When you’re analysing your AdWords campaigns you have to think quite carefully why your sales may have dropped, particularly in your first year when you don’t have a previous year for comparison; and yes, you can only forecast/compare your current years performance with last years with anything like any kind of accuracy.
Knee Jerk Reactions
Some people will tell you that AdWords didn’t work for them and this is nearly always down to “knee Jerk’ reactions where one or two days decline in online sales results in changes made to an otherwise positive campaign which then compounds the problem. Usually this results in chaos and a continued decline in sales whilst you try and catch a very fast bouncing ball.
Seasonality, large social and sports events, declining search volume, holidays and weather are all factors that can affect your online sales in a negative way, and if you’re unprepared, you could be in for a world of hurt.
Unseasonably Warm Weather
Lets take weather then as it’s in the news at the moment; you can’t always plan for severe weather and it’s obvious that if you are going to be on the receiving end of torrential rain or a heavy snowfall, you know that sales are going to suffer. But unseasonably warm weather?
Well, this year the fashion outlet Next is blaming the warm September weather for their third quarter sales growth shrinking to 6% from a projected 10% and if this continues into October, next years profits could take a hit. Earlier in the month the group John Lewis issued a report citing the warmer weather as one of the main reasons weekly sales have dropped.
Although not specifically mentioned, I would assume from this is from falling sales from winter clothing. So in theory, you would expect this to pick up later in the year, as weather gets colder if indeed, it does get colder.
Problems for SME’s
So, all would be well then? Probably for stores like Next and John Lewis, but maybe not for the smaller retailer. We all know the problems that severe weather brings if you’re a retailer; lack of footfall, late deliveries, and staff unable to get to work, but unseasonably warm weather? That’s not something that we would usually consider. Although the government will have you believe that the weather has “no effect on retail sales”, for the SME at least, it can be a huge problem.
Plan, Plan, Plan
So, how can you counter this? Well, you need to be aware and vigilant as far as weather is concerned, long range forecasts can certainly help in your planning, and if you know it is on it’s way, you can at least make plans and alter your strategy accordingly. Most importantly, don’t panic, if you are finding that AdWords isn’t working for you regardless of the weather, then it’s time you relinquished control to a reputable online marketing agency.