Google Shopping has always been a core part of most retailers’ PPC marketing strategy but with the pandemic and closing of stores, many say the adoption of eCommerce has jumped forwards by about 10 years. With more and more retailers turning to Google Shopping to increase their online traffic and over sixty-three thousand Google searches per second – almost four million per minute – it’s never been easier to sell online but it’s never been harder to reach the customer. We have seen that over 39.6% of ad spend distribution is focused on paid search, up 6% from last year, so it’s more important than ever to make sure your Google Shopping campaigns are as optimised as they can be.
Google Shopping can be a great revenue driver if used effectively. If not, it can lead to wasted ad spend and wasted time, so in light of this, here are some tips on how retailers can effectively use Google Shopping.
A significant majority of the businesses we see have not established proper tracking. As a result, they would not know how they were performing, either financially or statistically, which leads to poor overall performance. For example, often conversions are duplicated when the consumer refreshes their basket as there isn’t a flag in place to prevent this.
Due to the constantly changing nature of Google Shopping, it’s incredibly difficult to have consistent visibility across the whole catalogue, meaning a lot of products will not be visible on the carousel. It’s an easy mistake that lots of retailers make.
Google has its own campaign software called ‘Smart Shopping’, which is a great alternative to manual bidding, however, it is geared more towards smaller retailers or retailers just starting with Google Shopping as it’s automated for them to be able to just ‘set it and forget it’. The downside to this is it is a data ‘black box’ – Google restricts access to vital data that can be used for driving the business forward and expanding as users begin to understand the customer journey in more detail. Becoming data-driven is critical.
Retailers with a larger catalogue often ‘group bid’, which is considered common best practice, by either splitting products by category, brand or best sellers. However, it’s actually better to bid on a granular level because blanket bids generalise the results and efficiencies of campaigns as there are hundreds of different variables to consider when bidding and each customer’s journey will be different. Campaigns should reflect this in their bid strategy.
The reason most retailers group bid is that it would be virtually impossible to manually bid on every single product in larger catalogues. However, AI technology is able to bid on a granular SKU level and uses machine learning to optimise different purchase intent terms. What this allows is to bid the right price, at the right time, for the right customer, 24/7, 365 days a year.
The pandemic has increased the already growing number of people shopping online. For retailers, this growth means that instead of just being consumer-focused, they now have to be really competitor-focused as well to ensure they are bidding at the right time, for the right person. With so many competitors turning to Google Shopping, it’s important retailers’ ensure the channel is fully optimised and working hard to drive profitable growth for their business.