Headlines denouncing the death of the high street have been incredibly frequent this year, with a host of major retailers, from department stores like Debenhams to iconic brands like ToysRUs, either struggling or falling into liquidation. While high street sales figures have been in decline, ecommerce and online retail has soared.

Whether you’re a bricks and mortar retailer in search of stronger sales figures or an online retailer looking for ways to beat the competition, now is the time of year to get it right.

With Black Friday just weeks away and signalling the start of the festive shopping season, Google has outlined six ways that retailers can ensure that 2018 is their most successful festive period yet.

The key to this success? “Think laterally, act locally and keep on going until the party’s over.”

Think like a shopper

Google says more than two thirds of shoppers start their search for festive inspiration on the search engine. Its number one suggestion to maximise sales is to actually think like a shopper. That means building search campaigns which reflect consumer buying habits and terminology. Keywords and ads should be tailored and timed accordingly.

As an example, Google says that “searches for “batteries” increase from December onwards, then spike between 24-30 December.” As a retailer, you could use this insight to ramp up ad budget for batteries, create a limited time offer or rewrite ad text during this important sales window.

Start early, finish late

You might be tempted to turn on adverts and promotions in December only and then turn them off a few days before Christmas but, this means that you’ll almost certainly miss out on a lot of lucrative search traffic. Last year’s Cyber Monday, which happens in November rather than December, was the busiest online shopping day ever. What’s more, 20% of all December shop traffic actually occurs later than you may think; six days after peak season.

The takeaway here is get your ads live as soon as possible and keep them running throughout the month of December rather than tailing off as Christmas draws closer.

Make stock levels clear

Better inventory management could also unlock more Christmas sales says Google, with 41% of holiday shoppers telling the search engine that stores could do a better job of sharing stock levels. This suggestion might not be a quick fix, depending on the ecommerce platform you use to power your site but, if you do have the option to show shoppers when there are only a few items remaining or a particular size or variation is about to run out, do so. Likewise, when a product is out of sock, it should not be possible for shoppers to add to basket.

You could take this tip a little further and consider adding an option for the customer to be notified when an item comes back in stock, adding a ‘back in stock’ category to your store or giving items not yet available a pre-order option.

Don’t underestimate the value of remarketing

With many shoppers looking around for the best deal, especially when holiday shopping, there is every chance that the conversion won’t happen on a first visit to your store. You can however increase your chances of winning back that shopper with a remarketing campaign. This helps to keep your product prominent and can woo some of those departing shoppers enough for a second look.

Run local ads

Three quarters of Google shoppers searching for a particular product will visit a local store within a day. You can use this local intent to the advantage of your bottom line by running local ads as part of your seasonal sales push. Alongside this, ensure you have claimed your Google My Business listing, optimised your listing and are regularly posting offers with Google Posts.

Target new customers

Online shoppers can be a fickle bunch, with Google reporting that 61% are open to the idea of buying from a new retailer, and around 50% do. If you haven’t yet tried any of the new Google Ads formats introduced for the holiday season, this could be a good time to give them a go in order to target shoppers who may not have heard of your brand before.

If you still need a helping hand to make this your best ever holiday sales season, contact Adrac now to find out how we can contractually guarantee your conversions.