September 12, 2019
A/B Testing in Google Shopping to Prepare for the Q4 Holiday Season
What is the key to maximizing revenue on Google Shopping Ads? This question probes the minds of nearly every ecommerce retailer. No matter what you sell, you must think about the customer, the products in your catalog, and the campaigns that will drive conversions. With consumers doing more comparison shopping than ever before, it is imperative that you prioritize your best products and get those products in front of the most coveted consumers. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating Google Shopping campaign structure, here are three strategies to help you set up your campaigns for success.
When setting up your campaign structure, it is best to plan ahead for how you foresee your product investment changing throughout the year. This way you will be able to seamlessly shift investment into the right products at exactly the right time. For example, an apparel retailer that sees specific fashion trends leading to large increases in revenue should set up their Google Shopping campaigns to easily shift investment based on the “hot” products they carry. To do this, use a custom label attribute in your product feed to isolate trending products into a separate segment. This way you will be able to increase spend for those trendy products and monitor performance closely to hit your goals.
Similarly, if your business revolves around the changing seasons, set up your campaigns to prioritize seasonality. Combine the product type attribute with custom labels in order to isolate seasonal products into their own campaigns. This way you can separate winter products from summer, spring, and fall products. Also, label your top products within each of those seasonal categories for more prioritization.
Other factors ecommerce retailers should consider when developing a Google Shopping campaign strategy and structure include the importance of brand names that resellers carry, profit margin differences, large promotions you have planned, and product catalog release dates. Ultimately, your shopping campaign structure should prioritize your most import products and foresee when and where you should spend to meet the customer when they’re looking to buy.
Next, consider how your products differ from one another and what factors or features are the most attractive and enticing to customers. If you are a retailer who carries many different variations of the same product, how will your shopping campaigns emphasize these differences, so you can shift investment to the bestselling variation? Use a product group ID segmentation strategy to solve this, especially if you aggregate data around similar products to allow Google to optimize your ad rotation.
For instance, imagine you are a retailer who sells shoes. You have many different sizes and colors of the same shoe—how will you anticipate which size will be the best selling? Which color? Which style? Use a custom label to highlight these differences for segmentation in your shopping campaigns. This allows you to aggregate data around your best-selling variations and shift your budget to the hottest product. The first step to creating this segmentation is setting up your product feed to allow for a granular campaign structure. Leverage custom labels for better shopping optimizations and investment decisions.
Search term filtering is a strategy that aims to control for consumer search trends. It is focused on spending your marketing budget on the most valuable customers and traffic to your website. With three priority levels of campaign settings to filter searches in Google AdWords, you can separate the lowest value searches, the medium value searches, and the highest value and most profitable consumer search queries that show the highest purchase intent. Through the use of negative keywords, you can control spend to account for consumer search purchase intent. Then you can fund your Google Shopping efforts to prioritize the highest purchase intent searches.
To help illustrate the implications of this strategy, consider the following searches: “High Top Shoes” vs. “Nike Dunks” vs. “Where to buy Men’s Red Nike Dunks Size 9.5.” If you were selling Nike Dunks, which search would you pay more for?
You should pay more for the last search on the list: “Where to buy Men’s Red Nike Dunks Size 9.5.” It’s evident that this consumer is ready to buy, knows what they want, and is looking for the place to purchase. Implementing a search term filtering strategy into your shopping campaign structure will allow you to isolate searches like this one and prioritize your budget in anticipation of consumers searching this way.
Let’s apply this example to the conversion funnel. At the top of the funnel are your non-brand, low purchase intent searches such as “High Top Shoes,” which live in your low priority shopping campaign. Further down the funnel are branded searches, which show greater purchase intent. This is where the “Nike Dunks” search would fall into the medium priority level campaign. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel live the highest purchase intent searches in the high priority shopping campaign, in this case “Where to buy Men’s Red Nike Dunks Size 9.” By separating these searches out by purchase intent and consumer search trends, you can fund your shopping campaigns starting at the bottom of the funnel where customers are ready to buy.
In anticipation of the holiday season, now is the time to start thinking about how your Google Shopping campaigns are going to drive the most revenue for your business. With an ever-increasingly competitive retail industry where every marketing dollar counts, it is time to ask yourself: how will you allocate your budget for Google Shopping campaigns?