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Opinion

How to make the most of Google Shopping

The power of Google is undeniable. As e-commerce businesses, you already know that the search giant is a critical component of your e-commerce growth.

That’s why your SEO is on point and you’re across AdWords like a pro. But if you’re not also running Google Shopping to get your product in front of customers, you might just be missing the biggest piece of the pie.

So what is it, and why do you need to get your head around it?

Google Shopping is an aggregator that lets consumers compare products from several
retailers, side-by-side.

According to recent research, retail marketers dedicated 53 per cent of their AdWords budget spend to Google Shopping ads in 2016. And this investment paid off.

The second quarter of 2017 saw shopping ads attract 75 per cent of ad clicks on Google searches for non-branded products. With results like that, it’s clear this trend is here to stay.

Let’s start by looking at how it all works.

Your customer is searching for a specific product—say, a new laptop. They already know the brand and model that they want, so what they are searching for is the best deal.

By entering the brand and model in Google, they’ll see a page of results that looks like this: Up the top is a row 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, and as a retailer, you pay per click.

You want your product in that top row—as per the stats above, Google Shopping results take the lion’s share of ad clicks.

To be featured, use a combination of AdWords and Google Merchant Centre, which is the tool that helps you upload your store and product data to Google, making it available for Shopping ads and other Google services.

Google crawls its Merchant Centre when determining whether your product matches a search query, so it’s really important to ensure this is set up properly.

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.

Worried about the time investment? While Google Shopping isn’t going to set itself up for you, it does integrate with many of the search tools you’re already using, such as AdWords. This means your set-up time is minimised.

Plus, if you’re using Shopify as your e-commerce 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.

Given the incredible returns already being reported by Google Shopping users, a small time investment at the outset is definitely worth the long-term growth your could see as a result.

Martin Cox is the director and co-founder of DO Commerce, a full service digital agency specialising in end-to-end digital and e-commerce projects.

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