2 Successful Holiday Strategies for Online Retail

Santa must have a crystal ball that lets him know what toys to have the elves stock up on. For online retailers, looking at the top searches on the top e-commerce websites can give them insight into what holiday shoppers are looking for.

Holiday e-commerce is expected to grow 16.1 percent this year, reaching $72.41 billion, according to eMarketer. Most of the traffic to e-commerce sites comes from two main sources: referrals and search. Use a two-pronged strategy to enjoy your share of the holiday shopping spree: Focus on both search and referral traffic to boost site visits and conversions.

Focus on search and referral traffic. These are the most important for the shopping industry.


Figure 1– Traffic Sources for Shopping Websites in the US

Use these data-driven insights to power your marketing during the holiday season:

Search: Choose the Right Keyword

You can spend hours and hours analyzing keyword traffic to find the hottest searches, or you can simply crib from the top retailers. We used SimilarWeb to find the top searches on the four leading retail websites. Knowing which products shoppers are on the hunt for allows you to optimize your landing pages, leading to lower cost-per-click for your PPC campaigns.

Walmart   Costco
Products   Products
1 Xbox One   1 Computers
2 Play Station 4   2 Apple Devices
3 DVD Frozen   3 TV
4 iPad   4 Cell Phones
5 TV   5 Televisions
6 iPhone 6   6 Heater
7 laptop   7 Keurig (coffeemaker)
8 Galaxy S4   8 Router
9 Car stereo   9 Sonicare (toothbrush)
10 Microwave   10 Chromebook


Target   Best Buy
Products   Products
1 Women Sweaters   1 Xbox One
2 Xbox One   2 Verizon Wireless Phones
3 Disney Frozen   3 iPhone 6
4 iPad   4 MacBook
5 Women Outwear   5 Nexus 9
6 Women shoes   6 AT&T Phones
7 PS 4 video games   7 Laptops
8 Women leather boots   8 PC Laptops
9 Paw patrol (toys)   9 Tablets
10 Lamps & lighting   10 Sprint Phones

Clearly, Xbox One is, overall, the most desirable item on consumers’ shopping lists, with the iPhone 6 and Apple devices in general making strong showings across retailers. It’s also noteworthy that, while Walmart’s product range is immense, all of the top-10 searches relate to consumer electronics.

It’s important to note differences in the types of search terms used on different sites. For example, consumer electronics searches on Walmart and Best Buy are specific, while on Costco, they’re generic. Shoppers on the Walmart site looked for “iPhone 6” and “Galaxy S4,” while on Costco, they typed in “cellphone.”

Meanwhile, on Best Buy, shoppers looked for cellphone brands rather than models.
Toys “R” Us is the leader in the children’s shopping category, and it’s clear that The Lego Movie has inspired a new generation to want to build their own worlds. Notice that the top keywords for Toys “R” Us are brand names.

Toys “R” Us
1 Lego
2 Skylanders Trap Team
3 Frozen
4 Minecraft
5 Paw Patrol
6 Pokémon
7 Shopkins
9 Monster High
10 Barbie

Referrals: What Traffic Sources Tell You

After direct visits and search, site referrals are the third-highest source of traffic for e-commerce sites. In a nutshell, coupons and deals rule for holiday shopping.

SimilarWeb data shows that, for retail sites in the United States, three of the top 10 highest-referring traffic sites are deals and coupons sites, accounting for 14 out of the top 100.


Figure 2- Top Sites sending referral traffic to Shopping Industry in the U.S.

Three sites – Slickdeals.net, Dealmoon.com, and DealNews.com – provide 8.25 percent of all referral traffic to the industry, contributing a whopping 104 million visits in October 2014. Expect them to deliver even higher numbers in November and December.

This holds true when it comes to shopping for kids, too. Of the top 100 sites that refer traffic to children’s stores, 13 are coupon sites, showing the importance of giving a little something in the form of a discount to get a lot of shoppers’ dollars.

A strategy that takes into account these two traffic-builders will help you deliver on the promise of the holiday shopping season – for your customers and your business.

* Sponsored content in collaboration with SimilarWeb.



This article was originally published on ClickZ.

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