Google’s Holiday Shopping Checklist: 10 Tips for a Successful Christmas Season

Christmas Shopping

Google recently published a holiday shopping checklist so that advertisers can prepare themselves for christmas shopping season. We have wrapped the tips up for you:

  1. Forecast your budget and set KPIs: You can, for example, look at your last year’s budget for the holidays.
  2. Set your promotional calendar: Decide what you want to promote when.
  3. Establish a crisis-response plan: i.e. who can fix what problem and how long does it take.
  4. Expand coverage of increased holiday queries: Do you have all seasonally relevant keywords in your account?
  5. Promote your best-converting ads: Stop A/B testing, pick your winner and convince users with your compelling ads.
  6. Prioritize your holiday merchandise and top-performers: Focus on products and keywords that will drive the most volume.
  7. Target on-the-go shoppers: Locally adjust your bids to mobile shoppers and engage users on the go with relevant ad extensions.
  8. Maximize the relevance of your ads: Use ad extensions like sitelinks to draw attention on your ads.
  9. Check you’re not going dark midday or mid-season: If budget is limited, watch your burn rate!
  10. Target easy-wins if you need more volume: Bid more aggressively on keywords or products that drive the most profit but have low impression share.

Happy and successful christmas season!


Case Study: How reduced its cost-to-revenue ratio by 19%

Case Study WirWinzer

Every now and then, we think it’s ok to do some self-promoting and to share insights with you from our work with some of the most successful online retailers. Today, we want to illustrate how WirWinzer, one of the most popular German online wine distributors, strengthens its market position and achieves further growth through paid search using our technology ‘camato‘ and our expertise.

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From Retail to Me-Tail: a recap of etailment Summit 2.014


The eTailment Summit & Expo 2.014 was held in the stunning location of the former airport Berlin-Tempelhof on October 8th and 9th, 2014. The organization group composed of bevh, dfv Mediengruppe and the conference group came up with a sophisticated program supported by famous partners from the e-commerce, fulfilment, logistic, media, payment and retail industry.

With this year’s motto “From Retail to Me-Tail”, the eTailment summit emphasized on almost every aspect of nowadays needs of the (more or less) educated, connected, modern, digital, mobile and global society, their individuals and how the industry tries to cope with new challenges to satisfy them. The more individuals are willing to divulge their personal data (experts in this sector argue that Facebook profiles are worth more than sinus milieu information), and the more the industry takes advantage of this data the higher the call for protection of personal data.

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Interview with crealytics’ CEO Andreas Reiffen

In an interview with Germany’s Online Marketing News our CEO Andreas Reiffen talks about innovations in Google AdWords, how paid search will develop and how the industry is changing.

I have been observing two trends for some time now. On the one hand, paid search is more and more distancing itself from keywords, while at the same time drawing nearer to automation. Google’s Dynamic Search Ads or Shopping as well as semantic technologies are examples of that. [...] On the other hand, display and search are more and more merging with one another. Google will not only factor in the keyword but also the target group. With RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) audience targeting is already possible today. With this new dimension, ad budgets can be used even more efficiently. (Andreas Reiffen)

You can read the full interview at (German only).


Outsourced or in-house PPC – What online retailers should keep in mind


Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) is by far one of the most important sources of growth for e-commerce businesses, while at the same time also being considered among perhaps, the most complex and demanding of online marketing channels. Those who rely on PPC are usually faced with a decision between hiring external help through an agency or building their own PPC team. There are stories of successes as well as of failures with both approaches. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a “secret recipe” for this. Retailers should analyse exactly which solutions are best suited to their unique situation. But what actually matters the most and what should be taken into account when making the right decision? Well, let’s see!

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Ad customizer: new AdWords feature for real-time updates

As reported by Search Engine Land, Google started to roll out a new feature to AdWords called “Ad Customizer”.

Similar to but other than dynamic keyword insertion, ad customizers insert any text in your ad that you define using parameters that go within {braces}.


Source: Search Engine Land

To do so, the parameter gets replaced by dynamic text when your ad’s triggered by a user’s search query. These parameters can be filled by ad customizer data and/or the countdown function. Here’s how Google explains the two options:

  1. Ad customizer data: This is a data set you upload to AdWords in a spreadsheet file. Customizers reference the name of this data set, as well as an attribute it includes. For example, the customizer {=Discounts.PercentOff} references a data set named “Discounts,” and one of its attributes, named “PercentOff.”
  2. The COUNTDOWN function: Customizers with a COUNTDOWN function include arguments, or directions, for that function within parentheses (like this). The customizer {=COUNTDOWN(Discounts.CountdownDate,’fr’)}, for example, includes a COUNTDOWN function with 2 arguments. The first argument (Discounts.CountdownDate) tells the customizer what date and time to count down to, which is specified in a file named “Discounts.” The second argument (“fr”) tells the customizer to display that time in a particular language (French).

Why should you use ad customizers? Well, they let you include anything you like. You can easily create hundreds of tailored ad variations for a product that e.g. is limited temporally – and update the copy texts in real-time.

Ad customizers can be used within any text ad on the Search or Display Network. But: they cant be used for the URL fields.


crealytics company outing: one company, 1000 competencies

One company, 1000 competences

One company, 1000 competencies. In keeping with this motto, nearly 70 crealytees from all different departments joined this year’s company outing to Frielendorf, Hesse. Since we opened our office in Berlin in 2012, it has been the special wish of the management to bring together both our offices, Passau and Berlin, at least once a year, so we can meet on a personal level, exchange experiences and bond with each other.

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Weather based bid management – is the AdWords EPC correlated with the weather?

PPC weather based bid management

In the last one or two years, quite a few digital marketing agencies got specialized in weather-based marketing strategies. Google itself offers an AdWords script that helps you to adjust your bids automatically to the weather. But should the weather really impact your bidding strategy?

“Demand for certain products and services varies greatly depending on the weather. For example, users are much more likely to search for information on amusement parks on a hot, sunny day than if it’s cold and raining. An amusement park company may want to increase their bids when the weather is nice”, Google states on its bidding solutions site.

Some consumer psychology studies suggest that consumers are disposed to go shopping and spend more money when they are in a good mood and the sun is shining. Regarding online marketing, you could counter that it is the other way round – people do more online shopping when it rains and they stay at home.

At crealytics we often found that it is best not to trust too much neither in common sense nor in scientific studies – and even less in what is generally believed to be true – but to make our decisions data-driven. So we digged into our PPC data to find out how the weather influenced e-commerce consumer behavior in Berlin in July and August.
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Being successful in the niche (Part 2): PPC is the key


Last Tuesday, we spoke about how online niches work and that the placement on the market is most critical for the growth within a niche. Countless online shops are all competing for the attention of the customers and therefore must choose their advertising channels carefully. One of the most important online marketing channels is paid search, which we will be writing about in more detail today.

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Being successful in the niche (Part 1): How online niches work

Niche Market

More and more online retailers are entering the already crammed e-commerce market. In 2013, 25 percent of e-commerce transactions in this country were generated by the top ten online shops[1]. Despite their dominance in the market, a large part of the cake still remains, which is then divided among many, smaller online retailers. To gain footing in this highly competitive market, a niche presents itself to all the newly established businesses, for them to occupy and to concentrate on their specialised product area.

Within two comprehensive articles, my colleague Marc and I would like to show you if it’s worth investing in a niche shop, which challenges you may face, and the chances it offers you. Let’s start!

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