So you want to learn the six secrets to reaching your ecommerce sales revenue targets, ‘eh?
Here’s the inside scope into how we’ll be using Google Shopping ads to help reach our customers’ return on ad spend goals.
Before we dive into the secrets. Let’s get the definition of Google Shopping ads down pat.
Google Shopping ads (or product shopping ads) can appear on the Google Search, Shopping and Search Partner networks. They are advertisements containing information about a particular product such as: image/video, title, price and a link to the ecommerce store.
See below for a visual image of how a shopping ad may look on Google Search.
So why should ecommerce stores be doing Google Shopping ads?
According to Neto’s 2018 state of Australia’s ecommerce report, Australians are turning towards online shopping more than ever before. Check out some of these stats:
- $1 in every $20 is now spent online
- There has been a 12% increase in average monthly sales
- Year-on-year, Neto has seen a 5% increase in basket size
Here’s Neto’s state of ecommerce 2018 report (in case you were interested). And for those who want the short version, see the infographic below.
Google Shopping is a huge opportunity for all ecommerce stores.
By now, you’re probably dying to find out our secrets to online shopping success. So without further ado, here are the six Google Ads shopping secrets for ecommerce success:
- #1. Google is cracking down on the correct use of GTINs, MPNs and Brand names. Keep your products approved by following our advice.
- #2. Simplify reporting by choosing an attribution model that’s aligned with your reporting needs
- #3. Utilise Goal-optimised shopping ads
- #4. Run regular Merchant Center promotions
- #5. Create a marketing funnel with multiple goals
- #6. Utilise cross-channel marketing to increase awareness and grow their average customer lifetime value
There you have it, our six secrets. Let’s take a deep dive into each section so you can take our secrets and apply them to your own Google Ads shopping campaigns.
#1. Google is cracking down on the correct use of GTINs, MPNs and Brand names. Keep your products approved by following our advice
Long story short, if there’s a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) available – use it.
Traditionally, to get a merchant center account running you need either:
- GTIN and Brand name
- MPN (Manufacturer Product Number) and Brand name
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in product disapprovals due to ‘missing GTIN.’ Most commonly the reason behind the disapproval is because the shopping feed contains an MPN and Brand whereas there’s a GTIN available.
If you are the manufacturer of a product and a GTIN is available, then you must still include the GTIN.
Are GTINs and MPNs causing you a headache? We get it. That’s why we created a helpful guide about how to find GTINs and MPNs and where to upload them to your website. We cover the following CMS’ (Customer Management Systems):
Follow these instructions to check whether your shopping feed is at risk of getting disapproved due to missing GTINs:
- Log into the Google Merchant Center
- The homepage will show you an overview of how many products are active versus disapproved
- To see the specific disapproved products, navigate to Products → Diagnostics → Scroll down to the Issues section. Here you will see all the reasons for item disapprovals.
#2. Simplify reporting by choosing an attribution model that’s aligned with your reporting needs
An attribution model is a rule (or set of rules) to follow when assigning credit for sales.
Traditionally, campaigns measure conversions using the Last Click or First Click attribution model. Now, Google has created Position-based and Time Decay as a way to attribute sales.
Let’s use an example scenario.
A customer looks up red dresses on Google Shopping. They click an ad and browse without purchasing. They then go back to search results and browse on other websites.
Two days later they search red cocktail dress. They click on the same website (different ad). They click off the website without making a purchase.
A few hours later, the searcher looks up, buy a red cocktail dress online with free shipping. Again, they click the same website and a different ad.
Here’s how the different attribution models will work:
Last Click attribution model: Assigns 100% credit to the last click before the sale occurred.
Scenario example: The ad that triggered the click from the “buy a cocktail red dress online with free shipping” will get all the credit.
First Click attribution model: Assigns 100% credit to the first click of a buyer’s journey before closing the sale.
Scenario example: The ad that triggered the cocktail red dresses click will get all the credit.
Position-based attribution model: Assigns 40% credit to the first click. 40% to the last click. A combination to make up 20% for any clicks in between.
Scenario example: The red dresses ad will get 40% credit, The ad that triggered buy a cocktail red dress online with free shipping will also get 40% credit. The cocktail red dresses ad will get 20% credit.
Time Decay attribution model: Clicks closest in time to the sale get most of the credit.
Scenario example: Google will assign the most credit to buy a cocktail red dress online with free shipping, following by cocktail red dresses and the least credit to red dresses.
Which attribution model best suits your business goals?
There’s no right and wrong answer. If your business has a particular way of assigning credit to sales than attribution model can help create easier reporting and visibility on the success of various touch points.
Give Google a call or talk to your pay per click specialist if you’re not sure which attribution model is best for you.
#3. Utilise Goal-optimised Shopping ads
What’s your shopping bidding strategy?
Maximise CPC (cost per click)? Maximise conversions? Target CPA (Cost per acquisition)?
Or maybe you’re using Goal-optimised Shopping ads (Smart ads).
If you are using Goal-optimised Shopping ads then you may have read my blog about Goal-optimised Shopping ads.
Goal-optimised Shopping ads are revenue machines. Our clients have earnt some big bucks from making the switch to Goal-optimised.
They offer ecommerce stores two major benefits:
- Spend less time fiddling around with campaign settings and budgets
- Increase visibility when consumers are looking for your products
Unfortunately, not everyone can use Goal-optimised ads. There is criteria to meet such as having a minimum of 20 conversions in 45 days for a full opt-in.
For a detailed explainer on how to get started with this profit-making strategy, take a look at my blog for a complete guide to getting started with Goal-optimised shopping ads.
#4. Run regular Merchant Center promotions
Get in the habit of running regular shopping promotions.
Most ecommerce stores will only run promos during major events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Google takes price into consideration when deciding which shopping ads to show. Promos also make your ads stand out.
Running shopping promotions during quiet periods is your ticket to enticing more customers to your store.
Let’s be clear on one thing before you rush off to create a new promotion — the difference between a sale and a shopping promotion:
Sale: Creating a discount for all shoppers (organic, paid, direct) across certain/all products on your website.
A particular shirt is 30% off. The searcher organically searches your store, clicks on your website, sees the shirt is 30% off, and purchases it. This cannot be used as a shopping promotion! See the next section for why.
Shopping promotion: Creating a coupon code that needs to be applied at the checkout in order to receive the benefit (e.g monetary or percentage discount).
See below for an example of a shopping promotion I found when typing “buy red dress” into Google Shopping.
#5. Create a marketing funnel with multiple goals
There are four parts to a customer’s buying journey:
- Build awareness
- Influence consideration
- Drive action
- Grow loyalty
Back in the day, your goal may have been to spend $X for a conversion.
Today, the most successful campaigns split out goals depending on which stage of the funnel the customer is at.
Let’s see how different stages in the funnel can influence goals.
Build awareness: People who aren’t aware of your brand are into the build awareness stage. This group of people have little to no knowledge of your brand and are unlikely to make an immediate purchase. Therefore the cost for conversion would be quite high.
Influence consideration: These potential customers have heard of your brand and are browsing or researching the products you sell. They’re generally not ready to purchase yet but could be in the future. Funnel these customers down to the drive action stage with promotions, email newsletters and educating customers about your products.
Drive action: This group is ready to purchase. Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) tends to be the highest for this group of shoppers because they are actively seeking your products.
Grow loyalty: People who have previously purchased from you. Turn these customers into repeat buyers by offering email reminders of new stock and shopping ads across the display network to remind them of who you are.
Marketing funnels help move people from awareness down to repeat purchases. Awareness campaigns usually cost the most and have the longest lead-time, whereas people who are in the drive action or loyalty stage tend to cost the least.
#6. Cross-channel marketing is a powerful tactic to increase awareness and average customer value
Cross-channel marketing is a new and exciting tactic. It can be a highly powerful strategy to get more people into your sales funnel and pushing them down the sales funnel.
Cross-channel marketing can be a combination of digital and offline marketing. Today, we’ll focus on digital cross-channel marketing.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you running Google Ads?
- Are you running Facebook/Instagram ads?
- Do you have an email database?
- Have you created a holistic cross-channel marketing strategy?
A potential customer visits your website then heads onto Facebook. They see your Facebook ad and click it. After a few minutes of scrolling, they sign up for your email newsletter. Instantly they’re hit with your welcome email series.
Over the next few weeks, the potential customer reads some of your emails. They eventually click and view your website.
One day, the shopper is searching for a particular product and they think of your brand. They search the product into Google and your product appears. They click it and proceed to the checkout.
Cross-channel marketing is pretty advanced stuff. But when done right, it will help feed new customers into your marketing funnel and overtime push them down the funnel.
Voilà! We’ve covered everything you need to know about Google Shopping ads
There you have it. Everything you need to know about Google Shopping Ads – served on a platter.
Here’s a summary of the major points we covered:
- #1. If there’s a GTIN available use it! Or your product feed could get disapproved.
- #2. You don’t need to use the Last Click Attribution Model. Use the Conversion model that best suits your business goals.
- #3. Goal-optimised ads are your ticket to a high return on ad spend (if done right)!
- #4. Promotions keep the sales coming through the door.
- #5. Having one pay-per-click goal is dead. Create different goals for each of the stages in the marketing funnel.
- #6. Cross-channel marketing allows you to be where your customers are – and helps drive them into your sales funnel!
Got any questions? I bet you do. Schedule a chat to discuss how you can make the most of our shopping secrets.