Update: We recently created a video on iProspect TV about the state of eCommerce in Ireland and how best to prepare for the arrival of Google Shopping. Watch the video here.
Google Shopping, formally called Google Product Search is set to launch in Ireland early 2014 (according to our Google insiders!). If you are an Irish eCommerce business you may already be anticipating and thinking about Google Shopping. If you are unfamiliar with Google Shopping, by the end of reading this post you should understand how Google Shopping works and what its implications will be for eCommerce in Ireland.
It is now time for eCommerce businesses in Ireland to act, prior to the arrival of Google Shopping Ireland. It is wise to start preparing for the fees that are attributable to Google shopping product listing ads. iProspect Ireland are already anticipating and planning to offer Google Shopping management services for our eCommerce clients. Our paid performance manager Mark Lenehen, who has extensive Google Shopping experience, is in fact eagerly anticipating its arrival to see results that Google Shopping can bring for our Irish clients.
Google Shopping is a platform that allows eCommerce companies to promote their products to consumers who can search, compare and click through to purchase.
Google Shopping has been around since 2004 but has yet to be launched in Ireland. It’s currently available in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. So it’s not a completely new Google product. However, Google Shopping will most definitely have strong implications on the Irish eCommerce industry.
Google is the most used search engine in Ireland with 94% of the market share. Therefore it is the starting point for the thousands of Irish online shoppers. As a nation we love to shop online and statistics prove that eCommerce is growing. In 2012, Irish consumers spent €1.4 billion and we are set to double our spending online within the next five years.
Mark has witnessed first-hand how it reformed the eCommerce landscape in the UK. This leads to the question of will Google Shopping have the same impact on the Irish eCommerce industry? Mark certainly believes that eCommerce in Ireland will really start to flourish once Google Shopping arrives.
The main opportunity Google Shopping provides is highly targeted rich media ads on the Google search results page and on the Google Shopping website. Google search has insights into customer intent and has context based on device, location and time of day which can deliver more relevant shopping results.
As Google Shopping is a price comparison platform, it is extremely price competitive. Additionally, Google Shopping displays the delivery charges and a merchant’s rating. So, if an eCommerce company is offering competitive prices and delivery charges and possesses a good merchant rating over its competitor, they can certainly reap the benefits and expect high conversion rates. Mark says from his own experience that Google Shopping product listing ads have significantly higher conversion rates than standard paid search ads.
Google Shopping is a feed based product and feeds are submitted through the Google Merchant Center, which is linked to a Google AdWords account. Within AdWords, setting up campaigns for all Google Shopping ads is the recommended strategy. Using structured data feeds through APIs is the most effective way to manage Google Shopping data feeds.
eCommerce merchants create Product Listing Ads (PLAs) which appear as attractive visual units on the search results page and on the Google Shopping website.
On the Google search results page, searchers can click onto the ads that will bring them to the merchant’s site or they can click through to the Google Shopping site and compare more products and prices. Or alternatively, consumers can go directly to the Google shopping site and conduct a price comparison search.
The Google Shopping website ultimately acts as a price comparison website which pulls prices on products from various merchants using Google Shopping. Within the Google Shopping site, online shoppers can compare different brands, product types and precisely filter their search based on various metrics. According to Google, the filtering option helps shoppers dive deeper into the discovery phase and find the right product for them
Product Listing Ads are charged on a CPC and CPA basis. The ads run on a similar format to AdWords. However, you do not bid on keywords but set maximum bidding prices for your Product Listing Ads. Ad rankings are then determined by a combination of relevance and bid price, much the same as how AdWords performs.
Do you think Google Shopping will change the eCommerce landscape in Ireland? We would love to hear your thoughts.