What KPIs determine the success of a holiday marketing campaign? The obvious answer is, “revenue 💸💸💸”. But, revenue is just one of the key metrics eCommerce brands should monitor during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the entire holiday season.

Before you tap into the joy of the season, make sure you’re tracking these eight holiday marketing KPIs.

The Modern Shopping Journey Can Start and End Anywhere

First, let’s take a look at the journey your customers have with your brand. Typically, the journey is broken down into awareness, consideration, and purchase. To measure campaign success, marketers use KPIs that focus on those three stages. The modern shopping journey, however, involves multiple touch points, online and offline, with thousands of unique paths to purchase. And so measurement becomes more complex.

Understand the shopping journey before setting up your KPIs for holiday marketing
Limitless touchpoints connect the customer via multiple devices, all blazing ads in hundreds of formats.

Investigate the common journeys customers take to complete a purchase, or abandon a shopping cart. Use the information to fine-tune your campaigns and allocate budget. The holiday season is an optimal time to gather valuable data because volumes are larger than normal.

The 8 Best Holiday Marketing KPIs

  1. Return on Investment
  2. Return on Advertising Spend
  3. Click-Through Rate
  4. Conversions
  5. Cost Per Acquisition
  6. Average Order Value
  7. Traffic
  8. Impressions & Reach

1. ROI – Return on Investment

Return on investment (ROI) is the single most important metric to track, year-round. By calculating ROI you’ll know how much revenue your marketing efforts have generated in comparison to the money spent. Aim for a marketing ROI that generates positive results to succeed this holiday season. 

Whether measured holistically or on a campaign-basis, use ROI to justify marketing spend, analyze campaign success, and secure budget for future campaigns. (Top tip: high ROI = happy boss 🤓) 

Return on Investment is one of the most important holiday marketing KPIs

2. ROAS – Return on Advertising Spend

Return on advertising spend (ROAS) measures performance of an advertising campaign and helps you determine which strategies work well and which need a tweak. Whereas ROI considers all associated costs, ROAS only counts advertising spend. 

What is a good ROAS, you may ask. A “good” ROAS depends on several factors like your margins and the industry you’re in. As a rule of thumb, anything above 2X ROAS is considered healthy. Don’t forget, CPCs and CPMs tend to increase during the holiday season, so you might not be able to hit the same ROAS goal you did earlier in the year.

When working with a trusted digital marketing partner, you can rest assured that your campaigns are optimized to maximize ROAS at every stage of the funnel. 

Use ROAS to measure efficiency of your holiday marketing efforts

3. CTR – Click-Through Rate

The end-game of every holiday marketing effort is sales. And to generate sales, you need to encourage users to interact. A click-through rate (CTR) tells you how many of the users who have seen your ad, email, or social post have clicked on your content. A high CTR means you’ve successfully reached the right audience with the right message. 

If your CTR is low, act, quick! Take a deeper look at the campaign. Is the copy and creative relevant and engaging? Is the call-to-action (CTA) clear and visible? Are you reaching the right audience? Are there certain geographic areas that aren’t converting?

Click-through rate is an essential holiday marketing KPIs

4. Conversions

Now that a user has interacted with your content, you want them to take action on your website. For eCommerce retailers, the desired action that’s counted as a conversion could be completing a purchase or adding an item to a cart. 

If your ad gets 5,000 clicks but no conversions, something is wrong. Tracking conversions and conversion rate (CR) helps make the necessary changes to increase your ROI. Perhaps your content isn’t relevant, or you’re targeting the wrong audience. 

Pro tip: Look at the conversion rates by channel in Google Analytics to understand which channel is converting most traffic. 

5. CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

Hooray, your holiday marketing tactics paid off and generated sales. Now, take a few steps back and track the customer journey. Calculate the cost per acquisition (CPA) to understand the overall costs for turning a browser into a customer. 

Break down the costs by platform and by channel to recognize how successful and effective each activity is. From there, you’ll be able to reallocate budgets and spend accordingly to achieve lower CPA. 

Understanding cost per acquisition helps you analyze holiday marketing campaigns

6. AOV – Average Order Value

You’re getting a high volume of traffic to your website. Conversions are up but revenue remains flat. The first KPI to investigate is the average order value (AOV). AOV measures the average amount a customer spends per order on your eCommerce site. It’s one of the most important metrics when deciding on advertising spend, forecasts, and product pricing. 

Bear in mind, holiday discounts can bring AOV down. It’s always a good idea to compare your AOV from previous holiday seasons instead of focusing on past months. Strategically increase AOV (and revenue) through bundle promotions that encourage shoppers buy more. Or, set a minimum spend for free delivery. 

Calculate average order value to reveal how much revenue your holiday marketing efforts generated

7. Traffic

If available, use historical data from Google Analytics to analyze performance from previous holiday seasons. The Channels report gives you a breakdown of the channels that direct visitors to your website. Focus on the number of visitors, conversion rates, and revenue, to identify most effective channels. 

Allocate more budget for the highest performing channels this holiday season. Give extra attention to the channels that didn’t do so well last year or consider removing them from your marketing mix altogether. 

Pro tip: View Google Analytics for peak shopping days from previous years to plan promotions and inventory.

8. Impressions and Reach

Impressions and reach are your primary KPIs when the goal is to increase awareness, or to reach a number of people. Both metrics measure top of the funnel activity and customers’ first touchpoint with your brand. 

Impressions count the number of times your content, paid or organic, has been displayed. Reach, however, determines the number of individual users exposed to your content. So, a single person who has seen your content three times, would count as three impressions but a reach of one

For holiday marketing success, you’ll want to create a full-funnel acquisition plan and incorporate brand awareness campaigns with engagement and conversions. Be mindful that a high number of impressions or reach doesn’t necessarily translate to sales. Always keep an eye on the quality of the audience. 

Boost Holiday Sales in 2021

‘Tis the Season to Use Holiday Marketing KPIs!

Use these essential metrics to effectively track and optimize your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales strategy. Align the holiday marketing KPIS to your goals and measure them regularly to maximize performance. 

If you want to learn more about setting your goals and tracking KPIs, talk to our digital experts today. 

Mira Valjakka

Author Mira Valjakka

Mira is a Director of Growth & Marketing at Mason Interactive. She's a big believer in content marketing, well-executed design, and marketing technologies that improve efficiencies.

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