17 Oct 2014

Are you ready for the Holiday Season & Sales this year Online?

In August 2014, Think with Google, a digital marketing publication from Google, reported that about 29 percent of shoppers would begin making Christmas purchases before Halloween this year.

John Lewis has reported that total sales were £734m for the five weeks to 28 December 2013, up 7.2% compared with last year, or 6.9% on a like-for-like basis.
Online sales for the five weeks were 22.6% up on last year with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business during this period. Click & Collect orders were up 61.8% up on last year.
Black Friday (29 November) was the biggest ever day for online orders, the final pre-Christmas week (ending 21 December) broke the £160m barrier for the first time and the first day of Clearance in branches (27 December) was the biggest ever day for John Lewis shops and the business as a whole, taking £35.6m.
On Christmas Day, traffic from mobile phones and tablets made up three quarters of total traffic, overtaking that from desktops by a considerable margin.

(Statistics taken from  article "Christmas 2013 ecommerce stats round up: John Lewis, Amazon and m-commerce" at econsultancy.com)

With all this is mind are you ready to make the most of the increased number of people willing to spend and shop at your online store this holiday season? Even if you haven't started styling your website with holiday products, featured purchases and themed slideshows and graphics it's not too late if you act now!

Make sure you start campaigns such as email marketing and tie it in to relevant products and featured pages set up and styled with the holidays in mind. If you don't you are missing a trick (or treat).

Here’s some dates to think about for your calendar: Halloween (31st October), Fireworks/Bonfire Night (5th November), Black Friday (falls on 28th November in 2014), Small Business Saturday (continue your Black Friday deals on 29th), Cyber Monday (1st December), Green Monday (8th December – Usually one of the biggest shopping days in December) and most importantly Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day (1st January) and January Sales.

Savvy buying and some simple online marketing can go a long way toward helping Internet retailers improve Holiday Sales in 2014.

Download and print out this in depth PDF Ecommerce Holiday Guide and follow it for your Holiday Sales success.

And here are some examples of website who've already set up their content...

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Content

Christmas Content

Halloween Ads & Content

9 Oct 2014

Google Rolls out latest Panda 4.1 Algorithmic UPdate

Google has started rolling out its latest update to the Panda algorithm, labelled ‘Panda 4.1’. The search engine has identified a number of additional signals that Panda will use to help reward websites with high quality content and depending on the location, will affect 3-5% of search queries.

The algorithmic update has been designed to understand the difference between high and low quality content on websites and in turn provide a boost to the search performance of those websites with strong content and high engagement. As a result of this particular update, Google has announced that there will be greater visibility for high quality small and medium enterprise websites.

So once again ladies and gentlemen, this just stresses again the importance and focus that Google is taking on ensuring websites have good quality and engaging content for your end users (not just optimised for search engines but useful to your website users). Make sure you update your website regularly and make sure your website has good quality content. Anyone in the eyes of Google trying to optimise sites and fill it with spammy keywords not relevant or in context purely to try and get top rankings will lose out to sites with genuinely good, relevant and engaging content.