Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are coming, but is your holiday ecommerce strategy ready? Pattern’s ecommerce experts explore what sellers should be doing to prepare for the Cyber Weekend shopping frenzy and any subsequent holiday ecommerce sales.
Focusing on these four best practices will help you win this holiday season and beat your competition to every extra sale.
Preparing your inventory beforehand is crucial for marketplace success during the Holiday season. That’s why we’ve analyzed the Amazon categories most likely to experience stockouts this holiday season. What could be worse than running out of inventory while demand is booming? CBS reported in 2018 that while Amazon “didn't disclose sales figures, it said customers ordered more than 180 million items during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, adding that the latter was its biggest single shopping day ever.” And we know this demand has only gone up each year since.
If this is your first year selling on Amazon or if you are new to a certain category, it can be intimidating to strategize for the shopping bonanza. There are a number of third-party tools you can use to see historical sales volume over time, such as Scope or Algopix. These will help you estimate how much extra inventory you need to have on hand. If you sold during the holiday season last year, be sure to analyze last year’s sales, take into account the growth of your product category(s), and forecast accordingly.
While SEO is something you should be doing year-round, make sure you are up-to-date on the most current keyword trends before the holiday season hits. Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to determine which search terms you want your products to rank on and edit your content accordingly. Pattern partners can rely on Predict, our internal software that analyzes over 3 million keywords daily, to help them find the best opportunities.
Remember that while placement in search is determined by various factors, sales velocity is a strong determinant, so having this in place and optimized year-round is really your best safeguard for being prepared for the holiday season.
Having a sound advertising plan can really help your sales soar during the Holiday season. A poorly planned advertising strategy will inefficiently spend your ad budget and may only marginally contribute to your brand’s overall goals for the holiday season.
Sponsored Products is a common Amazon advertising tool and definitely deserves your attention over the holiday season. However, a complete advertising strategy needs to incorporate other tools like product display ads, sponsored brands, DSP (Demand Side Platform) off-site ads, or a Google Adwords campaign that drives traffic to your brand storefront. These types of ads can work in tandem to support your goals, explained Tony Morales, the Advertising Director at Pattern.
“A customer may click on a Sponsored Products ad and not buy. We later serve them a DSP ad that focuses on customers that have viewed the product detail page and but didn’t purchase. The customer views the DSP ad on the web, they click, and purchase. That sale is attributed to DSP, but it was the Sponsored Products ad that began that journey. It's similar with Sponsored Brands—that's how they complement each other,” Tony said.
For my insight on how to advertise this holiday season, check out our Holiday Advertising series, starting with Your Guide to Pre-Holiday Advertising.
Where are your customers shopping this holiday season? While many of them may be on Amazon, there will be others searching elsewhere—think Walmart.com, Target+, etc.—and you should be there with your products to greet them. Getting your products out into other marketplaces will broaden your customer base. Make sure you have price parity across marketplaces though, or those shopping elsewhere will feel they got the short end of the stick from your brand on their purchase.
Walmart.com, eBay, Instagram, Google shopping, and even international marketplaces all see significant increases in traffic over the holidays. As an example, on Cyber Monday 2018, eBay sold 1 hoverboard every 12 seconds, roughly 7,500 for the day, and over 19,000 Star Wars-related items—1 every 4.5 seconds.
There are certainly other levers you can pull to ensure success during the holiday season; Optimize for mobile, get your products into special promotional catalogs and programs, email marketing campaigns, and so much more. Do your research, be resourceful, and just remember, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” — Bobby Usner
To learn more about what a Pattern partnership could do to boost your holiday sales and beyond, reach out today.
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Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.
In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.
From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.
According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.
From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.
It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.
A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.
Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.
The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)
Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.
Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.
Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.
Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.