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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 27, 2017

Top 3 tips to turn 2017 holiday data into green in 2018

Most companies make the largest percentage of their revenue between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but many also struggle with putting the data they collect during this time to work for them. We've asked a digital marketing expert to share his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can marketers begin planning now for the 2018 holiday shopping season?

Chris Birkholm, Senior Manager of Marketing, Digital River: Two programs you can focus on early in the year are paid search and SEO.
Hire local agencies with boots on the ground in your target markets to develop effective paid search campaigns. Paid search planning can begin with a foundation of keyword lists that include highly segmented search terms. You should use data from this holiday season when you likely had a high volume of online store traffic for more statistically valid results. Then, map out user journeys that result in highly granular search terms. Then keep your promise to shoppers by returning search results that precisely match their search terms. Optimize the program so it's ready to go once the 2018 holidays arrive.
Also, you should work early in the year to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) program by moving a small handful of select keywords up the search engine results page (SERP) rather than trying to rank a large quantity of keywords. When a selection of important keywords leap from sixth to third position on the SERP, the differences in click-through rates can be noticeably large and impactful for commerce-focused sites. Keywords need not be ranked in the first position to move the needle.

Kristina: How can marketers use seasonal data to create campaigns that run throughout the year?

Chris: You should analyze your web traffic and sales data around every holiday to find your largest spikes. During those months, do plenty of promotional sales and analyze your competitors to see what they are promoting. This data will keep you updated on important shopping trends on your own site so you are able to optimize your promotions moving forward.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for marketers to use 2017 data for the 2018 holiday season?

Chris: 1. Exploit your busy days: We've found that Mondays and Tuesdays are most popular for shopping online, but do the research and see if that is the case for your company as well. Then, time your promotions so that they line up with those days.
2. Reward loyal customers: Start thinking about loyalty programs you can put in place if you don't already have them, then set up a plan to reward those members around the holidays. For example, we worked with a client to offer members of their loyalty program Black Friday deals before anyone else could access them, and achieved significant results.
3. Create evergreen content: Don't feel like you have to reinvent the wheel every time a holiday comes around. Create content both on your site and in promotions that you can tweak and reuse so that you aren't scrambling when Black Friday hits. And, if a content piece or page drove a lot of traffic, definitely consider reusing some of that content.

Tags: advertising, advertising data, Digital River, ecommerce, ecommerce data, holiday shopping data

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