DOs & DONTs For Holiday Ecommerce & PPC

The holiday season is almost upon us. It’s time to start looking over the inventory, keywords, and offers to make sure you’re ready for Cyber Monday. If you aren't familiar with terms like 'Cyber Monday' you should catch up on my previous post Holiday Retail Paid Search Strategies.

So, search engine land put together some great tips on what NOT to do as well as a few things to concentrate on when putting together Holiday strategies for pay per click marketing as well as website useability. A few of the highlights are below:


Forget to add a recommended gift buying section

We’re all short on time. I never know what to buy my Mom or Dad much less for the office Christmas party gift exchange. Offer a recommended buying section. While you should examine your products in determining how to section them out, here are some common categories:

Under $50
Under $100
Nephew (or young boy

And the chart could easily keep going. Hint* Check out your competitors!

Always use the negative keyword ‘free’ in your pay per click campaign

‘Free’ is one of the most commonly used negative keywords. However, if you use it, you will not show up for highly desirable searches like ‘last minute Christmas gifts with free shipping’ or ‘free delivery Sony plasma TV’.

Make shoppers register before buying

This is a personal pet peeve and one of the first recommendations I typically make for improving the ecommerce conversion funnel. Forcing someone to register before checking out adds a barrier to conversion. Do not require shoppers to register, confirm an email address, or do any action other than inputting their credit card and shipping address.

Give up too early

Last year, as the days grew closer to Christmas, the online spending grew as well. According to comScore, last year there was $430 million spent on black Friday, $610 million on Cyber Monday, and an amazing $660 million spent on Green Monday.


Show delivery dates and shipping options

One of the fastest ways to lose a repeat customer is for your shipment to reach someone on December 26th. Reinforce delivery date options throughout your site. “If you order by today, we guarantee your package will arrive by December 21st”. In your shopping cart, make sure you call out the delivery options and the arrival date for the product.

Offer gift wrapping AND gift receipts

This is a quick way to add a few dollars to each checkout. You should also allow the buyer to choose not to have the receipt included in the package in case it’s being delivered to another address. Don’t forget, some people will want the receipt included so that the item can easily be exchanged (especially in the case of clothes).

Offer gift cards

This vertical has continued to grow each year as gift cards become more and more popular. Offering gift cards is a great way to have the undecided audience buy from your store. You should also allow someone who buys a gift card to receive either an email certificate (for those who are shopping on the 24th) or a physical card which they can put inside a nice envelope.

So, what DOs and DONTs do you abide by for the holidays? Please share in the comment section!

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Stepping Down

So, it is official. Yahoo! stock holders and board memebers alike are jumping for joy as Jerry Yang has confirmed he will step down as Yahoo's CEO once a 'suitable' replacement is found.

Jerry Yang will be working with Chairman Roy Bostock and with the independent directors to find a successor for the CEO role.
You can read his company wide letter notifying Yahoo! employees of his departure.

To: all yahoos Fr: Jerry Subject: update

yahoos -
i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.

i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.

last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.

despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.

all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.

thank you, jerry

So, what are your thoughts? Will the Microsoft/Yahoo talks start round 3? or was it 4? or wait, was it up to 5 now?