Timeliness & Automation For Cyber Monday Holiday Prep

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, November 25, 2015
Last year, Cyber Monday became the biggest day in U.S. online shopping history. This year, Google anticipates that ecommerce holiday sales will grow 14%.

Naturally, the influx of online shoppers leads to an increase in market competition. If retailers want to stay ahead of their competitors they will need to advance their marketing strategy to cater to the needs of holiday shoppers.

I’ve compiled a list of four ways every marketer should be using search and digital tools to gain the attention of hungry holiday shoppers.

1)  Tailor ad copy to highlight time-sensitive listings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  An example would be to include Cyber Monday in your title and description such as “Nike Shoes - Cyber Monday Sale” & “20% Off This Cyber Monday Only.”

2) Ad customizers.  Ad customizers adapt text ads to what a shopper is searching for, factoring in their device, location and even the date, time of the day or day of the week.



Marketers can use ad customizers to insert a price, a countdown (aka the time left before a sale ends), number of products left in stock, and any other information that they feel is a valuable selling point

For example, a countdown ad customizer could include a line of text that says "Hurry, Black Friday sale ends in 5 hours!"

Countdowns can be built out through specific parameters that dynamically update ad copy according to either the retailer’s time zone, or the shopper’s time zone.

3) Automated rules. Marketers can use automated rules to schedule their ads to appear at specific times of the day to reflect the changes in their ad copy. This allows retailers to set their ad copy ahead of time to reflect the shift in promotions throughout the holiday weekend.

For example, a retailer might want to run a Black Friday discount until midnight on Friday, but the next morning (Saturday) it could run a “Black Friday Hangover Special” (from 12am to 12pm).

Same goes for Sunday, when shoppers might be looking for a “Pre-Cyber Monday Deal” that would transition into a “Cyber Monday Deal” at midnight.

4) Ad extensions. Ad extensions such as sitelinks, call-outs and structured snippets can be used to feature additional information about your business.

Sitelinks are clickable and can direct shoppers to a specific Black Friday page or a top-seller product page.

Call outs are not clickable but include attractive offers such as “Free Shipping - Black Friday Only."

Structured snippets are also not clickable, but allow retailers to feature a topic on the left side listing three coinciding words or product names. For example, a retailer could feature “Brands: Nike, Adidas, New Balance.”

When the competition is fierce, it’s critical that retailers cater their ad copy to fit the needs of shoppers, who are guaranteed to be on the lookout for hot deals.

1 comment about "Timeliness & Automation For Cyber Monday Holiday Prep".
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  1. Nicholas Fiekowsky from (personal opinion), November 25, 2015 at 2:50 p.m.

    5) Ensure your website developers and providers have early notice of all promotions that will drive traffic. Use load tests to verify the website can handle the customer surge before pulling the trigger on the promotion.

    Slow or no response from an overloaded site drives traffic to your competitors, discourages prospects from revisiting your site. While this is the season of giving, using your promotion budget to benefit the competition seems overly generous.

    6) Test your website for fast performance, streamline as necessary. Your promotion effort is wasted if "I hate to wait!" prospects - nearly all of them - give up on the page and move on.

    Several Dynatrace (performance software company) blog entries are relevant. Not an employee.

    - Running blog on 2015 Black Friday. Not good to be on the naughty list.

    - Slow page load drops your search engine ranking.

    - 2014 Holiday shoppers are less patient.

    Make ssure the only Thanksgiving turkey this year is the one on your table, not your website.

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