The peak season holds immense importance for ecommerce businesses, serving as a crucial period to maximise sales and gain a competitive edge. 

To help ecommerce businesses and digital marketing agencies prepare for this critical time, Google recently hosted a webinar full of valuable insights and strategies titled “Prepare for Peak”. And, while many of you will already have your peak trade strategies ready, Google shared the knowledge you need to make sure your strategy is up to date with evolving changes.

Our key takeaways from the webinar included learning to adapt your strategy to meet changing consumer behaviour in Google Search and YouTube, future-proofing your operations and increasing your market share. 

It’s no secret that consumer behaviour has experienced significant changes in recent years. We’ve had a pandemic, multiple lockdowns, a threat of recession and now we have the added uncertainty of the cost of living crisis amplifying the volatility; to navigate these changes, it’s crucial for brands and retailers to adapt their strategies for peak season. 

If you’re not convinced, let’s start with a few stats:

  • Research indicates that 72% of consumers now engage in online research before making peak season purchases. This trend highlights the importance of being present and providing relevant information to potential customers during their decision-making process.
  • According to Google’s data, approximately 67% of UK consumers have become more thoughtful about their purchases, leading to an increase in their inclination to explore different brands while nearly half of all consumers are actively trying new brands, with this number surging to 72% among consumers under the age of 35.
  • Consumer intent has become more complex, nuanced and personalised. Approximately 80% of consumers under 35 prioritise personalised recommendations, indicating a desire for brands that meet their high standards and remain relevant to their individual preferences.

These consumer trends emphasise the importance of understanding and adapting to changing customer behaviours. By aligning your brand with these trends, you can effectively capture and retain consumer demand during the peak season.

Capturing consumer demand on search and YouTube

A big focus in everything that the experts from Google ran through was the importance of YouTube in the modern consumer purchasing journey. To successfully tackle the peak season with your ecommerce business, it’s essential to capture consumer demand on key platforms like Search and YouTube. These are Google’s top tips for ensuring your business doesn’t just survive the peak, but thrives. 

Capture the full journey

It’s really important to have a comprehensive approach that covers all touchpoints of the customer’s purchase journey. By viewing your customers as a single entity throughout their omnichannel journey, you can ensure a seamless and consistent experience across various platforms. It’s difficult to think this way when you look at your paid advertising strategy as a lot of separate channels, but think of it from the users point of view, they’re searching for a single product and using different tools through the same purchasing journey. 

Make sure that your approach lines up across all platforms and centres around the single user journey, and not the group of individual channels in use.

Identify profitable demand and intent signals

By identifying and capturing profitable demand and intent signals, you can align your offerings with customer expectations and preferences. 

Leverage data analytics and customer insights to gain a deeper understanding of what drives consumer behaviour during the peak season.

Reach your customers seamlessly

Utilise AI-powered solutions such as Performance Max and Broad Match keywords to reach your customers seamlessly throughout their journey. These tools enable you to optimise your advertising efforts and target the right audience at the right time, enhancing the chances of conversion and maximising your ROI.

Leverage the power of YouTube

YouTube has become a go-to platform for consumers seeking information and making purchase decisions. By leveraging YouTube Video Action & Discovery, you can unlock consumer intent and reach a wider audience. Create compelling and engaging video content that aligns with consumer preferences and captures their interest.

Ensure brand trust and compelling storytelling

Make sure your brand story is both compelling and trustworthy, relying on trusted platforms to strengthen your brand reputation. Invest in trusted creators and YouTube AV solutions to enhance your brand’s presence and engage with consumers effectively.

By implementing these strategies, you can position your ecommerce business to capture consumer demand effectively on search engines and YouTube, driving higher conversions and maximising your visibility during the peak season.

The main takeaways

Despite the new methods that Google recommends for driving success this peak season, the core methodology remains the same. By understanding and adapting to changing consumer behaviour, leveraging search and YouTube effectively, and implementing a well-structured preparation plan, businesses can make the most of this critical period.

If you only take away three points from this update, remember this:

  • Adapt to consumer trends: embrace accelerated information seeking, shopping around and personalised experiences to meet changing consumer needs.
  • Utilise search and YouTube: capture consumer demand by leveraging AI-powered solutions and creating compelling storytelling on these platforms.
  • Plan strategically: build an AI testing plan, set up for agility and growth, and differentiate your approach beyond promotions to win competitive share and maximise success during the peak season.

Is your strategy ready?

Before answering yes, make sure you’ve made relevant changes and updates to your strategy based on Google’s advice. If you’d like a hand with updating your peak trade strategy, or want to find out where the gaps are, get in touch with our team.