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Are you using all Google services to improve sales during Christmas?

By: Lengow

Christmas is almost upon us and that means that it is time for one final push to target all those shoppers who leave all their shopping to the very last minute.

Like for most things these days, these last minute shoppers are very likely to start their research on Google, with a recent survey showing that 85% of people are likely to use the search engine to find product ideas and information before making a purchase. Therefore, it is imperative that every online retailer has a good Google strategy in place to gain the most visibility and, hence, sales from the platform at this time of the year.

Every seller wants their ads to show up first in search results and, while using AdWords is crucial for achieving this, it is not the only Google service available to you. The more present you are on all of Google’s platforms, the higher you are likely to be in search results. For this reason, in this article, we will be exploring what other services you can use to improve your standings.

Google Manufacturer Center and Google Merchant Center: Enrich yourself at Christmas

Both Google Manufacturer Center and Google Merchant Center allow you to provide enriched details for the products you are selling. However, only a Merchant Center account is required for setting up Google Shopping campaigns.

This allows you to import your product feed into Google and have it displayed in Shopping. The service has you input your product information such as price and availability to better advertise your products on Google Shopping, as well as giving you the possibility of showcasing your products on other Google sites such as Youtube.

You will receive full analytics of your brand’s performance through the platform making it easy for you to keep track of all of your actions and see what bids are doing best.

Manufacturer Center, on the other hand, is available only for products you own or license. It allows you to give further detailed product information such as images, videos, titles and URLs for each item.

This creates a better customer experience across all Google services and the more details you give, the more enriched your ads become, leading to higher priority given by the Google algorithm in search results, and therefore more chances of conversions.

It differs from Merchant Center as it focuses purely on the product, simply giving the richest information possible to the customer. More detailed Shopping ads then lead to higher conversions and lower returns rates as the customer has a more rounded view of what they are ordering. It also gives you, the manufacturer, more control over how your products appear online, and makes attracting more potential customers easier.

Google Shopping: all about visibility

Google Shopping has a very useful feature for Christmas time (and for every other time of the year): custom labels. Custom labels allow you to divide your product catalogue so you can focus on creating ads for one particular group.

At Christmas it can be especially useful to create a Christmas label to push your top selling items or items that are most popular around the holidays for presents. This way you can also keep track of your bids on these specific items and see how well they are doing, or even increase bids on the label to push hardest on Christmas shoppers.

Shopping and AdWords work hand in hand. You create your campaigns in Adwords, which then allows you to promote your products through Google. By creating customized Shopping campaigns at Christmas you are able to take advantage of the influx in sales. Furthermore, you can focus on products that have higher margins to capitalise on the season and increase your own turnover.     

Local Inventory Ads: Bridge the gap

If you also have a physical side to your business, Local Inventory Ads are way to bridge the gap between digital and physical. There’s a new trend on the rise called webrooming. This is the opposite to showrooming and consists of consumers looking up products online before going to a physical store to buy them.

To take advantage of this trend, Google allows you to advertise not only the products that you have online but also your stock available in nearby stores. This is especially useful at Christmas as, while the number of people shopping exclusively online is going up, 62.2% of people still plan to buy some of their presents from a physical store this year.

Considering so many people now use mobile phones to do their shopping research, with 58% of people using their smartphone for shopping-related activities in the last 30 days. This means it is possible for people to research while on the move, making Local Inventory Ads particularly relevant, enabling shoppers to see exactly where they need to go to immediately pick up their present.

Think of last-minute shoppers who are buying their presents on Christmas eve and don’t have the time to wait for delivery, they will be pleased to find out which store still has the product they want in stock and how much it will cost. While especially useful or mobile, Local Inventory Ads are also available on tablet and desktop as well.

Google AdWords: the glue that sticks everything together

Finally, the thing that ties all of these together is AdWords allowing you to reach the right customers, in the right area, at the right time. The cost per click format allows retailers of all sizes to reach out to potential customers during the peak Christmas time, especially when everyone is researching presents online.

The best thing to do at this time of the year is to contextualise your ads for Christmas as well as your landing page. Dress it up in Christmas colours and include site links such as ‘best gifts for Christmas’ for example. Further contextualisation can be done in the extensions beneath you ad by promoting ‘delivery before December 24th’ and ‘International delivery available’, important factors when looking for gifts online.

When choosing your keywords, select ones that are specific for Christmas. You’ll need to think about what people will be searching for, so instead of simply choosing ‘laptop’, for example, try ‘laptops for Christmas’ or ‘gifts for mum’. Furthermore, make sure that your retargeting strategy is in place and remember: retargeting is not just for Christmas.

Firstly, people do a lot of research when it comes to buying Christmas presents, so retargeting keeps your business in the consumer’s mind. Secondly, many people find something they like for themselves while looking for Christmas presents but don’t buy. Retargeting these people after Christmas, when they might have received money, can extend the money making season.

With all of these in place, you are sure to make the most of the last couple of weeks of the year, so you too can enjoy the merryness of Christmas!     

 

By: Lengow

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