased overall performance, at less cost:
More importantly, here’s how we did it…
Clear Goals & A Data-Driven Strategy:
Shoppers are starting their holiday seasons earlier and earlier each year, so entering the season with a clear plan is the best way to set yourself up for success.
Wildfang came to us at the end of October, which gave us a small window to set goals, create a strategy, and optimize our campaigns. Going into the holidays, their goals were to see a $5: $1 return on ad spend (ROAS), and to improve product segmentation for a clearer picture of where their AdWords investment was going. Once we established goals, we got to work analyzing past performance data to construct a strategy designed to meet the goals we set.
The best place to start when approaching a new campaign strategy is targeting what already performs well in your account. With Wildfang, we were able to pinpoint top-converting keywords and scrape the Search Terms Report for more opportunities that we could confidently invest in. After an assessment of past performance and considering our new goals, we were ready to implement our holiday strategy.
As a digital marketing company, it’s our job to be on top of consumer trends, and one thing we never fail to predict with holiday shopping is the effectiveness of sales and promotions. The National Retail Federation found this year, 60% of holiday shoppers said the majority of their purchases were primarily influenced by promotions.
Our strategy for Wildfang focused on promoting their holiday sales by creating dedicated sales campaigns and targeted ad copy to highlight sale details. Letting shoppers know about any deals you have going for the holiday is a great way to draw traffic to your site and welcome them into your sales funnel.
People love a good deal, and if they aren’t already sold on what you’re offering, getting them to your site will at least open the door for them to either purchase another item or to remarket to them throughout their shopping process.
Branded & Non-branded Campaigns:
A standard we set among all of our clients, at any time of year, is to create a granular structure within their accounts. Breaking out branded and non-branded keywords into dedicated campaigns reinforces our goal of having control over where ad dollars are being spent.
Each campaign offers its own individual experience to the online shopper. A branded campaign reinforces the authority of your own brand by being planted at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), while a non-branded campaign responds to the shopper’s exact product or service needs at the exact moment they're searching for them. In the grand scheme of holiday shopping, the two campaign styles work perfectly together to help shoppers make well-rounded decisions and have an altogether easy buying process.
Aside from creating a shopper-friendly experience, the real benefit to breaking up your branded and non-branded keywords into campaigns is having the ability to monitor performance and adjust budget throughout the holiday season. With Wildfang, we could look at the individual performance of each campaign and quickly determine how budget was being spent and if we could reallocate it across other campaigns to better align with our end goals.
A/B Test Ad Copy & Landing Pages:
In select campaigns, we created multiple ads with varying ad copy and set them to evenly rotate to test how searchers interacted with certain messaging. We were able to quickly assess the data and either go all-in on the top performer, or continue to test new variations of ad copy to outperform our best versions.
Our approach with testing landing page performance was similar, in the sense that, we created multiple ads within one campaign and directed them to different landing pages on the site. We could then monitor performance to observe patterns among users and uncover new opportunities to capitalize on.
For example, in a campaign targeting searches related to “tomboy clothing,” we had the idea that shoppers would respond better to a customized landing page, curated to fit the tomboy theme they were searching for. We decided to test the idea and create two identical ads, one, directed to the site’s homepage and the other, directed to a custom designed landing page. To our surprise, shoppers responded better to the ad linking to the homepage.
It goes to show, as well as you think you know your audience, shoppers are unpredictable. The most surefire way to successful campaigns is to back up your hunches with data. You never know when one small test could land you a pot of gold.
If you didn’t quite strike your pot of gold last holiday season, now is the time to align your campaigns for the 2018 holiday shopping season. We’re happy to bring our skills to the table, like we did for Wildfang, and work alongside you to create a strategy that will crush your goals. In any situation our clients are in, good or bad, we aim for the best!