The uncertain economic outlook is top of mind for both retailers and shoppers alike as the holidays approach. There are many factors that will continue to create unpredictability in the market this year – from supply chain issues to inflation. But Google data shows that people are still searching and looking to buy – they are just considering their purchases more. And purchase is not solely based on price. A great customer experience is essential to close on a sale.

To adapt, retailers have leaned into technology to level the playing field and enable more seamless shopping experiences. Omni retailers changed their storefronts and created new shopping fulfillment, catching up with eCommerce players who were well positioned at the start of the pandemic to capture the dramatic shift in demand. Today, omni and eCommerce retailers need to exceed the expectations of a new, intuitive shopper – a consumer that already expects a seamless experience that’s personalized to their needs.

So, what does this mean for this upcoming holiday season? It is time to make changes to your retail holiday playbook. Below are three holiday imperatives for retailers this upcoming season: 

  • Meet the holiday moment with machine learning. Automation drives efficiencies throughout the customer journey to deliver meaningful business results. In fact, retailers bidding with advanced measurement see an average of a 15% revenue lift1. However, with 80% of Google partners now using automated bidding solutions2, automation alone is no longer a differentiator. Performance Max, increasing search coverage on valuable, performance keywords through broad match and leveraging New Customer Acquisition Goals in Performance Max are critical levers to deliver the right message, to the right shopper, in the right moment.
  • Capture early holiday intent. With 76% percent of shoppers agreeing that YouTube enhances the traditional shopping journey by delivering unexpected inspiration3 and 70% of YouTube viewers saying they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube4, retailers need to be ready to capture and convert shopping intent at any moment. To do this, tap into the magic of digital across screens to drive impact with CTV and add product feeds to make all media shoppable.
  • Amplify your differentiated holiday offerings. Today’s shopper values the ability to shop seamlessly across multiple channels –whenever it’s convenient, whether they’re online or offline, in store or curbside. They shop where they want it, when they want it, how they want it. In response, retailers’ product availability needs to be present and discoverable for all shoppers’ needs as they arise. To offer shopping flexibility while maintaining a holistic view of performance, indicate local availability, available fulfillment options and power with Google automation and local signals. For a more omni-centric approach to your marketing strategy, use Performance Max for Store Goals with store visits or local actions to determine the optimal ad mix and sequencing to reach shoppers when they are most likely to be influenced to visit your store, triggered by local queries, distance to store location, and a shopper’s device.

Ready to learn more? Join us for Think Retail, a virtual event focused on preparing your business for the holidays. Tune in to hear industry experts and Google product specialists share the latest holiday shopping insights, trends and strategies to help you turn curiosity into customers this holiday season.

1. Google Internal Data
2. Google-BCG Retail 1P Data Study Feb 2022, n=5,275
3. Google/Talk Shoppe, U.S., Shopping at the Speed of Culture 2021 study, n=2,000 A18–64 gen. pop. video users, Aug. 2021
4. Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2000 A18-64 Genpop video users, Feb 2020.

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