It seems like school just started and the leaves are just beginning to change, but if you’re in the e-commerce business its time to set your sights on the Holiday 2011 season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a short 6-weeks away, and if you want to get any sleep this year you’ll do yourself a favor and get some holiday tasks done now. Here is a quick glimpse of some e-commerce items on my do-now list:
- Finalize holiday plans and calendar. If you haven’t done this already, now is the time. Outline when exactly all your shipping promos and sales will run and what channels you will distribute them through. A trusty and well organized calendar will help keep your entire team in the loop and ensure site updates, emails and PPC campaigns are all sharing the same messages.
- Draft holiday ad text and display ads. Start writing and designing your holiday ads now. They’ll likely need to go through a round or two of revisions. Getting your creative done early also allows you to upload those ads now into Google or AdCenter. And with Google’s recent announcement that they’re reviewing paused ads for approval, this allows you to make sure all your ads will fly prior to Cyber Monday when you want them running without any headaches. Take advantage of Google’s scheduler as well to automatically enable and pause ads as needed throughout the season.
- Program Promo Codes in your shopping cart system. While you’re writing ad text, you might as well add any promo codes you’re planning on using into your system now too. And add them to your calendar : )
- Setup any secondary ad channels now. Amazon product ads is one of my favorite e-commerce ad networks. During the holiday season, Amazon dominates the landscape. However, running product ads gives you additional visibility on related products but allows shoppers to complete their transactions on your own site. There are many different advertising options on Amazon, so consider adding advertising that’s right for your business. When other products begin to sell out on Amazon, have your ads ready in the wing to entice the desperate shopper. If you can get these networks humming along now, they’ll be much less work to deal with in November and December.