Must-do’s to multiply your holiday performance this year

Best practices to capture the full value of the holidays.
Calendar of holiday-related events

The holiday season is here, and this year, AI-powered tools are changing the game. AI can help you uplevel your expertise to identify and capture consumer demand from July to January. About a third of consumers in surveyed markets are spending more time making decisions (30%), considering more brands (30%), and considering more stores/retailers (29%).1 Adapt to these changes in real-time and connect with shoppers throughout their journey, so you can capture the full value of this holiday season. 

Do you have what you need to succeed? Here are your must-do's to multiply your holiday performance.

 

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Set yourself up for success with the right essentials

Get your product feed up to speed and secure effective bids and budgets to capture the big uptick in seasonal demand.

Checkbox Define your business objectives and target KPIs to develop a strong holiday strategy. Whether you want to promote a new holiday product line or drive traffic to new locations, get clear on and prioritize your holiday goals. 

Checkbox Find answers to your top performance questions, including product and pricing, in the new Performance Tab in Google Merchant Center. In a single place, you can see your top-selling products and brands, pricing benchmarks, explore the competitive landscape, and get ideas for even better performance.

Checkbox Analyze upcoming seasonal trends and expansion opportunities relevant to your business by viewing your demand forecasts, so you can plan ahead with your budgets and bidding strategies.

Checkbox Don’t miss out on untapped opportunities. Make sure your campaigns aren't limited by budget. Consider lowering your ROAS targets at first to capture more holiday sales, then optimize accordingly.

Checkbox Use Performance Planner when adjusting your budget for the holidays to see how changes in advertising spend will affect overall campaign performance. 

Checkbox Capture increased demand during peaks by using seasonality adjustments in your campaigns. Only use seasonality adjustments during short periods—like a 3-day flash sale—when you expect a 30%+ increase in conversion rate.

Checkbox Improve the accuracy of your conversion measurement by setting enhanced conversions, and add cart data to unlock additional sales and profit reporting. 

Checkbox Get your product feed in good condition by fixing disapproved products and Merchant Center warnings or suspensions. 

Checkbox Seamlessly manage your product feed and show your products organically across Google by connecting your Shopify, Woo, WIX, or PrestaShop store to Merchant Center. 

 

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Stand out with high-quality and differentiated offers

Give your products the best chance to show up where it matters most and convert shoppers this holiday season with engaging product images, deals, and fulfillment options. For a deep-dive, check out the Merchant Center holiday best practices guide.

Checkbox Make your products stand out by updating your product details (with high-quality and diverse images) in your Merchant Center feeds. For best results, provide at least 3 high-resolution images for each of your products. Offers with more than one image see a 76% average increase in impressions and a 32% increase in clicks.2

  • [U.S. only] You can enhance and create high-quality holiday product images with Product Studio3: a suite of free-of-charge, AI-powered tools that help you generate scenes, increase image resolution, and edit backgrounds. Join the Product Studio Beta.

Checkbox Attract deal-seekers by adding promotions, local promotions, and sale prices. In fact, 48% of consumers say they are buying from new brands offering better deals/prices more often.4

Checkbox Ensure your online products are shown to the right audience with the right price by adding regional pricing and availability. This helps set the right expectation with shoppers and promotes inventory that's regionally priced, in-stock, and online.

Checkbox Give holiday shoppers the confidence to make a purchase by providing shipping and return information, so your products can show up with annotations like free and fast badging and “Free 90-day returns.” 60% of consumers in surveyed markets are checking return policies before deciding to buy a brand or product that's new to them.5

Checkbox Draw holiday shoppers into your stores, particularly after shipping cutoffs, by enabling Local Inventory Ads and highlighting your local fulfillment options with attributes like pickup today and curbside pickup. For easier implementation, you can onboard via autofeed6 or add ‘pickup later’ annotations across your Shopping ads. More than 60% of shoppers say they’ll confirm an item is in stock before going to buy it, and 64% say they’ll browse for gift ideas online, not in stores.7

 

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Connect with high-value shoppers throughout their journey with Google AI

Use AI-powered campaigns and tools to find new shopper demand and maximize ROI across Google—including Search, Shopping, YouTube, Display, Maps, and more.

Checkbox Maximize coverage across search queries, expand to other channels to drive incremental conversions and capture the unpredictable holiday demand by combining AI-powered Performance Max campaigns8 and Search campaigns (with broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads).

  • If you’re running Standard Shopping campaigns, you can run an experiment or A/B test to measure the uplift in conversion value from switching to Performance Max. Advertisers that shifted from Standard Shopping campaigns to Performance Max drove a 25% increase in conversion value, on average, at a similar ROAS.9
  • For your Performance Max campaigns, enable final URL expansion by first turning on automatically created assets to dynamically optimize your Search ads so they’re more relevant to a user’s search.
  • Explore more in-depth Performance Max best practices for retailers.

Checkbox Turn inspiration into action by connecting your product feeds to your Video Action Campaigns and Discovery campaigns. On average, advertisers that add product feeds to their Video action campaigns achieve 74% more conversions at a lower CPA.10

  • If you have a physical store, stand out to holiday deal-seekers nearby by adding local offers to your product feed.

Checkbox Drive performance during seasonal moments and promotions by refreshing your creative. Create new asset groups with updated assets or swap creatives in existing asset groups. Upload your assets at least two weeks in advance to allow enough time for ad approvals.

Checkbox If you have a physical location, drive holiday shoppers in-store for more opportunities to upsell into larger basket sizes.

Checkbox Set up your campaigns so you can focus on customer lifetime value. For new customers to your business, use the new customer acquisition goal available for Performance Max and Search campaigns. Or drive customer re-engagement and loyalty promotions with promotion assets for App campaigns

 

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Stay agile with actionable insights

Market at the speed of shoppers and understand your performance with insights tools. 

Checkbox As the holiday traffic picks up, streamline your campaign optimizations and where to focus your attention. Get notified when you’re missing traffic in high-volume periods by setting up budget alerts. 

Checkbox Capture untapped pockets of holiday demand by using your optimization score to refine your budget and bidding targets, and ensure all your offers are targeted and can serve to their full potential in your campaigns. 

Checkbox Gain a comprehensive, actionable view of how your business is performing now and where you can take it next with the Insights page

Checkbox Improve your product performance by reviewing the product issues column and product diagnostics in Google Ads. You’ll find detailed insights such as out-of-stock inventory, high bidding targets (like ROAS), or missing feed information.

 

 

1. Google-commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous study, AR, AU, BE, BR, CA, CL, CN, CO, DK, FI, FR, DE, IN, IT, JP, MX, NL, NO, PE, ZA, KR, ES, SE, U.K., U.S., ~n=500–1,000 online consumers 18+ per market, Sept. 8, 2022–Sept. 11, 2022
2. Google Data, Global, April 6th, 2023
3. Product Studio is only available for a closed pilot and will be available in the US soon
4. Google commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous, US, CA, UK, FR, DE, IT, AU, JP, IN, BR, MX, ES, ZA, KR ~n=500-1000 online consumers 18+ per market. April 6-10, 2023
5. Google-commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous, US, CA, UK, FR, DE, IT, AU, JP, IN, BR, MX, ES, ZA, KR, ~n=500–1,000 online consumers 18+ per market, June 5–11, 2023
6. If you’re interested in trying autofeeds, reach out to your Google account team
7. Google commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous, US, CA, UK, FR, DE, IT, AU, JP, IN, CN, BR, MX, ES, ZA, KR ~n=276-520 online consumers 18+ per market that plan to shop for the holidays. Oct 6-10, 2022
8. In Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) program countries, Performance Max campaigns can be used with any CSS you use. The ads will show on general Search results pages and on any other surfaces the CSS has opted into
9. Google Data, Global, Ads, October 2022 - March 2023
10. Google data, Global, March 2023. Compared 20k+ campaigns that added product feeds versus without product feeds

 

 

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