For more Google Shopping and Holiday tips, check out the Q4 Ecommerce Strategy Series!

8 Ways To Get More Revenue With Your Google Shopping Data Feed This Holiday
Q4 Ecommerce Strategy Checklist
Q4 Ecommerce Strategy: Google Holiday Tips
Q4 Lessons For 2013 [Infographic]
 Q4 Sales & Shipping Tips
Q4 Fulfillment tips
Q4 Social Strategy 


Google’s Think Insights recently published a great article highlighting some insightful Q4 ecommerce statistics for the upcoming holiday season.

Below are the main takeaways from that article, with additional tips on how to maximize your Q4 marketing campaigns.

More Consumers Shop Online and Via Mobile During Q4

“In fact, with the exception of boomers and seniors 3 (55+), every demographic we asked plans to shop more on the internet than in brick-and-mortar retail stores.”

Q4 Ecommerce Strategy: Online & Mobile ShoppingEcommerce holiday strategy

Shoppers are increasingly purchasing and comparing products online than in retail stores. AND more purchases are made through tablets and mobile devices.

Here are some steps to make sure you can take advantage of these consumers:

  • Perform website optimization and testing before Q4.
  • Make sure your website is mobile and tablet friendly. Check out how your site looks on mobile devices. Ideally you should have a mobile site. Google has a free mobile tool you can use.
  • Feature sales, coupons or shipping rates specific to devices.
  • Think about developing an app for your site, or one which provides a service related to your site.
  • Consider using QR codes, and text messaging for holiday promotions.
  • Examine whether mobile advertising is a good fit for your brand.
  • Feature a contest for users with mobile devices.

Online Shopping For Q4 Starts Early

“In July, nearly half of surveyed shoppers already had made plans for when to purchase their holiday gifts. Of those actively planning, 30% are expecting to start before Halloween, with 9% starting before Labor Day, according to our surveys.”

Q4 Ecommerce Strategy: Early Online Shopping

I just started my online shopping this month (it’s August), and I’m not alone. Here are some tips to help you take leverage online shoppers who are purchasing before Q4:

  • Feature seasonal and pre-seasonal ads for AdWords and your PPC campaigns.
  • Leverage email marketing and social marketing to inform shoppers about upcoming promotions, and events surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Expand and optimize your retargeting campaigns for the holiday season, and the months preceding it.
  • Use Analytics to feature products which convert well for different marketing campaigns.
  • Feature blog, email and social content which addresses shopper concerns and questions leading up to the holiday season. Here is a useful resource for planning your email marketing for Q4.
  • Offer early bird specials, or a pre-holiday clearance across devices and outreach.


Consumers Comparison Shop During Q4

“Roughly one third of those surveyed did online research to determine what type of gift to buy, the brand to choose, and where to get it.”

Q4 Ecommerce Strategy: Q4 Comaprison Shopping

Ecommerce Strategy, Q4 holiday comparison shopping

According to Google, up to 40% of this year’s sales will likely happen during the holiday shopping season. Your marketing efforts during Q4 could make or break your fiscal year.
Here are some tips to maximize your ROI during Q4:

  • Consider your holiday audience will consist of shoppers who have never been to your site before. How can you capture and retain those customers?
  • Offer free shipping leading up to the holiday. Consider shipping rates for items over a certain dollar amount, bundle shipping rates, and other shipping offers based on the proximity to the holiday.
  • Feature holiday sales on your website, mobile site, social sites and through other outreach.
  • Retarget to customers throughout and following the holiday season. Vary your audiences and the products you retarget based on date.
  • Utilize and optimize your PPC campaign during the holiday season.
  • Expand and refine your PLA ads for Q4 terms, content and visitors.
  • Take advantage of your inbound marketing during the holiday season with Q4 specific content on your blog and other marketing resources.
  • Utilize social campaigns for Q4 with specific sales and posts tailored to the holiday.
  • Make your checkout process as easy as humanely possible.
  • Ensure that sales and shipping rates automatically appear during the checkout process.
  • Implement drip marketing and retargeting campaigns for customers who purchased on or viewed your site during the holiday season.

This checklist is a good place to start, but there are so many others areas where you may be missing out on conversions for Q4. Check out the list below for additional tutorials to help you maximize your Q4 marketing campaigns.


39% of shoppers have already started their holiday shopping. Get your holiday ecommerce strategy going and get more Q4 sales.


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About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.