Retail Boost Recap: Insights to Fuel Digital Retail Strategies

Is your digital retail strategy feeling a bit stale? Our Retail Boost recap series is here to help! At our inaugural Retail Boost event, Catalyst and Bing united digital marketing thought leaders and brand marketers to discuss tips, insights, and strategies to boost digital marketing results.

Thom Arkestaal, Agency Marketing Lead at Bing, kicked off Retail Boost with a presentation on Bing consumer insights to help retailers this holiday season. Here we recap the key takeaways:

When It Comes to the December Holiday Season, the Size of the Prize Is Huge

When planning digital retail strategies, knowing where to allocate time and resources is key. While each individual retailer may have nuances as to which times of year are most profitable, there’s no denying that the December holiday season is of particular importance. Holiday spend in 2016 is projected to reach $868 billion overall, with $616 billion of that focused on December alone.

Consumers Start Researching Holiday Shopping Months in Advance

20% of Christmas shoppers in the US have noted that they begin shopping as early as August. And 34% of shoppers start their research on a search engine. Are you ensuring that your brand is present when consumers start searching months before the December holiday season? If not, you are likely missing out on opportunities to build awareness among your target audience.

November Is a Window Shopping Month on Mobile

8 out of 10 of the highest mobile search volume days on the Bing Network occur in November, and skew towards the weekends. However, not as much shopping occurs here as in December. Insights like this can be really important in setting KPIs for your paid campaigns. Your consumers might be doing research in November, but actually clicking the buy button later. December is home to several periods which see spikes in search volume and shopping revenue, including a 3-day period starting on Cyber Monday (November 30), as well as Green Monday (December 14), and several days during the week of December 7.

Last-Minute Shoppers Are Often Looking for Ad-Ons and Low-Ticket Items

Items such as gift cards, greeting cards, stocking stuffers, gift baskets, and gift wrap are highly searched in the final days before Christmas. Do you have a plan for targeting these types of consumers? If appropriate for your brand, consider creating a campaign that is specifically targeted to these types of last-minute shoppers.

Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead and Properly Budget

The right budget can go a long way in maximizing ROI and boosting holiday sales. Make sure your budgets are planned out in advance, and sufficient to capture all possible sales. If you’re not accounting for estimated growth and holiday spikes, you could be missing out on potential customers.

Optimize Keywords & Ad Setup for Success

Do you know which combination of ad titles and descriptions work best for your brand each week during the holiday season? If this seems too granular, don’t forget that the specific words consumers respond to can differ over time depending on how close it is to key dates like Christmas. So make sure you’re evaluating your campaigns, both past and present, to understand what works and what doesn’t over time. And beyond keywords, make sure you’re optimizing the setup of your ads by leveraging things such as ad extensions. Don’t lose out to competitors by failing to take advantage of key real estate on search engine results pages.

In Summary

The holiday season is a big opportunity to drive sales. But in order to capitalize on all that potential revenue, brands and retailers need to know when consumers are searching and how search behavior differs over time in the build-up to key holiday dates. Make sure your budgets are sufficient and your ads are properly optimized so you’re not missing out on potential clicks.

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