With the summer over, many companies have begun thinking about capturing consumer attention in the run-up to the holidays.

With e-commerce sales during the 2015 holiday season having grown 13.3% year over year, this year is set to be a bumper holiday season for retailers, and they are busy kicking off campaigns even as we speak.

If pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search engines like Google and Bing is in your marketing plan, here are a few tips to help you get ahead (and stay ahead) of your competition this holiday season.

1. Start putting your campaigns together now

According to The National Retail Federation, 46% of consumers say search engines play a major role in their purchase decision both for inspiring ideas and comparison research. Moreover, 20% of consumers actually start looking for gift inspiration as early as August says a report from Rocket Fuel into what influences shopping decisions:

Starting your campaigns at the latest in October (preferably, in September), makes sense, not only to capture early eyeballs but also to have time to test and refine ad copy and landing pages before the big rush.

2. Focus on the omni-channel shopper

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image of Frances Donegan-Ryan

Frances Donegan-Ryan is global community engagement manager at Bing Ads, where she helps businesses of all sizes capitalize on the power of search marketing.

Twitter: @FrancesDR

LinkedIn: Frances Donegan-Ryan