What is Google Shopping?

Shoppers looking for the perfect watch can crawl through several different online stores looking for the perfect one, or  simply type a search query into Google, switch to the Shopping tab and compare prices and products from different vendors seamlessly. Retailers want to get their products listed on Google because they not only show up on the Shopping platform, but also in Gmail and as image ads in search engine results, getting their products exposure to millions of potential customers. Let’s talk about what Google Shopping is, how it works and how to get started.

What is Google Shopping

Google Shopping is essentially a cost per click product advertising platform, where product listings (or Shopping Ads) from merchants are displayed and indexed according to certain key word product descriptions and bidding .

Unlike online marketplaces like Amazon, Shopping doesn’t show organic results. Every product listing is paid for by the merchant, who is charged for clicks or conversions from the platform. Shopping products can be filtered by seller, brand, color, style, price and department and clicking on a listing redirects the user to the retailer’s online store and the product landing page.

How it works

Google Shopping requires a merchant to make use of the entire Google Ads ecosystem; that is, the merchant needs to have a Google Merchant Center, Google Ads account and Google Analytics. The exchange of data is facilitated through all these platforms so the merchant can list products, manage bids and create campaigns and track performance via key metrics. Check out or posts on linking your Ad and Analytics accounts, and linking your Ad account to the Merchant Center. 

The Google Merchant Center account is a product dashboard where you can create your product data feed- an organized list of your products and their attributes which Google will use to retrieve and display your product info. On the Merchant Center, you must claim and verify your website in order to push your feed. Try to do this as soon as possible, as verification can take 3 – 10 days.

Since Google wants to offer the best possible shopping experience, they won’t hesitate to reject your product listings if images are low quality. This is why Google has guidelines for your product images as well as product data specifications;  if certain requirements aren’t met, Google may pause your ads.

Creating a feed and managing listings for channel requirements can be quite a laborious task if you have a lot of products, which is why we recommend signing up for ShoppingFeeder instead. From our dashboard you can link all your Google accounts, easily create, manage and customize your feeds and manage your listings across multiple channels. If you would like to add your feed manually, however, check out our guide here >>>

Note: merchant center pulls your product imagery from your online store, which means you must optimize images on your own store before creating Shopping Ads.

Once your feed is ready, you can log into your Ad accounts where you can create your first Shopping campaign. From Google Ads you can create campaigns, manage your bid strategy and track campaign performance, as well as create audience lists for remarketing.

You can create a campaign with the goal of Sales, Leads or Website Traffic. A Sales campaign drives sales, a Leads campaign gathers leads by encouraging shoppers to complete an action, and a Website Traffic campaign directs buyers to your online store.

You’ll also need to set your bids and campaign budget. Your bid is the maximum amount you will pay per a certain action e.g. 1$ per click. If you select ‘Maximize Clicks’ Google Ads will set your ads to get as many clicks as possible within your set budget. Your campaign budget is the maximum amount of ad spend you’re willing to pay in a month.

With Shopping Ads, merchants don’t have the same control as they would with Sponsored Product Ads. Google looks at your product information and your bid and decides who to show your products to based on the search query, which is why optimizing your product listings is so important. Google gets paid for every click you get on their platform, so naturally they will want you to get as much traffic as possible, but you can serve your own interests best by ensuring that your product data is structured according to Google’s best practices.

Once your listings are live, shoppers can click on your products and be redirected to your online store. And there are even more features available on Shopping.

Reviews

You can add reviews to your store to gain credibility as a merchant and improve your product offering. Reviews are widely used and shoppers expect to see star-ratings on listings to help inform their purchase decisions. Shoppers tend to lean towards products with a high number of reviews and those with higher ratings. As a merchant you’ll need to share all of the reviews you receive, so make sure you’re getting good ones.

Dynamic remarketing

Google Ads is able to push ads to shoppers who have already had some form of engagement with your product. Whether that’s viewing a product category, adding an item to a cart or abandoning a cart full of products just before checkout, the Google ads remarketing tag remembers at which point in the conversion funnel a shopper left your page and can push relevant ads to them based on their activity on your site. This means the shopper will see an ad for a product they’ve previously interacted with, making them more likely to convert this time around.

Local inventory 

Google Shopping underwent a redesign recently and merchants in the U.S are now able to use local inventory ads. Shoppers can filter locations to nearby stores to find which physical locations are selling the products they’re looking for, and check online to find out if those products are in stock.

Shoppingfeeder can help you optimize your listings, manage them across channels and even offers campaign management for Microsoft Advertising, Pricecheck and Google Ad campaigns. Contact our team and we can help you add value to your business: support@shoppingfeeder.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Shopping’s Redesign

Google Shopping has undergone some exciting changes this month, announcing on Thursday that the platform will now offer price tracking, local inventory search and order placement directly through Google.

Google Shopping Updates 

Personalized Homepage and New Design

Now available in the U.S via mobile and desktop, Google Shopping’s redesign offers personalized product recommendations on your homepage and product categories to simplify your shopping, with the Browse tab including departments for Apparel, Groceries, Electronics and so on. The Lists tab also helps you organize shopping lists and keep track of receipts.

Buy on Google

In the previous version of Google Shopping, clicking on a product listing would redirect the user to the retailer’s online store. Since its redesign, Shopping now offers direct purchase for some brands which places products in a Google Shopping Cart. This means you can purchase products without leaving the platform and make use of Google’s own customer support who handle returns and refunds on your behalf. To find items that you can buy directly on Google, look for the colorful shopping cart icon next to product images. Checkout is simple thanks to Google saving your payment information, and every order is backed by a Google guarantee. Finally, Google has even gone so far as to offset the carbon emissions created from your shipping order.

via GIPHY

Price tracking

Under product pages, you can now select a Price Tracking toggle that will send you a notification when the price of the product falls. With the holidays and Black Friday around the corner, this new feature is perfectly timed.

Local inventory

If you’re in a hurry to buy a gift and you don’t have time to wait for delivery of an online purchase, you can make use of Google Shopping’s local inventory. You can search for a product and filter nearby locations to check if local stores have stock of the product you’re looking for.

Google Lens

In addition to the redesign, Google  also announced changes to Google Lens, a function which allows users to take a photo of a piece of clothing or furniture, from which Google will suggest similar products. With the update, you can take a screenshot of an Instagram post, for example, and use Lens in Google photos to see similar looks or styles. Lens can give shoppers inspiration on how to style their garments, and also pulls similar products on Shopping.

 

Offering a new and immersive experience, Google Shopping’s new desktop ad mobile features are an exciting addition to the platform.

5 Easy Dropshipping Tips

Many beginners in the e-commerce game are drawn to dropshipping because it doesn’t require any storage or handling of inventory. You can set up an online store, take orders, then ship products directly from your supplier to the customer without ever seeing the product. Dropshipping as a business model has extremely popular for this very reason, but nothing is as simple as it sounds. Here are 5  tips to help your dropshipping business thrive. 

Have excellent customer service

Dropshipping has become incredibly popular in recent years, largely due to its low entry barriers. Dropshippers require relatively low investment and have none of the inventory and fulfillment responsibilities of traditional online stores. That said, there are some drawbacks. With no control over packaging, dropshippers are unable to add customized touches to their deliveries that help the store stand out- that means that all the energy saved on packaging needs to be poured into marketing and SEO so you can grow the business and drive traffic to your online store.

With the low barriers to entry, dropshipping has become an extremely saturated, highly competitive space warranting impeccable customer service.  You may have no control over your fulfillment process, but you can position yourself as the brand that cares from the get-go as a way to build your brand and develop trust.

Ship durable products

The appeal with the dropshipping model is that you don’t have to store or handle inventory. This is totally irrelevant, however, if the money you save on warehousing is spent giving unhappy customers refunds because one of your products got damaged somewhere in the shipping process. Fragile or technical products can be extremely touch-and-go, so unless you’re testing the products thoroughly yourself, you’ll want to avoid dropshipping products like digital cameras or delicate jewelry that can easily arrive on your customer’s doorstep in poor condition. Of course, another way to prevent this happening is through simple research. Oberlo’s product catalogue gives you useful information on product reviews and how many buyers there have been in the last month, so you can avoid purchasing products from suppliers who aren’t reliable when it comes to their delivery processes. Testing your products regularly is another way to ensure customer satisfaction, and dropshippers should always have a backup supplier in the event that their current suppliers raise their prices or cannot fulfill orders for any reason

Create your own product descriptions

XML feeds from suppliers are usually pretty generic, which certainly won’t help your products stand out. Although it is time-consuming, it’s worth it to create your own product descriptions to ensure you rank better in searches and get better conversion rates. If you need assistance with product categorization, the ShoppingFeeder team can help you manage your data feed effectively.  ShoppingFeeder also supports Oberlo, so any products you add to your store can quickly be managed through your ShoppingFeeder dashboard.

Check shipping times

You may want your customers to think you can do it all: quick shipping to anywhere in the world. But if there’s one area in which you need to tread carefully, it’s shipping. Nothing will frustrate your customers like a product taking longer to be delivered than than they expected. Put simply, people don’t like to wait for goods they’ve paid for. Make sure you research shipping times for different countries because they aren’t always the same. Suppliers may take longer to ship to different regions and you’ll lose money if you have to refund customers because products don’t arrive in time. It’s important to be clear about when your customers can expect delivery. If you can setup tracking on shipped items, even better!

If you’re using multiple suppliers to fulfill one order, your customer may incur high shipping costs- which can lead to them abandoning their cart. Dropshippers may want to consider a flat shipping rate based on cart value rather than have customers abandon their carts due to unreasonably high shipping costs.

Don’t underprice!

People often make the mistake if discounting all their products when they see they’re not making enough sales. This can be extremely detrimental to your brand and position your products as cheap or poor quality. Just because you’re not making the desired conversions, doesn’t mean the problem is necessarily in the pricing structure. Have a look at your marketing tactics, how easy it is to navigate your website, your product descriptions etc. before you go panicking and marking everything down by 50%. Pricing your products just above cost isn’t going to help you in the long run- but a good marketing strategy will. That said, bundle offers and discounts for first-time buyers can up your sales if done strategically.

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