eMarketer estimates that US holiday retail sales in November and December 2015 will increase 5.7% year-over-year to $885.7 billion, with e-commerce accounting for 9.0%. Mobile will contribute to this growth as consumers become more comfortable purchasing on smartphones; in fact, mobile commerce sales are predicted to surge 32.2%.
Many shoppers will rely on mobile access to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Consequently, this holiday shopping season, marketers should consider using paid social advertising to close the loop with consumers. Here are some recommendations for the most effective social platforms campaigns:
In the run-up to the holidays:
• Start building product consideration early! 34% of shoppers start thinking about holiday shopping before October and 54% before November.
• Reach consumers planning for the holidays on Pinterest. Identify key holiday content categories such as; gift ideas, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. then create helpful and informative Promoted Pins to drive engagement and traffic to your site.
• Twitter’s conversation targeting is a great way to reach people tweeting about holiday shopping and planning. Partner tweet creative with targeting buckets to increase personalization and boost campaign performance.
• Build excitement in the weeks leading up to the holidays with video and beautiful imagery on Instagram – the perfect environment for inspiring people and driving product consideration.
• The Carousel format for Facebook and Instagram is a great way to showcase multiple products. People who have visited product Pages or dropped-off during the purchase journey can be retargeted.
During the key sales periods:
November is a key sales period, with the build-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It can be an expensive time to reach shoppers, but here are some tips to cut through the competition:
• Focus your budget in October and early November, when ad prices are lower. This is a key time for increasing brand and product consideration which can then be leveraged during sales periods for cost-efficient conversion.
• Thanksgiving is a day spent with family and friends. Reach people on their mobile devices to drive awareness of Black Friday sales with impactful photo or video content. • Drive incremental reach on mobile in support of your TV campaign and measure TRP effectiveness via Nielsen.
• Use Datalogix’s new Visa partnership to create custom audience segments based on holiday shopping transactions.
• Re-target people that have visited your site, engaged with content, or watched a video to drive cost-effective conversion from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
• Leave some ad spend for Cyber Monday! Most advertisers will focus their spend on Black Friday and Saturday, but if you want to cost-effectively drive conversions for last-minute deals, assign some budget for the latter half of the holiday weekend.
• Many shoppers are still looking for last-minute deals or are purchasing in-store.
• Drive shoppers down the purchase funnel and help them do their holiday shopping by providing them with gift ideas based on what they’ve previously searched for.
Ruth Arber is Director of Solutions at Adaptly.