It’s a hectic time for e-commerce marketers. Holiday shopping is in full swing, and retail sites are experiencing their annual year-end surge in traffic and sales.
All the hard work of planning and strategizing is paying 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 in 2017.
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 AdWords based on actions they’ve taken on your site — visits, checkouts, cart abandonments, etc. — and lets you value these audiences differently in AdWords 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!
Right now, while we’re in the depths of holiday shopping, creating new Customer Match or RLSA audiences — much less implementing these features in your campaigns for the first time — is probably not a top priority.
Luckily, January is just around the corner. 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 2017:
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 will visit a new website during their holiday shopping. This means that hidden somewhere in your list of customers from Holiday 2016 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 Holiday 2016, 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 2017 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 jewelery product pages during Holiday 2016 when Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day rolls around.
Take Advantage of the New 540-Day RLSA Window: You may have missed it, but Google expanded the lookback window of RLSA remarketing lists to 540 days back in October. Previously, the window was capped at 180 days.
This change presents e-commerce marketers with the opportunity to pump up their remarketing lists for Holiday 2017 starting, well, now. When Holiday 2017 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.
2017 is just a few weeks away. And in the world of e-commerce retail, there’s always more work to be done.
By remarketing to new and returning holiday shoppers, you’re setting yourself up for a successful 2017. Not to mention, you’ll be capturing more return from your holiday customer acquisition investments.