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Black Friday Readiness With Search in Mind: Is Your Business Ready?

Jori Ford
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With holiday shopping looming, retailers continue to look for what will give them the edge during the 2013 shortened holiday season. The climbing popularity of consumer showrooming – checking prices and product information while shopping in stores, not to be mistaken with retail showrooming – the showcasing of products with the intent to drive online purchase, has been said to pose a threat to retailers this holiday season.

Smart retailers can take advantage by strengthening their opportunities to drive increased engagement. Paying attention to how search influences the customer journey and planning promotions that coordinate with brick-and-mortar store(s) will drive increased holiday sales.

Top Considerations & Tips for Black Friday

A Google consumer survey showed that 49 percent of shoppers say they know when they'll do their holiday shopping. Thirty percent of consumers will begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.

When Shoppers Plan to Start Making Holiday Purchases

Shoppers Will Research & Buy Well in Advance

Make sure you're ahead of the game. Drive increased engagement with your brand through content marketing and optimized visibility for your top promotional products.

Reinforce your promotional offerings using ad copy with savings driven messaging. This will make sure your brand is one that stands out when consumers are drilling through the sea of promotional leaks soon to come.

Search aligns you with a customer when they are deeper in their consideration set, which makes your brand more memorable as they continue through their journey.

Customer journey

26% of Consumers Plan to Buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Make sure you're visible and present in local search, with up to date information for Black Friday. This is critical. Now is also a good time to realize that for high foot traffic, mobile = local.

Quick tip: Update your local places feed one month before the holidays with hours of operation. Use services like Yext to push updates to IYPs (Internet yellow pages) and sharing sites immediately. Support real-time hour updates via paid search using sitelinks.

Adwords Black Friday Mock-up

Take Advantage of Showroom Shoppers, Target Them

Be prepared by taking a combined approach using cross promotions offline to online, to increase dollars per customer.

According to the JWire Q2 mobile shopping report, the main in-store mobile activities are comparison shopping (59 percent), looking for coupons (48 percent), and searching for product reviews (47 percent).

Mobile Device In-Store Shopping

Based on Econsultancy's stats on shopper behavior by device, while purchasing in-store is the most popular for those who research in-store, showrooming may still be an issue for retailers as 37 percent purchase on a smartphone or tablet after researching in-store.

Retailers can take advantage by ensuring the same product or similar is continuously offered, increasing AOVs (average order value) online, while providing related products/accessories available in-store.

4 Easy Steps to Set Up Showroomer Targeted Search Campaigns

  • Create a holiday landing page optimized for natural and paid search, that focuses on areas that tend to be competitive drivers for in-store foot traffic (e.g., TVs, home electronics, or gaming).
  • Ensure your online promo landing page features promotions that match the ones you'll have in-store or that the online offering is a similar product at a comparable price.
  • Create a paid search campaign that includes the product name, SKU, manufacturer number, etc. as target keywords that drives to the promo page. Ideally you would also ensure PLA (paid listing ads) coverage.
  • Optimize on-site search results by adding these terms and their stems to your thesaurus and create redirects as needed, to drive to the holiday landing page.

Conclusion

By taking these steps you're providing search coverage for consumers who are prone to scanning items for comparison shopping. As they shop they will be reinforced with your message and if they decide to purchase online your business still benefits.

By cross promoting in-store related items and accessories you reinforce the most popular behavior of showroom shoppers, which is to still make an in-store purchase. Don't be afraid of new shopping behaviors!


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