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Nov 30, 2012

Highlights from Google Shopping Webinar

GoogleLast week we held a Google Shopping webinar to help retailers get their heads around the upcoming changes to Google Product Search. In case you couldn’t make the session, we’ve compiled the essential tips and key dates:

On November 15th, Google made the announcement that they are extending the rollout of Google Shopping across Europe. The transition of Google Product Search to a paid model was transitioned initially in the US in May. This transition ended last month and now the same program will be implemented in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Italy, Spain, Brazil and the Netherlands.

PLAs are at the core of Google Shopping, so a key lesson from the webinar was to make you as familiar with their function as soon as possible. A Product Listing Ad (PLA) is a unique ad format that allows you to include specific product information like an image, title, price, and your store or business name. Product Listing Ads appear in their own box on search results pages, separate from standard text ads. Google anticipate that PLAs will allow merchants to have more control and predictability over their advertising campaigns, will have better opportunities to differentiate themselves, and that the traffic driven through will be more qualified. 

Essential Timelines

15th November: Google announcement was made. Google will begin experimenting Calendarwith the single unit format for products on Google.co.uk and will also begin testing commercial offers on Shopping property.

13th February: Launch of Google Shopping with commercial offers promoted, however free offers will still be included. Retailers should expect a drop in free traffic to product landing pages and a corresponding increase in paid traffic.

End of June: By the end of June, all campaigns will be transitioned to a fully paid experience on Google Shopping.

Lessons Learned From The US:

A benefit of the US transitioning earlier in the year is that we can learn from their experience and identify the essential tips to begin following. Here are the 4 top lessons learned from that region:

Lesson 1:

Begin testing Product Listing Ads straight away, opting in all or part of your feeds with at least the minimum bid. This will allow you to learn and refine how PLAs work from the beginning and give you a competitive edge to late-adopters. If you are already using PLAs, you can take it a step further by focusing on optimising your feeds.

Google will soon announce an incentive for early adopters to reward those prepared for the transition. Details of this will be released by Google in December.

Lesson 2:

Make Google Shopping an important part of your 2013 marketing plans and budget. Estimate your costs by measuring your traffic and GMV. Use the equations below to calculate these core facts and try to add them to your plans for next year.

  • Traffic:  Clicked x Average Cost Per Click
  • GMV:  GMV/ROAS

Lesson 3: Data, Data, Data!

With Google Shopping, data is more important than ever before. Optimise your content and work toward making it a better quality. This will allow a better user experience and drive more qualified clicks to your website.

Lesson 4: Develop a Target Strategy

Product Targets are central to Google Shopping. Targets, or product groupings, identify which products from data feeds will trigger Product Listing Ads for related searches. Target fields allow retailers to group products together based on characteristics such as brand. Grouping products by target enables retailers to control bids across multiple products based on these qualifications, (e.g., all products characterised as brand should receive a bid of 75 pence). Think about how you measure your business, specifically around your product catalogue; should your target be based on brand, product type, margin or price? Identify a strategy that works for you and build your strategy around this.

Uk-googleshopping-bundleIf you want to learn more about Google Shopping you can download our Google Shopping bundle:

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