Shop Talk: Best Practices for Using Google Product Search
Q: "The competitive shopping marketplace is really changing with the advent of Google Product Search, which encourages consumers to make split-second decisions based on price. Are shoppers changing the way they make purchasing decisions based on search shopping feeds like Google Product Search? What are some practices around how to reach shoppers in this new environment?"
— Julia Gilbert, vice president of marketing, DR Power Equipment
A: For years, search has influenced the way consumers make decisions on what, where and how they purchase products both online and offline. Within one search engine, consumers now get products, reviews and prices from multiple providers and even nearby stores that stock the products they're looking for. All major search engines incorporate Google Product Search (GPS), but the information provided is no different than comparison shopping engines such as PriceGrabber.
With current result pages allowing for more information, search marketers can tailor advertisements to add more product details. Smaller retailers should focus less on the number of ads served and more on differentiating their ads by focusing on their core competitive advantages. The ads could focus on service as opposed to competing for lowest price, which will not likely be efficient or realistic. They could try attracting customers by promoting free shipping or loyalty programs in their ads. Bigger companies, on the other hand, can focus on price and brand strength. They can maximize visibility by closely integrating local offline and online inventory through the APIs of major product search providers.
Also consider what product search means for search engines. Embedding product search results in search engine results pages (SERPs) creates more opportunities to collect revenue from product clicks (these companies get paid on a cost-per-click basis). With greater diversity in product results and information, search volume increases significantly, boosting impressions and therefore paid ad clicks. Retailers can spend more, so it's important to ensure the extra spend boosts results. Here are key considerations to efficiently leverage shopping feeds: