It’s the end of November and we all know what that means: the biggest shopping weekend of the year is mere days away. Yep, Cyber Weekend is back for 2019 and there are deals to be had for the savvy shopper. 

Q4 is a huge opportunity for retailers, but to succeed, businesses need every tool in their kit to be sharp and ready to maximise the conversion from an influx of online customers poised to grab a deal. This is it, don’t get scared now. 

As PPC professionals who’ve worked our fair share of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays and Christmas periods, we wanted to share what we’ve learned along the way, as well as some Google Partner exclusive insight, to help our readers maximise conversions throughout the key shopping period. 

Behold, the crucial tactics to help businesses sort their PPC strategy and make the most of the increase in traffic from customers that are poised to purchase. 


Let’s begin with the crucial bit, BUDGET.

Before you embark upon any promotional period, it’s very much worth gaining clarity on what the rules are around spending. 

The budget you need heavily depends on your objective: are you looking to improve ROI, simply make the most of the traffic or maximise return on ad spend (ROAS)? 

We’d like to think that you have these targets already in place, but if not, you should be speaking with your team/client and identifying this information, pronto. 

From here, it’s a case of setting the rules. But, you should bear in mind, that the rules might need to change. Imagine you earmark a £7000 paid ad spend for the entirety of Cyber Weekend and are aiming for an 800% ROAS, but before Sunday is even out, you’ve maxed your budget. What do you do? What are you allowed to do? 

You need to increase budgets, or at least have the liberty to, and you need to know exactly by how much so that you’re making the absolute most of the flurry of potential buyers. Remember, we humans can be fickle, so if you’re not making the most of their attention during this crucial weekend, your competitors certainly will be. 

It’s worth also acknowledging that you should be looking at last year’s Cyber Weekend spend and performance, and increasing budget accordingly. Sales across this period are always on the rise, with more and more customers choosing to shop online every year. In recent data from Retail Gazette, it was estimated that spend over Cyber Weekend 2019 could hit the lofty heights of £8.57billion, a 3% lift vs. 2018, with almost £3billion of that expected on Black Friday alone. 


Next, it’s all about the URGENCY

When it comes to Cyber Weekend, urgency is part of the deal, because those offers only stretch for a certain period. It is possible, however, to add urgency to urgency, with a few simple modifications to your ads. 

Here are our top recommendations: 

  • Add promotion extensions, such as adding ‘Black Friday’ to your ad, linking directly to your high ticket items and adding dates to highlight the promo period, so it’s clear to the user how long they have to make a purchase before the offer is up. It’s worth noting, however, that these extensions will only be shown if you have a good quality score. 
  • Include a countdown to specific promotions, allowing you to break up promotions and 
  • work to timescales that suit your targets, for example, you might want to add a countdown timer to promote a 40% discount offer that ends at 11.59 pm on Black Friday, whilst another promotion on the same item might run until midnight on Cyber Monday, at a lower discount rate. 
  • Include delivery dates to help customers in their search, providing them with information on final order times to receive in time for Christmas, along with any info on free delivery, if it’s relevant. This is a small addition, but one that your customers will thank you for, as there’s nothing worse than clicking through to finish the purchase then discovering the item won’t arrive in time, or it will for an extra cost that the customer hadn’t bargained for. 
  • Introduce inventory counters, which for the discerning shopper is a big prompt to ‘get it while it’s hot’, AKA in stock. Showing your stock levels on promotions, particularly ones that are performing well, will further boost the interest and urgency from potential buyers. Just make sure you have back-up promotions to ‘take over’ once the item is out of stock. 
  • Update your feed more regularly to ensure prices/stock levels are correct, any insight gained from competitor monitoring is factored into your ads and basically, you’re continuously keeping your feed in the best shape it can be. 


Lastly, a key factor is, of course, ORGANISATION 

That means getting your promotions added and approved well in advance. So like, now. Optimum time would be a week, really, but we know this can be difficult when planning for a weekend as big as the one on the horizon! 
Make sure you keep a close eye on any disapproved products so you can get to work on rectifying these ASAP, ensuring you’re not missing out on anything. 

It might also be worth creating an entirely new Shopping campaign for your most in-demand, high-ticket and worthwhile products, then adopting a single product ad group structure to this. You’ll be able to track the progress of these campaigns far easier, optimise as you go and ensure the budget is being spent on the right products. 
It doesn’t even matter if you’re running a storewide promotion, as not all products are created equal and there are some you’ll want to keep a closer eye on than others. Separating these out into another campaign/group will help you stay on top of the tips above much easier. 

One other tip to note is auditing, and whilst it’s a little late to audit in time for Cyber Weekend, it can be beneficial ahead of the festive period.