$123 billion. According to Statista, that was the total value of all the US sales made by ecommerce businesses during the 2018 holiday season. For context, that’s roughly 18% higher than the nominal GDP of Ecuador. If the holiday season ecommerce market in the US were its own country, it would be the 57th biggest economy in the world.
If we were hanging out at a college bar or pensively skipping rocks across the lake in which our adolescent anxieties melted away, now would be the time for me to demonstrate my intellect (and recently discovered affinity for Sally Rooney novels) by making a melancholy remark about the transactional nature of modern love.
Alas, that would be pretty weird—not to mention swiftly (and wisely) deleted by our managing editor. Besides, we’ve got bigger fish to fry:
The holiday season is rapidly approaching and your ecommerce business needs a digital marketing plan. In this guide, we’ll share 13 holiday marketing tips—spanning Google, Facebook, Instagram, and your website—that your ecommerce business can use to prepare for and win the holiday season.
Each of them is courtesy of Kelly McGee, Sam Drane, and Holly Niemiec—all of whom work on our in-house agency team and drive consistent results for their ecommerce clients.
Holiday marketing tips for Google Ads
When the time comes to find gifts for their friends and families, a ton of your prospects are going to turn to Google for help. To be frank, a holiday marketing plan that doesn’t include Google Ads is an incomplete holiday marketing plan.
Meeting prospects in the search results—both with text ads and Shopping ads—is absolutely essential. Elsewhere, using display ads to stay top-of-mind is an effective tactic as well. With that, let’s get into some tips.
Attract more clicks with Merchant Promotions
Merchant Promotions is a free feature that enables Google Shopping advertisers to make their Shopping ads more compelling by adding special offers like discounted prices, free gifts, and shipping benefits.
Once you’ve submitted a product data feed in Google Merchant Center and it’s gotten a thumbs up, you can start creating promotions.
There are two ways you can take advantage of Merchant Promotions: by using the promotions tool or by uploading a designated promotions feed.
Whereas the promotions tool—found by selecting Merchant Promotions from the left-hand menu and then selecting Promotions—allows you to create specific offers for individual products, a promotions feed allows you to bulk upload a high volume of promotions at one time.
Although you can never go wrong with a discounted price or free shipping, I think a particularly good offer for the holiday season is a gift card.
Why? Because it allows shoppers to show their loved ones that they’re thoughtful while also giving them a little bit of insurance.
Inspire urgency with text ad customizers
For those of you running standard search campaigns in addition to your Shopping campaigns, text ad customizers allow you to automatically optimize your ad copy in real time based on query, location, device, time of day, or day of the week. Once you’ve uploaded an ad customizer data file to your Google Ads account, you can start tailoring your messaging to create the most relevant and enticing ads possible.
Although ad customizers are useful in general and allow you to optimize in myriad different ways, in the context of holiday marketing ideas we’re primarily interested in using them to create a sense of urgency among your prospects.
For example, if you’re using text ads to promote your extended Black Friday sale, you could use an ad customizer to tell shoppers how much time they have left. Whereas someone shopping the night before Thanksgiving would see “Only 48 Hours Left!” in your headline, someone shopping the night of Thanksgiving would see “Only 24 Hours Left!”
In effect, you can take advantage of ad customizers to create a countdown to the end of your sale.