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Hollie Beeson

With Black Friday and the Christmas period fast approaching, now is a great time to begin scaling up your ecommerce activity so you can be ready for the peak in demand. To help you do that, we’re sharing our pick of the best free tools to help you improve your customers’ experience, reach new users and forecast for the peak.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to see what’s trending by category, product and brand specific terms, both in real-time and historically. This can be particularly useful when reviewing past trends in search volumes to plan for future activity.

For instance, in the example below we can see that “wrapping paper” has a seasonal spike in demand in late November to early December every year. We would then be able to apply this learning to our forecasts to ensure we have the budget to reach the larger volume of users over this period. For months outside of November and December, we may also want to reduce our spend forecasts for “wrapping paper” related terms to ensure spend is not wasted on a month where demand is lower.

On the other hand, the real-time trend data can help us understand if any external factors have caused a sudden increase or decrease in traffic to your website, such as a news article around your services or products which may have caused a spike in demand over the past few hours.

Rising Retail Categories

Rising Retail Categories highlights fast-growing retail trends and categories, and the locations in which they are rising. This also shows any associated search terms for the trends, which helps us to understand what areas to bid on for popular products or categories.

In the below example we can see that “Hand Sanitizers & Wipes” have seen volume grow 900% year-on-year as a result of COVID-19, with the top growing queries being:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clinell wipes
  • Personalised hand sanitiser

If we therefore wanted to promote sanitiser products, this would give us a clear view of the top trending keywords to include in our paid search activity as a priority.

Grow My Store

Grow My Store analyses your digital retail store and provides a quick an easy evaluation of your website experience. This is great for benchmarking your site against competitors and for finding areas to improve. Recommendations can include:

  • Product reviews/ratings
  • Product search
  • Personalisation, including personalised accounts and wish lists or favourites
  • Flexible fulfilment – the flexibility you offer around delivery, payment and returns
  • Customer service, such as contact methods and social media
  • Security – how safe your website is for customers
  • Mobile speed

Grow My Store also works for non-ecommerce sites and can provide a detailed breakdown for areas of improvement here.

Performance Planner

Performance Planner can help you forecast by showing the impact of changes to campaigns on key metrics and overall performance. These forecasts are updated daily based on 7 to 10 days of data, which are adjusted for seasonality, competitor activity and your landing pages. After forecasting, Performance Planner then measures the accuracy of the forecast by comparing the data against your actual results. Machine learning is then used to fine tune your future forecasts based on these comparisons.

Summary

If you’re looking to ramp up your activity for the seasonal peak at the end of this year but you’re unsure on where to start with forecasts, planning and set up – get in touch to find out how we can help!

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