image of The Gold Mine for Retailers at Christmas Time!

At Christmas, its generally a businesses busiest time of year, especially those in retail. Stores are advertising products, trying to lap up every last sale they can get before the doors close end of Christmas Eve.

Online retailers are evermore focusing their attention to how they can market their businesses online effectively leading up to the Christmas sales period, but unfortunately so many fail to do so correctly, therefore they miss out on potential additional sales.

The reason they miss out is not because they aren’t aware that its important to invest in good digital marketing to get those sales, but actually how and what to invest in!

Obviously its great if you can afford to hire an expert digital marketing / web design company however, its still good to know the ‘tools of the trade’ so-to-speak and more-so, how you can use them to your advantage. Rather than be at the mercy of a digital marketing company who simply sends you the bill and a few statistics.

So in this article I wanted to go into some brief information about a special platform that Google offers retailers, that is growing more popular by the day, and accounts for around 85% of the sales from Google searches.

Google Merchant Center - or better known as ‘Google Shopping Ads’ , synergise both Google Ads and Google Merchant Centre to basically create a visual catalogue shopping experience for people on Google.

If you search for “nike shoes nz” for example, you’ll see most likely at the top of the page product images relating back to “nike shoes” - with these images are also a product title, price and shop name.

Basically, Google Shopping Ads allow you to show your product off to the buyer before they click, but more importantly, get there attention before they scroll down to the standard search results.

As you know, standard Google search results are just plain-ol text. Therefore by using Google Shopping Ads you’ll have an advantage over those who don’t because you’ll be featured at the top of the page and with an image of your product.

Think about it! The human mind thinks in pictures. If you want a new car, you think the image of that new car, you don’t think the words “new car!”. If you think of your refrigerator, you get the picture of it in your mind, not the ‘word’.

Therefore images of what you’re searching for are a lot more engaging and captivating than plain-text search results. Thats probably why such a high percentage of sales are driven from Google Shopping Ads.

How it works, is you setup a Google Ads account first off by going to ads.google.com. After you have set this up, then do the same for Google Merchant Center. Go to merchants.google.com.

Once you’ve set these up you need create a product feed which sucks all your products from your website into Google’s system so they know what you sell, for how much, whether its stock and so on. This can be quite a process that requires some technical knowledge so best ask your web developer or Google Ads consultant.

After setting up the feed and a few other bits, you can start to then push your products to your target audience. The best way to do this is creating whats called a ‘Shopping Ad’ campaign in Google.

You can basically setup your product feed to show to people searching like-products on Google. So if you have for instance “Nike Shoes”, then you products will start showing to those people searching something along the lines of “Nike Shoes”. The presents of your products showing all come down to how much money you’re willing to spend with Google.

The more money you spend, the more likely you’ll come up more regularly and also first in the list of products featured.

Once you setup your campaign you can then start watching the sales roll-in. I further recommend you setup (or get setup) Google Tag Manager with Conversion tracking. Basically, this will show you how many sales and how much revenue you’re getting back from what you spend on these Google Shopping Ads.

Then you can analyse, “OK, I spent $120 this month, and got 10 sales. Therefore I basically spent around $12 per sale.” Furthermore, you can then figure out whether for instance $12 per sale is good. If you’re selling a $1000 product then I'm sure it is! However, if you’re selling little knick-knack items then $12 might be a little pricey.

Like everything in business, try it out, measure the result and adapt to make it work for you. I’ve seen many clients increase their sales tenfold from this tool. Me and my fiancé’s own business, which is only new, did not a lot of online sales until we started using Google Shopping Ads. All of a sudden we had on some days up to 5 orders coming in without blinking. Where as previously we had maybe a couple per month. The results speak for themselves!