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Are there fewer people shopping online this January?

by mattobrien on January 25, 2012

It was announced that today the countries economy shrunk, albeit marginally, in the last quarter, but does online shopping follow this pattern?

January is traditionally a big month for nearly all industry sectors online, especially in paid search. There are new budgets to use and new targets to meet. But what happens if the sales targets of everyone in a specific sector exceed the number of actual customers looking to buy their goods? You can’t all meet you targets, surely?

If you fall behind target for your paid search campaign, or business for that matter, never a nice place to be, then there can be the temptation to increase your paid search budget and bid prices, to take a greater proportion of the customers that are shopping and buying through this channel. All well and good. But if everyone does the same then everyone ends up paying more, to achieve the same market share and the same number of customers. There is only one winner here and that is the paid search provider.

However, moving early can give you an advantage, if you move before your competitors and they don’t react in a timely manner, or at all, then you will be able to increase your share of clicks, but at a higher cost.

The other stance would be to stick to your strategy, managing your campaign to take the maximum volume available at the price you are prepared to pay, while waiting for the marketplace to settle down and business as usual to return.

Phasing your budgets away from a heavy January bias may actually pay significant dividends later in the year, when budgets are lower and click costs fall, meaning that you can take a much larger market share at a much lower cost. That said, it takes a brave marketer to do this, as it’s always nice to have sales already banked.

So whether they are fewer people shopping online this January for your products, it is important for you to recognise the landscape and react accordingly. Kneejerk reactions rarely pay off and as they say act in hast, repent in leisure.

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