We know it’s early, but these new Google AdWords features and strategies will help create the best out of your festive advertising strategies, that are bound to dominate the competition to close out 2016.

Festive season…the worst nightmare and the dearest dream of every digital marketer. Competition is at an all-time high, and the market is flooded with never-ending discounts and offers. However, the festive period also provides a plethora of opportunities with users ready to splash the cash for the right deals. Sooner you plan for the festive frenzy, the better. Proper planning of promotions, catalog and campaigns could give the marketers a head-start compared to the competitors.

We have to keep in mind that the customers are also planning well in advance to welcome the festivities. Users start planning for their shopping spree almost a month in advance so that they can sit back, relax and enjoy during the festival time. This makes it imperative for the marketers to plan their activities at least 6-8 weeks before the actual festival.

The Sokrati Experience

Marketing functions exactly like stock markets when it comes to the festive period. Marketers anticipate an increase in pricing of inventory and in turn contribute to the ever increasing bids. We’ve observed at least 30-40% increase in the CPC of search campaigns across E-Commerce for capturing similar average positions. The fight is even more intense for top of the page positions where the bid war is even more intense. Also, holiday season results in an increase in mobile searches. For an advertiser where mobile share is 20-30%, we can expect the same to reach around 50%.

Display CPC might go as high as 40-50% on both desktop & mobile. Playing around mobile inventory is the key to effectively reach out to relevant customers.

Festival sentiment is best communicated by videoes. most people—nearly 7 in 10—are totally undecided or considering multiple purchase options.On YouTube, purchase guides are a popular and growing trend during the holidays.Videos really do guide gift buying. In the consumer electronics category, for one, 68% of smartphone shoppers turn to YouTube for ideas about what to buy.

Content on your Site –
Give it a Holiday Makeover!


With the festive season looming around the corner, there’s no better time to start formulating strategies on how to leave your customers with the best experience on your site.

Holidays are typically the most important phase for any company, especially an E-Commerce business, and having an exceptional website is just the first step towards driving qualified lead volumes and sales. We’ve compiled a list of Must Dos to prep your website for the oncoming holiday season.


Create urgency in the minds of users. Landing pages for such carousel ads must be your sale page where the user does not find it difficult to find offers, hence less funnel drop-offs and better returns.


With festivals onset, shopping is on top of our audience’ mind. The best strategy could be to analyse the audience behaviour on the website beforehand, and check which categories sell best alongwith which categories.

Eg. If an Advertiser analyses that socks sell well along with shoes, then in this case, on the shoes category page showing a pop-up for the socks category could be a good strategy to implement.


Pop-ups are a very important way to show the best offer, best products to your audience.These enable an advertiser to catch the attention of their prospect buyers & increase sales. However these must not be enabled at any part of the transacting funnel post Add to Cart. It becomes very important for an advertiser, especially during festivals that they incorporate such plugins / pop-ups on their landing pages.


Matching your customer’s intent is the Best strategy which could be used on Website. With Diwali, having Firecrackers and sweets as the website theme correctly matches user’s intent and high chances they will respond to our products. Christmas and Thanksgiving rule the roost for other countries.

Category Exposure


With Festival Season around, the online marketers’ purchase power & purchase cycle tends to see a change.Festive is a time of the year where users are willing to make a one time purchase of expensive / high AOV products like Cars, Motorcycles, Consumer Electronics, New Furniture.

Even though there is an opportunity for everyone in the market, but advertisers tend to encash the most from selling products with high margin categories which generally comprises of high value products.


In a country like India, where purchase decisions are mostly driven by emotions, the holiday season comes with a big bonus of reminding your customers about the Indian culture by associating it with your products. Festivities provide you a very good opportunity to reconnect with your current and prospective clients or customers. You can plan out effective marketing strategies during the festivals that will help you in making a better connect with your customers or clients. –
See more at:

Ad campaigns for festivals: During festivals like Deepawali, Holi and others, develop an innovative ad campaign that highlights your product as a means to celebrate the festivals. Cadbury, for instance came with a new ad campaign for their product ‘Dairy Milk’ during Deepawali through which they tried to put chocolate as a substitute for the Deepawali sweets. And to its contrary, Frito-Lay’s (Pepsico) Kurkure came up with an ad campaign, ‘Muh Kurkure karo’, during the same time, which said that rather than having excess sweets this Deepawali, try the ‘Kurkure’. –
See more at:

With the increased shopping intent, it becomes very important to pick and choose the product categories which you want to showcase to your customers.While Advertisers like Amazon & Flipkart are seen everywhere on Digital, Offline media, advertisers across verticals don’t leave any stone unturned to grab the customer.

Let’s Look at Some Industry Level Focus Categories which sells the Best during Festivals & you as an advertiser must keep an eye at each categories SKUs.


Surge in impressions for Laptops, mobile, televisions can be seen where users plan to purchase a lot of products during the pre-diwali period, a lot of college freshmen make their first Laptop purchase during this period. Offering student discounts on such products can help in increasing the sales.

High cross sell opportunity – Combo Offers become a must for the Advertisers . Like Laptops clubbed with headphones, offering wireless mouse and keyboards at discounted prices, 50% off on hard disks with a purchase of a laptop could be some of many offers that can be showcased here.


Diwali which is celebrated as the Hindu new year across India, which sees a huge demand for Apparel / Clothing during this period, people tend to buy new pair of clothes and also buy for their families and as gift purpose. However with much severe competition in this segment below mentioned are the factors to be considered.

  • Price comparison with rivals
  • Offering heavy discounts or clearance sale by the direct competitors
  • Offering best customer services by the competitors (availability of new/up-to-date fashionable products)
  • Changing fashion trends, style detailing and patterns
  • Introducing new fabrics, designs, unbeatable prices and accessories

Traditional wears along with combo offers can be the highlights of the websites, combos of matching dresses for Kids and families can attract more customers.


Dhanteras is always beneficial for the Jewellery clients. We see a huge surge in sales from Gold Coins, 2 days ahead and beyond of Dhanteras

During Dhanteras products like Gold Coins, Rings, Earrings and Pendants are the highest selling products. In Dhanteras 2015, out of 9530 observed jewellery e-comm transactions majority of transaction chunk was shared among earrings, gold coins, rings and pendants. Details regarding same is given below:

Due to increase in purchasing power, many people buy gold coins as investment option, and pre-Dhanteras we usually see a rise in gold coin related search queries. Having a separate Dhanteras + Gold campaign is a great idea. For gold coins we can also provide fast shipping or next day delivery options.


A lot of renovation and decoration work happen during this time of the year, where people tend to buy new furniture and furnishings for their homes and offices, Today, when everyone is short of time, one looks for a one-stop solution to all their requirements, providing end-to-end services, in this case a complete furniture range and lucrative offers, that a home and lifestyle website can certainly make the best out of.


Diwali marks the time of the year with maximum number of purchases coming in for Consumer electronics, TVs, Refrigerators, Washing machine are some consumer electronics which people change in their households and as the advancement in technology this has become more too frequent, a discount offer on purchasing more than 2 products or similar lucrative offers will certainly help in booming the sales.

Marketing for cookware and kitchenware, since these are goodies people tend to gift during festival, a large part of consumer electronics can be subdivided into kitchen ware electronics, users buy microwaves, blenders , mixers & juicers for their use and also as a gifting items


Growth in number people travelling abroad and taking domestic holidays have increased significantly over the last few years, Diwali has become a time of the year when people get together with their families and plan vacations with them. A lot of travel websites would certainly want to increase their user base during this period. Pre festive offers ( a month back offer cycle start) can help in showing the best travel packages, offers as per family size can lure more and more customers.



Bundling: The sale of products or services together as a combined offering, using demand for the primary product to sell the secondary product. An example is a package/combo deal. This combined product or offer is at a discount so that it is more attractive to buy the bundle than standalone products. Selling a combo meal for McDonalds is a good example of bundled sale.

The impact of bundling can be powerful. It normally leads to higher engagement and longer life cycle of the customer. The following figure for a mobile service provider in Europe shows that subscribers opting for a 4-play bundle (4 services) have a quarter of the churn rate as compared to 1-play subscribers.

The bundling/clubbing products strategy becomes very powerful during the OND quarter, which is mainly driven by festivals. This quarter becomes very important as a Marketer needs to understand how his customers are responding to the offers.


In the fine jewellery vertical, bundling of products usually doesn’t work that much. Instead of product bundling, a cashback offer on cart value is a great strategy we recommend (Rs. 1,000 cashback on purchase worth Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 4,000 cashback on purchase of Rs. 20,000 and so on). Whenever a person is intended to purchase jewellery he/she are usually looking for a single product like a pair or earrings or a ring, instead of a combo in fine jewellery due high product value. However, one can experiment with earring + pendant set combo which costs under Rs. 25,000.


Any festivity seems incomplete without food, which makes it imperative for companies in this vertical to play big this season. Little things like packaging of orders in-line with the festive theme, or offering a complimentary sweet dish with orders above a certain amount are sureshot tactics to win marketers brownie points and build a loyal clientele.


Renovation of home is one important thing which the Indian audience generally look to spend on during Diwali. This makes categorising the products well and selling better during festivals very crucial. Storage cabinets with shoe racks, bedroom furniture combo offers, even combos on soft furnishings work really well.


While Google experiments with ‘Shop the Look’*, try designing a combo that includes one of each: clothing, sunglasses, belt, watch or any other accessory. One could also add a discount offer along with it. Maybe even Buy 2 Get 1 Free kind of offers!
*Currently available only in the USA.


Festivities give opportunities for BFSI to cross-sell add ons and extra coverages along with their products. Including family oriented benefits in the add-ons can help you attract more customers during this season.

Eg: Additional coverages for life insurances, and riders like premium waivers. Cash Back offers if insurance is purchased within a specific timeframe.

Device Focus


Well, we’re now past the mobile Tipping Point as this report from comScore captures. So it’s no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing is important, we know it is! It’s now a question of using the statistics to understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and what their preferences are, especially during festive seasons.

Percentage of consumers using mobile devices
We’ve created a new summary showing the global popularity of using different digital devices using data from Global Web Index to include in for our State of Digital Marketing 2015 infographic.
It clearly shows the popularity of smartphone ownership and emerging mobile devices like Smartwatches.

Insight from comScore published in their February 2014 market review shows the picture that marketers need to build up. This panel data shows that the majority of consumers are ‘multiscreening’, accessing retail sites on mobile or desktop, so consistent experiences across device need to be deployed. This becomes even more important as the campaigns are launched in burst mode (live for short duration) for the entire festive season.


We need to be careful with interpreting data on hours spent, since we spend most of our time on smartphones checking email and using social media. This has led to the common mantra of ‘mobile-first’ design, which I think is dangerous. Although mobile is growing in importance, this data from Adobe’s latest Digital Index shows that in all industries the majority of visits are still on desktop.

Good to Know Facts

3 Killer Strategies
For Festive Seasons

Understanding that people behave differently when they’re on a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer is crucial to success online. It can mean thousands of dollars gained or lost.


Last festive season, desktop users were almost 3 times more likely to buy online.

Data Source: SmartInsights
100 mobile users are not equal to 100 tablet or desktop users. In fact, if we’re selling a Rs. 50 product, 100 mobile users are worth Rs. 75 while 100 tablet users are worth Rs. 187.50. That’s Rs.112.50 lost simply because we did not care who was coming to your site. Analyzing how our ads perform across different devices is a core practice for successful PPC advertising. Before now, we could only analyze this data, not target or adjust bids to each device type.


Expanded Text Ads are now alive and well!
Expanded text ads give us the opportunity to have two headlines, each capable of supporting up to 30 characters, and up to 80 characters for a description. This means more key information upfront, a.k.a more information before a user clicks. This can mean more qualified traffic and less spent on wasted clicks. Though some have seen higher costs-per-clicks (CPCs), it seems worth it.

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Will our new messages conflict with your Callout Extensions or other ad extensions?
  • Make sure the additional line is useful
  • Say something new. We should not just use more words to say the same thing
  • Understand Google’s guidelines-to ensure the ads are not violating

Google says these are for the customer’s benefit to better understand the products they buy, but this is really a win for us copywriters slaving away to save 1 extra character to fit into that limited space.


Extra character space from Expanded Text ads is nice, but what about the poor graphic designer (or you pretending to be one) who has to pump out hundreds of images each time you run a new campaign?
It’s important to cover all ad sizes to prevent design from restricting your reach and performance, but is it worth the extra time and money?

Fear no more, designers of ads! We can now upload 1 ad and Google will alter it to match all kinds of display sizes and placements.

These are the 8 best performing display ad sizes:

But there are many more you could be taking advantage of with less effort. Less is more!

That’s right! Simply provide:

  • 1 short 25-character & 1 long 90-character headline
  • A description up to 90 characters (which may get cut off with different placements, so shorter is better)
  • An image
  • A landing page URL

AdWords will auto-generate display ads to optimize to the various ad sizes and formats. It’s very important to understand the customer behavior with respect to the business segment concerned and choose from the strategies mentioned to have a happy festive season.

Sokrati for E-Commerce serves as performance marketing partners to the biggest online retailers, including eBay, Jabong, ABOF, Caratlane, Tolexo, Snapdeal and Marks & Spencer.

Write to us on for a demo of our Sokrati for E-Commerce Platform – the all-in-one answer to every E-Tailer’s every requirement.

Run a free, 65 point Audit of your GMC and Adwords Accounts, to know how you stack up by industry benchmarks!