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Advanced Segments for Holiday campaigns

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

With only a week before the holiday gift season is over, it’s time to shut down your online ads and turn off the lights at your e-store, right? Not so fast, not if you want to ride the final shopping wave!

Holiday shoppers are still out in full force, and “dollars per buyer” are up 12% this year, so you’re likely to get even more bang for your advertising buck. Since Christmas is on a Sunday this year, that means last-minute gift-givers could be shopping up until Thursday the 22nd if you offer 2-day shipping. However, you also have visitors looking for physical stores where they can buy your product, and (if you offer it) those willing to “pick up in store”.

With Advanced Segments, you can find these visitors and help them get their gift on time!

The first thing to research is who were these last-minute shoppers last year? If you had goals or e-commerce tracking installed back then, shrink your date range from December 18th, 2010 to December 24th, 2010. Next, select the “Visits with Transactions” default advanced segment:

(if you don’t have e-commerce tracking, you may want to create a custom advanced segment like this one:

where the goal# that you select is your most valuable goal).

Then, go to the organic keywords report by navigating to Traffic Sources > Search > Organic.

What keywords were these buyers searching on? Were there any good generic terms like “last minute gifts” or “gifts before christmas”? Were there any long-tail terms that are still relevant this year? If so, make sure you’re bidding on these terms in your paid search accounts so you get maximum coverage on keywords that brought in revenue last season. Also be sure to check out the paid search report to see if there were any converting paid keywords from last year that you have been missing this time around.

(Also try repeating this process for December 26th 2010 through January 1st 2011 to find trends during the post-Christmas week).

Next, find out if there is any crossover between your online store and physical store. If you have a store locator for your physical stores (or that lists stores who sell your products), then create the following advanced segment:

With this segment applied, shrink your date range to the past seven days and go to the Pages report (under Content > Site Content) to cross-list those products against any that are out of stock (one reason why they could be checking for stores). Then, call around to make sure the physical locations have the items that these visitors are searching for.

If you only sell products online, then create similar advanced segments to the one above for people who visit your most popular holiday promotional pages. Then, go to the Pages report to see what other products those visitors are viewing (and the transactions report to see what people are buying) and feature that content on the landing page to make it easy to find!

One more advanced segment tip for you: It’s estimated that half of online shoppers will use their mobile phone while shopping this year. This could be to locate stores, find better deals, or find coupons. This connection to shopping in the physical world will be critical for these final seven days, when shipping costs are high.

Check your AdWords report, and make sure you try out the new “non-mobile”, “high-end mobile” and “tablet” default segments.

You might be surprised at how your paid traffic behaves differently, so be sure to consider the device when running analysis and set up goals that make sense for them!

Happy analyzing and happy holidays!


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