September 12, 2019
Prepare for the Q4 Holiday Season: Paid Social Tests to Consider
As an ecommerce marketer, Q4 is as difficult a season as it is important. While more companies are competing for ad space online, a new “Cyber Monday” also seems to appear earlier in the quarter every few years. Singles Day anyone? Once the time-crunch cycle of holiday promotions, fire drills, and last minute optimizations begins, it becomes increasingly difficult to find adequate time to ensure your ads are effectively reaching your target market.
Due to these competing factors, it is important to lay a foundation for the Q4 holiday season, especially within Google Shopping.
Google Shopping has increased in importance over the past few years and is an area of digital marketing that deserves your attention. Because Titles act as the keywords for these ads, it is essential that they are optimized to ensure that they hit your core audience for each product.
Shopping Titles can be both a science and an art. Just as some keywords attract searchers who are more or less likely to convert, certain copy also will inspire better interactions than other copy. A/B tests act at the intersection of copy creativity and search results data analysis, allowing us to test new ideas and make informed decisions.
We explore setting up Shopping A/B tests with more detail here, but follow these steps as a quick refresher:
Once your products are broken out, it’s time to edit your Titles using your ab_test field. You can do this through the following steps.
Now it’s time to allow the products to accrue data over a set time period. One month is typically sufficient, but for higher priced or high Average Order Value products, consider using a longer time period as single purchases can sway results to a greater degree.
After the products have accrued enough data to reliably drive decision making, download the results for your ads in Google Reports and break out your product test group in Excel using VLOOKUPs. Perform PoP and Lift analyses to ensure that your results are evenly weighted, then make a decision according to which KPIs matter most to your account.
For us, this is most often Return On Investment (ROI). However, for growth-oriented accounts Revenue and Clicks may be your top priority. Regardless, due to the typical increase in searches and clicks during the holidays, we recommend placing additional emphasis on ROI when planning for Q4.
A time investment in Q3 can deliver great returns in Q4. Keep in mind that multiple Google Shopping A/B tests can be run at once, and when testing on different product groups there are no new steps required when running additional tests. If started early enough in Q3, data can be accrued and analyzed just in time to implement final decisions for Q4.