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How to tailor your PPC strategy to capitalise on Black Friday

The eCommerce holiday season is fast approaching, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday only a few weeks away, major retailers are eager to capitalise on these key events. Many are already launching their online deals in anticipation of yet another record year for revenue.

Since it first launched in the UK, back in 2014, Black Friday’s popularity has grown year on year, and in 2016 it was estimated that over the four-day period, revenue exceeded £6bn.

According to Qubit, who analysed more than 120 US and UK retailers, in 2016, the average retailer saw a 220% increase in traffic and a 240% increase in revenue on Black Friday, when compared to a normal sales day.

The rise of the online shopper

In 2016 UK shoppers made a shift from purchasing Black Friday bargains in store to shopping online, resulting in high street footfall dropping by 7%. Meanwhile, online shopping continues to grow and has seen a 25% increase in sales year on year, with no signs of slowing down.

Competition for clicks has increased rapidly year on year, with up to a 19% higher click-through rate than the rest of November. It’s no wonder that digital marketers and retailers alike are fighting for that sale-hungry traffic.

This begs the question – how can you best prepare your PPC strategy to capitalise on this lucrative retail period?

Know your audience

As with any sales period, knowing who to target can make all the difference. According to Google, the majority of mobile web searches during the Black Friday period were driven by women. However, this changes in the run-up to Christmas, with men statistically more likely to convert on a mobile search as the big day draws closer.

Black Friday waiting game
Women purchase early while men play the waiting game

Mobile is king

In line with most other retail trends this year, mobile is now becoming the device of choice. In 2016, 52% of Black Friday queries happened on mobile (a 15% increase on 2015), with 54% of all traffic coming from mobile devices.

Retailers can stay ahead of the game by preparing to capture these sales by tailoring their creative messaging towards mobile device users, using tools such as IF Functions.

Is in-store shopping really dead?

The increased use of mobile for search has had a surprisingly positive effect on footfall for in-store shopping. According to think with Google, It was estimated that 76% of people who searched for products using the term ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’, subsequently visited a related store on the same day. As a result of this, Google introduced the new Live aspect to its existing ‘Popular Times’ feature, in an attempt to help consumers avoid the queues and make better-informed decisions on when and where to go shopping for a bargain.

Black Friday: Best times to shop
Black Friday: Best times to shop

Timing is everything

Despite it seeming like Black Friday is all about securing deals and fast, the peak time for mobile searches, as well as store traffic, is in the evening, with traffic at its highest at 8pm on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Mobile shopping searches
Mobile shopping searches for Black Friday

Shopping activity also experienced peaks and troughs, with the peak times being from 11am – 12am (80% year-on-year increase) and from 5pm – 8pm (74% year-on-year increase).  

So with less than a month to go until the busiest online retail event of the year – are you ready?

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about how to use paid search to capitalise on the opportunities offered by Black Friday and Cyber Weekend.