Optimize your online store for holiday season in 6 steps


The holidays are just around the corner and it’s time to prepare your online store for them. In this time of year, customers open their wallets and spend their money, so it’s crucial for every commerce business to make some kind of plan to take a ride in a train of opportunities this holiday season is bringing. In this article we will try to help your business to make a plan, so you can make good decisions on where to go and what to do next towards your business goals.

1. Analyze your data

Knowing your data is the most important way to measure the success of your marketing campaigns. By looking at your last year’s holiday data you can see what worked well and what didn’t, so you can reuse or change and improve those segments to maximize your sales this year. Ask yourself questions as “Which marketing channels worked well?”, so you’ll know on what to focus even more and which channels need a different strategies if they didn’t work well. Also, think about which products visitors were looking and buying the most, so you’ll know what you need to have in stock or where you need a change of approach.

Analyzing your data with the right questions can help you a lot in boosting your sales this season. So do it now!

If you didn’t track your last year data, or you have a new business, make sure to track it this year.

2. Analyze your competitors

If you are not signed up on your competitor’s newsletter, do it now. Look at what they are doing and offering, how often, what works for them… Look at their site. You can even look at their site in the past using Wayback Machine to see which strategies they’ve used for last year’s holidays. What did they promote? All those ideas can give you an even better idea that will help in boosting your holiday season. Try it and test it, so you can find the best strategy for your customers.

3. Prepare your PPC campaigns

Start building your landing pages and PPC campaigns for the holidays you’ve target, so you can just enable campaigns when the time is right and optimize those campaigns early on for even better performance. Conduct a keyword research using Google Keywords Tool and match the keywords with the landing pages to gain higher and cheaper clicks and, of course, better conversions. Think of how the people are searching for their gifts and products in the holiday season, what matters to them (like ‘free shipping’, ‘gift’, ‘Christmas’, ‘xmas’, ‘black friday sale’, ‘cyber monday’, etc) and try to find long tail keywords with low competition that will boost your targeted visits. Then test and optimize your campaigns, to get the most out of it.

4. Optimize for search engine

When already focusing on your PPC campaigns, you shouldn’t forget your organic search traffic. 26% of all sales are done through organic traffic acquisition. Update the titles and content early on for the holidays. If you researched the keywords for your PPC campaigns, also use that research for a good SEO strategy.

5. Start your retargeting campaigns

Retargeting campaigns are an opportunity to target an interested user one more time. Basically, you are given a second chance to close a deal. Isn’t this good enough reason to use it right now?

6. Do we still need to talk about the mobile?

Mobile, mobile… Everyone is talking about it. But no wonder when US sales (reported by IBM) over mobile on Black Friday last year were 21.8% of all sales. Cyber Monday saw similar results with 17.2% of total online spending. And it’s growing every year for more than 20%! Shoppers use their smartphones and tablets more than ever to research products, compare prices and complete purchases. Make sure you are ready for them.

Winter holidays can be a stressful time for online marketers, but also highly profitable. If you are well organized and prepared, 2014 could be the best year, so far, for your business. Happy holidays to everyone, it’s time to work.

About Vanja Bunjevac

eCommerce Consultant

eCommerce, usability, product development, game design and gamification are Vanja's passions.

Read more posts by Vanja / Visit Vanja's profile

1 comment

  1. Could you please explain me about the process maintained in PPC and campaigns. What is the tactics followed for a successfull campaign.

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