Welcome to the Holiday Marketeer blog series in which Boost Media serves up hearty portions of 2015 holiday digital marketing strategy ideas. In this installment, we talk about how to approach holiday mobile SEM ad testing.


The holidays mark some of the biggest revenue opportunity days of the year for e-retailers. But shopping behavior is changing. This means brands need to test new tactics to stay ahead of the competition and maximize returns. Mobile shopping habits are at the epicenter of this rapid change, making mobile the right place to test. The risk of not testing is too great. Brands cannot assume that what worked last year with mobile will deliver the same results this year.


Boost’s Holiday Marketeer hones in on mobile SEM ad tests to help you beat the competition this holiday season.


Test ads that fuel mobile ‘snacking’ behavior

Once upon a time customers tried to replicate desktop browsing behavior on tiny mobile screens. Mobile browsing behavior has since evolved, and marketers need to adapt to the way people shop on mobile devices today.

Metric that matters. Customers spend 7% less time in each mobile shopping session, but make 64% more mobile retail purchases than last year.

What it means for you. Test creative aimed at quickly attracting and engaging attention across multiple touch-point, and at creating a cohesive story in a series of bite-sized shopping moments. Converting customers by engaging them through long-winded on-site shopping sessions doesn’t drive the same results as it once did.


Example holiday mobile SEM ad test

Hypothesis. As the number of touchpoints-to-purchase increases, brands need to keep customers engaged with value-added information, while saving on non-purchase-intent clicks.

Test plan. Test ad customizers to provide useful, real-time information on price and promotion dates without racking up expensive holiday CPC clicks—until customers are ready to buy.


Showrooming and webrooming merge to become ‘shopping’

Since the dawn of Internet shopping, retailers have worried about showrooming. With the proliferation of mobile devices, showrooming, and its counterpart, webrooming, have flourished. This is an excellent opportunity for brands with the right creative and mobile experiences to win during the competitive holiday shopping season.

Metric that matters. 84% of in-store shoppers use their mobile phone while shopping. Of those shoppers, 55% use their mobile devices to compare prices at other stores.

What it means for you. If you’re like most retailers, your mobile ads are geared toward driving online-only purchases. Instead, test creative aimed at all three mobile shopping opportunities:

  1. Getting mobile shoppers to purchase on mobile.
  2. Facilitating in-store shopping through mobile.
  3. Competitor conquesting and defense.


Example holiday mobile SEM ad test

Hypothesis. You can convert customers both in-store and online, and win customers from neighboring brick and mortar competitors by offering exclusive discounts to in-store shoppers.

Test plan. Test coupon codes and offer extensions in mobile-preferred ads for customers within a one-mile radius of your stores and your top competitors’ stores during regular business hours.


These are just a few examples of the ways holiday shopping behavior is changing—and ideas for what you need to test in SEM to take full advantage of the trends. Testing new things during the holidays is not just a nice-to-have—it’s essential to maintaining and growing revenue.


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.