You’ve heard the headlines sounding the death knell of bricks and mortar shopping. Thankfully, for online retailers, the future’s a little brighter, particularly for Australian businesses, who are now part of a $20 billion dollar industry.
As a business owner or ecommerce manager, you already understand that Google is critical to your ecommerce growth. Between AdWords and organic search, you might think you’ve covered your bases. But in 2017, if you’re not using Google Shopping to get your product in front of consumers, you’re getting left behind.
The search giant is extending its reach into the ecommerce space with its Shopping vertical, an aggregator that lets consumers compare products from several retailers side-by-side.
According to Retail Dive, the amount businesses are spending on Google Shopping ads outstripped the amount spent on text ads in 2016. And retailers are seeing results. Shopping ads attracted 75% of ad clicks on Google searches for non-branded products in the second quarter of 2017, a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away.
So, how do you get your business on Google Shopping?
What is Google Shopping?
Here’s a quick rundown on how Google Shopping works so you better understand how it might fit with your current marketing strategy.
Let’s say someone is searching for a new washing machine. Because they liked the last machine they owned, they already have a brand and model preference, so they’re simply looking for the best deal. By searching for the brand and model number in Google, they’ll see a page of results that looks like this:
Up the top is a series of images with product info, a price and the retailer name – these are the Google Shopping results. Each image clicks through to a retailer’s website. As a retailer, you pay per click.
How do you get your product into those results? Through a combination of Ad Words and what’s known as Google Merchant Centre (essentially your product feed). How much you bid also influences your position in the results, as does (obviously) what search queries people are typing in.
It’s really important to set up your feed in Google Merchant Centre properly, as this is what Google will crawl when it’s determining whether your product matches a search query.
Why should you care?
With the growth in spending on Google Shopping ads, many of your competitors are likely to already be on the platform, converting potential leads into customers. And, with the search engine’s algorithm favouring its own ads over other product aggregators, not being on Google means you’re missing out.
The power of Google is just too significant to ignore.
The other benefit of being on Google Shopping is that you can simultaneously target two valuable stages of the customer life cycle: the evaluation or comparison stage, and those at the decision making stage of purchase.
Setting up specific, branded AdWords campaigns around your products will reach those people who are ready to buy and simply searching to compare prices, shipping and other factors.
But it also pays to get your product in front of those who haven’t yet developed brand loyalty. Another set of AdWords that target what we call ‘non-brand searches’ can reach those people who are still browsing, unsure of what their intent is. This gives you an opportunity to increase awareness of your brand and create new customers that may become repeat visitors.
Is this worth my time?
With the incredible results you could see from Google Shopping, we reckon the time spent on set-up is a small investment in your growth. And set-up may not be as time-consuming as you think.
The major benefit of Google Shopping is that it integrates with many of the search tools you’re already using, such as AdWords.
Plus, if you’re using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, it’s even easier to set up your product feed via the Google Shopping for Shopify app. All of your product information in Shopify syncs with Google Shopping, saving you hours of data entry. It also automatically updates your Google Shopping product feed when you add new products to your site.
At DO we’re one of 13 Shopify Plus Partner agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, recognised for our expertise in ecommerce.
If you have questions about Google Shopping or want to know how it could increase sales for your business, get in touch with DO today.