Almost 5 years in the space, Shopping campaigns have become an integral part of the SERP. According to Merkle’s Q1 Digital Marketing Report, Shopping ads accounted for 43% of all retailers’ Google search ad clicks and 70% of nonbrand clicks. With formats and features constantly changing, we wanted to pass along a few recent updates as you continue to grow your Shopping campaigns:
- Shopping campaigns are now appearing within Google’s Image Search. Now when a shopper browses the Image section of Google, they’ll easily be able to click through and purchase from your site. Google was quick to point out that this update should benefit brands as 48% of users turn to Google Image Search each time they shop.
- Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) are now offering a “Buy Online – Pick Up In Store” and “Reserve Online – Buy In Store” feature. This beta is only available for LIA participants who have a Google Local Storefront (vs. the Google Merchant hosted page). In addition, a brand’s site is required to feature the “Buy Online/Pick Up In Store” capability as Google simply passes this request through to the site.
- Staying on the forefront of Google Shopping features, we are working with multiple clients to integrate Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) and Purchases on Google (PoGs) into our Shopping campaigns. Detailed as we are, we have run into a few concerns which are worthwhile to point out as you venture down this path.
- An estimated 5% of a brand’s Shopping traffic will be served LIAs once implemented. As you start to consider a testing strategy (rather than turning on LIAs account-wide) the scale of this program starts to diminish. Say your brand spends $50k/month with Google Shopping, and you direct Google’s recommended 25% of campaign spend into the testing strategy – you’re now looking at less than $1k/month spent on LIA clicks. LIAs are definitely worth testing, it’s just important to consider monthly budget before launch and set client expectations on scale.
- With the newness of both LIAs and PoGs, there are a few tracking kinks to work through. The biggest we’ve come across is what we’re calling the escape-hatch. When a user is taken to Google’s Merchant hosted page and then decides to click on a link back to site, there are dynamic parameters which need to be appended at this stage. Google does offer specialists for both LIA and PoG programs to help resolve these concerns.
Nearly doubling their share of Google Paid Search clicks in the past 24 months, it’s important for brands to continue to innovate alongside Google Shopping. There may not be official statements out there, but Google will start prioritizing brands taking advantage of these advanced features within the SERP.