Whilst some industries take the holidays as an opportunity to put their feet up and enjoy a Dickensian singsong around the family piano; consumer product and service-driven companies whip themselves into holiday panic to meet targets and smash sales records. Alongside cultural anomalies such as Black Friday, this incorporates aggressive marketing campaigns across all mediums and platforms –notably SEO and PPC.
Like supermarkets stocking advent calendars, and Mariah Carey festive songs pumping from uninventive radio stations; holiday-targeted SEO and PPC campaigns are starting earlier and earlier every year.
December 2013 saw record numbers of UK shoppers take to the web to spoil loved ones and fulfil holiday obligations with minimal effort. A 19.2% growth in online sales compared to December 2012 was way ahead of the total UK retail sales growth of just 0.4%. It would take a brave man to bet against that trend continuing again this year – suggesting the potential Christmas 2014 audience for online marketeers will be huge.
SEO and PPC campaigns have a unique opportunity in the run up to the festivities to lure new customers. Bewildered aunties searching for the right Furbies for their nephews and nieces are fresh meat waiting to be gobbled up by teams with the most sophisticated, optimised SEO and PPC campaigns.
The Delivery Fail Fear
Unfortunately, online shopping and courier services are not developed to the point yet where they would support a cyber version of Jingle All the Way. Last minute Christmas shopping on the net is tinged with more than a little danger, especially for those belatedly looking for a present for the missus.
This leads to savvy shoppers ticking off their Christmas list months in advance. From specific products and present ideas to desperate Google searches for ‘gifts for men under a fiver’, it is important PPC campaigns are fully optimised to draw relevant holiday traffic months before the Big J’s birthday.
The US suffered significant delays in Christmas shipping last year as major courier UPS faced festive delays due to an unprecedented volume of orders and poor weather. Leading to hundreds of thousands of American parents having to explain to their kids that Santa hadn’t come this year. This will make consumers all the more wary of leaving holiday shopping too late and destroying a rich part of their kid’s childhood.
Not Just Santa’s Shopping Spree
The holidays have a knock-on effect upon consumers – with family to visit and Scalextric tracks to build, we have less free time to dedicate to everyday endeavours. In December last year, a record number of shoppers bought their groceries online. Despite the inevitable plethora of Christmas dinner leftovers and turkey hangovers, UK shoppers still ordered record numbers of pork pies, potato salads and hedgehog breads to complement quickly shrivelling chipolatas.
This makes the holidays an important time for stores offering online grocery shopping to aggressively market their wares. Tesco even offer a Delivery Saver programme which guarantees Christmas delivery slots, so you won’t be without the all-important second reserve cranberry sauce.
At Banc Media we can help you optimise your PPC and SEO campaigns in the run up to the holiday period, helping you grab a bigger slice of the Christmas pud.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons wiki: Powhusku, Valerie Everett, Max