It may only be August, but if you’re selling online you need to starting thinking about the Christmas rush now! By planning early, you can extend the busy period to its maximum to take advantage of increased sales. The most successful retailers will already be working on their Christmas PPC campaigns and if that doesn’t include you, then there are some key things to consider.
Your budget: Online searches pick up from September / October.
If you’re selling consumer products, it’s almost a certainty that searches on the run up to Christmas will increase. If you’re limited by your budget in AdWords then you’re going to miss out on extra sales.
If your AdWords account is performing at profitable levels then it’s crucial you increase your PPC budget to take advantage of all the extra buyers searching for the products you offer.
Example: Searches for “Gifts”
This Google Trends graphs shows the peak searches throughout the year for “gifts”. You can clearly see that from September, searches increase hugely compared to the rest of the year. If your budget doesn’t increase, you’re going to miss out on the extra searches and extra online sales as a result. Make sure you don’t expect to see huge increases in sales from your PPC ads if you’re not going to make the investment to get them.
Stock and demand
It’s crucial to anticipate your stock levels before the Christmas period. There’s no point in increasing your budget if you have no way of delivering the products buyers are looking for. One way you can anticipate demand is to regularly check Google trends: Are people searching for specific products more than normal? If yes, you may want to consider stocking more than you usually do.
As an example, let’s take a look at the demand for both “My Little Pony” and “Barbie” (thanks to my daughter for suggesting ideas!)
Interestingly we can see demand for “Barbie” is declining whilst “My Little Pony” is increasing. It’s possible that demand for “My Little Pony” could be higher than “Barbie” for the first time on record this Christmas so if you’re selling these products online you should think about how much of each product to stock based on the trend in demand.
If you’re selling t-shirts online, think about getting some festive related products in stock now. Whilst demand for “Christmas T-Shirt” is non existent for most of the year (of course!) after October, it starts to rise:
You may as well cash in and stock festive stock and take advantage of the extra searches, just make sure you shift them all before Christmas day as you’ll be stuck with them for another year if you don’t!
Let’s not forget January sales! Many goods to better in January than they do on the run up to Christmas especially larger products such as “White Goods” and products such as beds or mattresses:
As we can see in the above trends graphs, “Washing Machines” and “Beds” always peak in January and actually decline towards the Christmas period so check out your products on Google Trends to make sure you don’t miss out.
Don’t Forget Black Friday
Traditionally, Black Friday is an American event but was unleashed on the world in 2014 in spectacular fashion. On Black Friday last year, websites crashed and sales records were smashed as online sales were the biggest on record in many countries. In the US last year, consumers spent an incredible $2.4 billion – up 24% on previous years. In the UK, shoppers spent £810m ($1.2bn) last year and John Lewis reported its biggest sales week of all time – shifting one NutriBullet food processor every 30 seconds. Asda also reported huge sales with 8000 TV’s sold before breakfast and the supermarket chain made 130 sales every second throughout the day.
When is Black Friday in 2015? November the 27th.
This year is set to be the biggest year on record for online sales so start planning now. If you need expert help then we’re here but don’t make the mistake of leaving it too late! Take a look at Google Trends and see how demand is for the products you sell on the run up to Christmas.