The year-end holiday season is a hectic time for e-commerce marketers. Shoppers are in full swing between October and December, and retail sites are experiencing their annual year-end surge in traffic and sales.
All the hard work of planning and strategizing pays off. And as a bonus, two of Google’s built-in remarketing tools — Customer Match and RLSA — offer an opportunity to keep the retail cheer going way past December, by re-engaging holiday customers with Google Shopping ads into the new year.
Want to wring more value out of your hard-won holiday traffic and orders? Here’s how to use Customer Match and RLSA for Google Shopping to make it happen …
First Things First …
If you’re not already familiar with Customer Match and RLSA for Google Shopping, let’s start with a quick refresher:
- Customer Match is a remarketing tool that lets you adjust bids to target valuable past or prospective customers with Google Shopping ads using email addresses from your database.
- RLSA, short for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, dynamically builds lists of shoppers in Google Ads based on actions they’ve taken on your site — visits, checkouts, cart abandonments, etc. — and lets you value these audiences differently in Google Ads with bid adjustments.
For a comprehensive overview, check out our e-book Customer Match & RLSA for Google Shopping: The Ultimate Guide.
… And A Happy New Year!
The year’s beginning is the ideal time to enact post-holiday remarketing strategies with RLSA and Customer Match — provided you have a plan in place now.
To be prepared, put the following items on your agenda for the start of the new year:
Refresh Your Customer Match Lists (Or Create New Ones) ASAP: Sometime in the first two weeks of January, update your Customer Match audiences to include the influx of new buyers that came in during the last eight weeks of the year. You can keep this audience as a standalone, and also add it to other Customer Match lists you’ve already set up. The clock is ticking here, because you’ve got to…
Turn New Holiday Customers Into Loyalists: 52% of shoppers visited a new website during their holiday shopping in 2018. This means that hidden somewhere in your list of customers from the holidays is a slew of first time buyers. Since roughly 40% of retail revenue will come from repeat customers, winning these new customers back again and again is critical.
And re-engaging new customers with Google Shopping ads is a powerful place to start. A simple way to find these newbies is comparing customer email addresses that you’ve collected from November through the end of the year against your existing database. Put the email addresses that did not appear before the holiday season into a separate list, to which you can apply a positive bid adjustment in your future Shopping campaigns.
Get Creative: When the dust has settled on the holidays, you’ll have hopefully added a healthy number of new customer emails to your database. This is precious data, and you can enhance its value by slicing and dicing it creatively for Google Shopping success.
As an example, you could segment your list of holiday customers by the items they’ve purchased or their average order values (AOVs). As the new year progresses, you can remarket to these customers on Google Shopping at strategic times during the year, according to their purchase histories. For instance, you might make a special push for customers who bought jewelry or visited jewelry product pages during the holidays when Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day rolls around.
Take Advantage of the 540-Day RLSA Window: The lookback window of RLSA remarketing lists is 540 days. This presents e-commerce marketers with the opportunity to pump up their remarketing lists for next year’s holiday season starting, well, now. When next year’s season rolls around, you can raise your bid adjustments to remarket to members of these long term lists with Google Shopping ads—and reap the benefits of your harvest.
By remarketing to new and returning holiday shoppers, you’re setting yourself up for a successful new year. Not to mention, you’ll be capturing more return from your holiday customer acquisition investments.