Give the Holiday Gift of Great Insights

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Between dealing with an increased volume of shoppers, running campaigns, changing creative and applying specific promo codes, the life of an ecommerce website manager during the holiday season can be described as hectic, busy and often stressful.

At the end of all this, leadership will ask: “So, how did the campaign perform?”  Now, it might seem like “poorly” is the wrong answer, but there’s a worse option, “I don’t know.”

So here are a few best practices to consider when it comes to digital campaigns during the holidays.

Know what you are measuring:

It’s easy to rush into a campaign from a creative and business perspective. As soon as the design and functionality are finished, it may be worth asking, answering and documenting the following to create a measurement strategy:

  • What are you adding to your eCommerce experience? A new menu?  A pop up form?  If it can be clicked, or interacted with, there’s a good chance you’ll want to measure that.
  • Will there be internal promotions? If so, you’re going to want to measure how many people interacted with the campaign.  Document this in detail.
  • Are you running a Display/Search campaign for this holiday period? If so, you’ll need to create a clear and well-designed campaign tracking taxonomy and make sure your agencies or partners are prepared to implement this correctly and in a timely manner.

External Campaign Tracking

Above, I mentioned the campaign tracking.  This is crucial.  If you have media running in the holidays, you need to be able to attribute your site actions to it, and get the credit your marketing team deserves.  Don’t leave this to the last minute:

  • Determine the most granular measurement you need? I always recommend starting at the most granular level and working your way up.  Create a taxonomy and append query string parameters to the click throughs on display media.
  • A well-designed taxonomy will capture all levels of creative, from Campaign Name to Placement, to specific creative. It might even capture the variation if you’re doing testing.

Know Your Analytics Platform

If you understand your analytics platform’s different logic and attribution methods before you launch, you can customize your own taxonomy for campaign tracking, grab parameters that you defined manually and be able to determine exactly what you are seeing. If you wait until after, you can expect to have to correct things later!

This knowledge will also help you (or somebody like us) create variables, determine success events and design your tracking implementation strategy.  It truly is one of those things that can be incredibly complex, but made very simple when done well.

Lastly, this knowledge allows you to set up your reports before the data even exists in some cases.  This is a fantastic way to launch a campaign and start delivering insights almost immediately.

Optimization Opportunities

Ensuring everything is in place well in advance means your agency can optimize their display spend, you have a chance to run tests throughout your campaign, and if a holiday functionality just isn’t delivering, you’ll know it early and have a chance to make a change if resources allow.

None of this is possible when you’re still scrambling to get your measurement in place, while the campaign is already in full swing.

Happy Holidays

I hope all of your holiday campaigns are running smoothly and successfully.  If not, consider the thoughts above and get ahead of the game on your first campaigns of the New Year!

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About Author

Business Consultant, Stratigent

James is a Business Consultant at Stratigent, the Marketing Performance Optimization division of Ebiquity – North America. James studied at Adrian College, Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Science in in Business Administration

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