To help you with your holiday preparations, we've compiled a list of tools and tips from Google that can help retailers optimize their ad campaigns and websites, drive free traffic, and control their marketing budgets.

We know that the fourth quarter is the busiest and biggest shopping season for retail advertisers and merchants. We also know that inventory is top of mind this year for all retailers. IHS Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said, “Getting caught with unwanted inventory when demand is falling and commodity prices are falling anyway is to be avoided as much as possible and the risk of stock-outs is less of a concern than having to dispose of inventory at distressed inventory prices” (as reported by Logistics Management on 10/20/2008). Retailers should consider investing more heavily in the potential of search advertising to drive increased in-store sales this year and move that inventory off of the shelves; 89% of consumers research products online1 and exposure to search ads has proven to double in-store sales.2

In addition, Google offers other tools that retailers can use to help drive additional traffic and sales this holiday season, such as Google Product Search, which allows shoppers to search for and find products they want to buy online. As a merchant, you can use Google Product Search to target users shopping on Google and promote your products for free. Visit our Google page on holiday success to see a full list of tools and tips.

Please note that Google Checkout is currently available only to merchants in the US and UK, and Google Product Search is currently available only to merchants in the US, UK, and Germany.

1Yahoo! and comScore Study Finds Online Consumers Who Pre-Shop on the Web Spend More In-Store. July 2007

2Magid Abraham, “The Off-Line Impact of Online Ads,” Harvard Business Review, April 2008