How to Increase Christmas Season Sales With Full-Funnel Advertising

Every customer journey is different, which means every ad experience has to be different. Here’s how to reach holiday shoppers at every stage.
Updated on June 19, 2024

Looking to post your best sales numbers ever this Christmas season? Here’s a tip: Don’t put all your money into campaigns focused on sales.

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

But every customer journey is different, which means every ad experience has to be different, too. Your customers discover, compare, and buy products across channels and devices, which means that you need to know what customers want to buy, when they’re ready to buy, and how they want to buy.

And that means that you need a full funnel advertising strategy that shows the right ads for each touchpoint in a shopper’s journey. A full funnel plan will address three unique stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Here’s how you can reach customers at each stage and ultimately guide them to a sale this Christmas:

1. Awareness: Don’t get noticed by everyone — get noticed by the right ones.

Awareness campaigns are all about making your brand visible and building recognition. They are famously expensive and hard to measure. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of targeting display ads based on basic demographics or interests, a better approach is to target ads based on actual shopping behavior. It’s a more efficient use of budget, with a higher likelihood of connecting with people that will be interested in your offering. Think of it this way: Would you rather show your ad for a smart speaker to an audience that recently purchased electronics or to men aged 25-44? The former certainly has more potential to break through the clutter and form a connection more likely to end in a sale.

To launch an awareness campaign like this, find a digital ad partner with a shopper data set that’s focused on browsing and transaction history. The bigger, the better, so as to build a strong audience based on your ideal shopper profile. For example, Criteo Shopper Graph is the world’s largest open shopper data set and includes 1.9B active monthly online shoppers and $800B in annual ecommerce sales.

2. Consideration: Reach people actually ready to consider your brand.

The consideration stage is when people are evaluating different options. This is when you need to stay top of mind and drive visits to your site or app. It’s doubly important during the end-of-year season, when offers and options abound. But how do you know when someone is ready to consider your brand?

Answering this question is the difference between an expensive campaign that drives irrelevant, low-value visitors and a profitable campaign that brings high quality prospects who will be likely to engage with your brand.

To know when someone is really ready to consider you and act on it, you need two key things: an understanding of active purchase intent, and the ability to reach people wherever they’re exploring their options across the open Internet.

A basic approach to understanding purchase intent is to see that someone is searching for a product like yours. More sophisticated solutions can do much better than that. They can also identify that someone is actively visiting websites with products similar to yours, has clicked an ad similar to your brand, or has put a product similar to yours in the basket of a retailer’s site. These are strong intent signals that will help you confidently identify audiences with a high potential of engaging with you.

50% of people’s time is spent within walled gardens like Facebook and Google. The other half of their time is spent browsing the open Internet. To maximize your consideration campaigns and make sure you’re connecting with people everywhere they’re evaluating their options, work with a partner who can expand your reach beyond walled gardens.

3. Conversion: Boost sales with hyper-relevance.

When it comes to conversion campaigns, retargeting ads are a must, especially during the hectic Christmas season. They’re a proven way to bring shoppers back to your site and are vital for reminding distracted shoppers to complete their purchase.

To win more sales and more loyal customers, take your retargeting to the next level with AI-powered, hyper-personalized retargeting ads.

Far beyond just displaying the last product someone looked at, these kinds of ads use deep learning technology to analyze massive data sets and predict what products someone wants to buy next. The AI that powers these ads can also analyze past ad interactions and publisher data to discern exactly what ad formats and colors, and what channel will be best for each person. It can also predict shopper engagement and conversion behavior to determine each ad impression’s value to you and set bids accordingly.

All of that adds up to a “That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” moment for shoppers when they see your ad. It also delivers impressive Return on Ad Spend for you.

Full funnel strategy in action: AVVA

Turkish men’s fashion brand, AVVA, adopted a full-funnel approach with Criteo’s help. Their 360 campaign involving TV commercials, retargeting, acquisition via similar audiences, and customer targeting helped them move shoppers quickly through the funnel, from prospects to loyal, repeat customers. They saw a 7X increase in revenue year over year as a result.

Read more about AVVA’s success story.

For more tips and tactics you can put into action today, download the Global Holiday Trends 2019 Report or EMEA Festive Season report below:

Ann Pyle

Ann revels in finding the simplest and clearest way to convey a thought. Her favorite word is 'moxie', which she tries to embody whenever possible. She's been developing content strategies and writing for the tech and B2B space for more than a decade. This, along with her SEO and advertising agency ...

Senior Manager Global Content

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