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3 things to make Google Shopping Work for e-commerce retailers.

As someone specialising in E-commerce Marketing, I was recently asked the “how can Google Shopping work for E-commerce retailers?”,  so I thought I’d cover the topic in a blog post.

What is E-commerce Marketing? it’s the process of driving sales by raising awareness about an online store’s brand and product offerings. Digital Marketing for E-commerce applies traditional marketing principles to a multichannel, data-driven environment.

This subject is important because Google Shopping is turning into an enormous beast and a report says that retail revenue coming from Google Shopping grew 52% year-over-year in Q1 2016.

Google Shopping

SEMrush Blog

On the whole, search engine is coming off as a big year as a referral source for retailers. Search ad spending grew 18% in 2015, compared with 5% growth in 2014.

This change was driven in part by the introduction of Google Merchant. 

So what is Google Merchant? It’s a  tool that allows retailers to upload their store, brand and product data and make it available to Google Shopping and other Google services. Then retailers can pay to have their products appear in a carousel at the top of the search results when a consumer makes a relevant search query.

However, on 27th of June 2017, Google got fined $2.7 billion for Google Shopping and for EU antitrust violations over shopping searches. This decision requires Google to change the way it operates, and to face the consequences of its actions. 

Nevertheless, despite this fine I don’t think that Google will lose its leadership in terms of retailers’ online advertising, so here are 3 important things that I found can be very useful when making a Google Shopping campaign for e-commerce:

Set up each variable as an individual product

Don’t make the mistake of limiting your Google Shopping campaign to fewer products but use whatever variations you have to widen your product range. In order words, if you have one product that comes in 2 different colours, then you should set 2 different Google Shopping ads (one ad for each colour).

One of the advantages of doing this is that, each colour version will received its own ID, it will make it more obvious to you the seller which of the 2 colours is performing well or badly.

Also, producing 2 ads instead of one potentially increases their click rate which increase sales.  

Optimise your Google Shopping feeds

Make sure not to simply send your feed directly to the Merchant Center straight from your e-commerce site. It might be the quicker and simplest way of operating but you will miss the opportunity to optimise your Google Shopping feed relevant to search activities, which in turn reduces the possibility of more of your ads being shown, clicked on and eventually bought.

Make sure you bid accurately for your ads

Analysing your Google Shopping data is key to see which search terms are converting into sales and for which specific product, to make informed decisions on whether to stop specific ads, bid up or bid down. This is crucial to maximise the effectiveness and ROI. If you are not familiar with this it might be a struggle and it might be good to see a Google Shopping expert who can provide valuable insight into your campaign and individual ad performance.

The points above are important because of the flux of the competition on Google Shopping. The driving up of the cost-per-click comes as no surprise to anyone with digital marketing experience.

Retailers who reach consumers through that channel and fully understand how Google Shopping campaigns work are likely to make a hugely positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

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