Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
Google transitioned beginning May 2012 from a free search model to Google Shopping, which relies solely on paid Product Listing Ads (PLAs). During a recent webinar titled, "What's Trending Now…Holiday Shopping Report," Jon Venverloh, head of business development and platforms at Google Shopping, discussed that transition, shared search marketing best practices for retailers this holiday season, and shed light on Google Shopping activities and trends. The session was co-sponsored by Channel Intelligence.
More retailers continue to upload merchandise data to the Google Shopping platform, Mr. Venverloh reported, and are "improving the quality of data they're providing to us for their search bids, which in turn is creating an excellent experience for their shoppers."
As of Nov. 15, approximately 100 billion queries per month were being entered into Google, he said. A large portion of those were commercial queries, he said, defined as "a person researching and/or looking to buy a product."
Further highlighting the growing role of Google Shopping in retail, Mr. Venverloh indicated that consumers currently can search one billion products on the platform. In addition, 100,000 retailers now participate in the service, with overall Google PLA traffic increasing 368 percent year-over-year, as of Nov. 11. Furthermore, organizations utilizing PLAs experienced a 500 percent year-over-year boost in sales.
Regarding best practices, Mr. Venverloh's advice for retailers included:
Use the Trusted Store Badge: Google allows merchants to utilize this free endorsement program. Participating merchants display the Google Trusted Store badge on their product listings to showcase that Google endorses them for top-notch customer service.
Make moves in mobile: To increase usage and acceptance of Google Shopping, Google rolled out PLAs to smartphones and tablets, allowing retailers to get more bang for their marketing bucks. Additionally, all retailers that purchase PLAs will be promoted through the Google Shopper app.
Leverage promotions: Through the Google Shopping property, retailers can insert promo codes on specific items as well as the Google "Shop" button, providing a seamless link to their e-commerce sites. This can help increase click-through rates and make offers easier for shoppers to redeem.
Bid up on best sellers: By pinpointing top-selling products during the previous holiday season, retailers can develop lists of "best sellers" and make them top priorities for PLAs. Retailers are advised to analyze patterns in demand and bid higher on key products to win their placement in Google Shopping search results.
Provide quality data: Google Shopping provides consumers with more rewarding search experiences by increasing shopping choices and sifting results by brand, color and size, among other attributes. However, to truly succeed in Google Shopping, according to Mr. Venverloh, retailers must provide accurate and detailed product information.
Do you agree/disagree with the statement that Google Shopping is going to provide long-term benefits for retailers in terms of increasing overall sales?