The New Storefront: How to Master Google Shopping
Gone (for now) are the days of sweeping store floors, perfecting window displays, and chalk-drawing clever street signs. While the virus continues to demotivate in-store shopping, the competition for consumer attention is taking place online, and roughly 20 percent of men and women say they’ve been making more internet purchases.
In the era of the virtual storefront, Google has changed the game with its recent decision to include free listings in Google Shopping results for the first time since 2012. Retailers can now get their products in front of potential customers on this powerful, worldwide marketplace without spending a dime. The update is live through the United States, and will be available globally by the end of the year.
Preparing to Go Google
This may feel like more uncharted territory, but using Google Shopping to maximize your sales doesn’t have to be complicated. The first thing you need is a Google Merchant Center (GMC) account. There, you’ll set up your store and upload your product information.
The next step is to prepare your product feed. While you can manually create and upload product listings, you can also use a number of strategies to automate your feed. Many e-commerce platforms already have the necessary plugins included.
The last step is to opt into the “Surfaces across Google” option in your GMC account. Now your products will surface organically in multiple places (Google Images, Google Lens, Google Search) as consumers browse for their sought-after products.
Sweeping the Floors, So to Speak
Those three steps are all it takes to have your products listed with Google Shopping. But in the same way you attend to your in-store displays, there are certain virtual housekeeping measures that will make your listings both more accessible and more appealing.
Your product title is your first, and often only, impression. Optimized product titles are essential for online listings. Try to understand the steps a consumer might take on the path to finding your product. Using those terms in your title will help your products appear in their queries. Follow Google’s title requirements, try to use keywords, and list attributes in order (e.g., brand - product type - color - material).
The next place to focus is product images. Having high-quality images is like having clean windows, it’s non-negotiable. It’s important that your images look similar across your listings. A white background is often best. If you already have a presence on an e-commerce website, the images you use there will likely translate perfectly. Remember that you can use up to 10 images per listing, and more is always merrier.
Lastly, take some time to make sure your price is landing in a competitive range with other products that surface alongside of your listings, and be sure the currency is adjusted to the region in which the sale is taking place.
Building your listings won’t drain your brain power or resources, and now it won’t drain your budget either. Google Shopping is proven to have a 30 percent higher conversion rate than text ads; this is an avenue you don’t want to overlook.
We’re all rooting for the retail industry to survive the moratorium on malls and in-store shopping, for smaller brands to stay afloat, and for the diversity of the field to remain intact. If you take the initiative to get your listings out to a wide audience, consumers will find you. It’s likely that they’re already looking.
Eric Samson is the founder and CEO of Group8a, a New York-based digital marketing and advertising agency.
Eric Samson is the Founder and CEO of Group8a, a New York-based digital marketing and advertising agency. With over a decade of digital marketing experience, Eric is dedicated to helping his clients grow their online presence, increase conversions, and reach their consumers with the right message.