Are You Ready For Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

In just under four weeks, many of us in the United States will be sitting down with our families in celebration of Thanksgiving. Following the festivities of Thanksgiving Thursday, many retailers (e-commerce and brick & mortar stores) will hopefully be inundated with Black Friday shoppers. Many of the online retailers will have the double whammy, of Cyber Monday shoppers visiting their ecommerce stores. Are you prepared?

First, we need to be aware that Black Friday will fall on 11/28/14. The Friday after Thanksgiving and discounts are a tradition that shoppers have grown accustomed to, often times camping outside of Brick & Mortar stores a day or two in advance! Cyber Monday, will land on 12/01/14. Run creative ads for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One recommendation would be to use the date and keywords in your ads, in an attempt to increase your sites significance. Utilizing automated rules to pause and activate your ads will ensure that your holiday weekend isn’t full of stress full work, but that you also have time for friends and family.

Studies have shown that Cyber Monday alone will produce over $1 Billion in sales, with much of the shopping being performed from work computers and mobile devices. Obtaining your piece of the pie is going to require that you manage your campaigns. Review your low-quality keywords and consider pausing those that aren’t performing well. Try the same approach when testing ads. Also, consider bidding on competitor’s terms. Many advertisers put an end on their PPC budget during the last weeks of the year. Research, and find out what your competition is spending during Q4. If you notice your competitors pulling back, this is your queue to bid on competitor brands.

Discuss a budget exclusively for these two days. This can be as large or small as you’d like. More competitive keywords are typically more valuable, but also usually cost more. Your daily budget goal should be a balance between cost and value. According to SEO Watch, “Maybe it makes sense to keep your branded keywords active in PPC for brand defense and lower-funnel lead generation, and pause everything else. Be very clear about expectations so there are no surprises on January 1.”

Remember, your site will only be as competitive as you make it. Understand that this is historically a sale period for e-commerce stores. Be prepared for additional business. Make sure these new customers remember your brand, by providing exceptional customer service. Have people in place to quickly process orders, re-stock items, and answer customer questions. This is a “Key” element on making that potential holiday sale. Have your tech man or lady on speed dial, should any bandwidth or site issues occur. Make sure your customers have a smooth process.

Plan, Discuss, Tweak and Implement. When all is put in place and everyone knows their responsibilities, you should be able to experience a profitable and enjoyable holiday season.