December 19, 2018
The Essential Post-Holiday Social Advertising Playbook
Earlier this month, we attended Google Shopping Day in Mountain View, during which Google project leaders discussed new initiatives for Google Shopping. This year’s event highlighted five key features of Google Shopping that you can use to optimize your marketing efforts during the busiest ecommerce months of the year. From Showcase Shopping Ads to RLSA for Shopping and more, here are some of the important features you should be taking advantage of this holiday season.
Google Showcase Shopping ads allow you to get in front of customers and relay your brand image when they are first beginning their product searches. In an increasingly digital world, it is becoming ever easier for consumers to browse products from multiple different companies before making a final decision to purchase. With more description text space and larger product images than regular Shopping ads, Showcase ads will help you build brand loyalty from the earliest stages of the purchase process.
As we approach the holiday season, you should consider implementing this new ad type to make sure you stay top of mind for consumers. Google’s current recommendation is to set aside an incremental 2% to 5% of your current shopping budget for Showcase Ads during the holidays. This is a worthwhile investment for the increased exposure it brings to consumers at the top of the funnel.
Absolute top impression share is a recently-released metric that tells you how often your ad shows first in the Shopping ad carousel. Using this metric effectively can help you boost your Google Shopping volume, especially on mobile. According to Google, 90% of smartphone users don’t know which brand they want to buy from when they start their search, and 30% of all mobile shopping clicks are on the first product shown. This is a big opportunity to win customers.
Using absolute top impression share to optimize toward first position for your core products will increase your chances of being the first brand consumers see when they start searching. To use this metric, make note of your current percentage, increase your shopping bids 10% to 15%, and see how that moves the needle. Once you understand the bid changes necessary, you can start targeting first position for your core products.
RLSA lists for Shopping campaigns allow you to prioritize your previous site visitors and ensure they turn into repeat customers. Use bid modifiers to keep your company top of mind and make sure these potential buyers always see your ads. This will guide them to come back to your site to make that final purchase. Moreover, Google announced that bid strategies such as target ROAS will soon apply to your Shopping audiences, which will make these audiences even more valuable in the future.
Another effective use of these audiences is to combine them with Google Merchant Center promotions. You can entice customers who haven’t yet purchased to buy your products once they’re on sale. Increase your investment in paid search before the holiday period to grow your remarketing pool, then target site visitors with your seasonal promotions to convince them to convert.
AMP pages for Shopping and Shop with Google help streamline the mobile checkout process to make it as easy as possible for customers to convert on their phones. AMP pages are individual product pages hosted by Google that still look like the product pages on your site but can load much faster. This allows customers to reach the checkout stage more quickly. Shop with Google allows Google users to store credit card and shipping information in their smartphone browsers. This provides a checkout experience similar to Amazon’s, which many customers are already familiar with. Both of these programs are still being piloted, but Google sees them as an important part of Shopping’s future.
Local inventory ads and location extensions give consumers more information about how they can purchase from you, thus encouraging them to make that final decision. According to Google, one of the key trends of last holiday season was the growing number of users looking to buy online and pick up in store. Using local inventory ads for your Shopping campaigns highlights which products are in stock near the customer. Adding location extensions to your search campaigns can show consumers how easy it will be for them to pick up purchases from your brick-and-mortar stores, which will encourage them to turn into paying customers on your site.
To make sure your business reaches its full potential this holiday season, take advantage of these Google Shopping features and start testing today. The more people you reach and the easier you make it for them to make that final purchase decision, the more successful you’ll be at capturing customers who will become loyal to your brand.