Ever since its debut, Google Shopping has continued to prove itself as a massive beast in the world of digital retail advertising.
Being in the trenches since the very beginning we have had a first-row seat throughout the years and have watched as Google Shopping has grown, changed, and continues to do so today.
Both marketers and retailers should continue to expect some significant changes over the course of 2017. Google Shopping’s growth is literally synonymous with the growth of the ecommerce industry in general. It is that industry that will shape not only this year but years to come.
So, what might you start to see in the new year or already start to see right now? Our team weighs in.
More Players in The Game
“I really started to notice it back in 2016. It seemed as if more and more people began entering the realm of ecommerce. As it applies to Google Shopping, however, I think retailers need to understand that regardless of what industry they are in, competition is growing and at a steep rate. Store owners will undoubtedly need to start spending more as time goes on so they can maintain a similar impression share and not lose out on potential conversions.”
-Ed Apanna, Setup/Support Manager
More Ads in The SERPS
“Shopping ads are seemingly taking over Google’s search results. Yesterday I searched on Google over 50 times using various general retail search terms. And guess how many text ads I saw on average? Just one! This painted a very clear picture. Online retailers are investing far more in Google Shopping today than they had last year or the year before. 2017 is truly going to be the year of Shopping ads and retailers should be making budget decisions earlier and earlier every quarter and every year.”
-Anthony Capetola, Marketing Manager
On-Site Is Still Vital
“I think retailers, more than ever before, have to think of Google Shopping as an ultimate source of highly relevant traffic. Yet, that is only the tip of the spear. As much of a focus that has be applied to campaigns and campaign management, just as much should be placed on on-site and customer experience. You can spend all the money in the world but if people can’t convert easily, it may have been all for not.”
-Marc Reda, Client Success Manager
Knowing Your Devices
“Mobile is supposedly where it’s at these days but I think more and more effort needs to be put into segmenting and analyzing device level performance in Google Shopping campaigns. We have seen first-hand how shopper behavior has shifted and merchants need to ride that wave. So instead of just arbitrarily throwing ad spend at mobile device targeting, people need more so to be able to make more informed decisions about their bidding and management practices.”
-Maygan Chasteen, Client Success Manager
Balancing Auto & Manual
“I hear a lot of agencies and marketers talking heavily about automation and while yes, I do believe that automation is an eventual necessity for managing campaigns, too much automation can be just as detrimental. Marketers and retailers need to be able to perform a distinct balancing act between manual actions and allowing machine-automated processes to take place. In the end its always going to come down to being able to scale efficiently, but giving up too much control can lead to disastrous results, lost revenues, and bad experiences.”
-Bryan Natter, CTO
A Measured Approach
“I’ve always found that keeping a very level-headed approach to managing Shopping campaigns winds up bringing about the most significant results. It’s when you make many or drastic changes without letting the data to flow for at least a few weeks or months, that is when you start to see revenue drop off and costs skyrocket. Whether you are an expert or a newbie, optimization should always be about using the data to back up your decision making. I feel that a “data-first, bidding-later” approach, now and for years to come will be what defines strong performance versus wasted advertising dollars.”
-Kevin Gallagher, Client Success Specialist
We are extremely excited to see what the rest of 2017 has in store for us. 2016 alone brought some many changes including news about Customer Match for Google Shopping, the new Click Share metric in AdWords, and an entirely new Merchant Center UI.
Stay tuned for the next big news!