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Google Shopping: an overview

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Google Shopping: an overview

I was putting together a piece the other day, where I mentioned Google’s original shopping comparison platform: Froogle. Do you remember Froogle? For some, there may be a distant memory. Others may not have any recollection of it at all. But Froogle formed the basis of what has now become Google Shopping, a tool that seems to be going from strength to strength. Today, we’re putting Google Shopping under the microscope.

What’s the current situation?

Google operates in a range of markets, but there are two highly developed markets that dominate Google’s revenues: the United States and the United Kingdom. Where the US leads, the UK tends to follow. We’re seeing this when it comes to Google Shopping, where all of the key metrics are pointing in one direction.

Who still remembers Froogle? A blast from the past! Click To Tweet

Let’s look at some selected stats from a study that covered the first quarter of 2017:

  • There was an increase in 55% in clicks being received from Google Shopping ads, when compared with the first quarter of 2016
  • There was, on average, a 43% increase in Year on Year revenue from this channel
  • Conversions from desktop computers jumped an impressive 40%
  • Total clicks from mobile devices increased more than 1,000% on a Year on Year basis

So what does this tell us about the shape of Google Shopping right now? In essence, what we see is a channel where there is strong growth. That growth is apparent from increasing impressions, clicks and, most importantly, revenues. The growth in visits is particularly striking on mobile devices: that may not come as a great surprise, given the overall growth in search volumes from mobile devices. But we’re also seeing conversion rates increase from searchers using desktop computers.

Google Shopping: conversions on desktop devices up 40% on least year Click To Tweet

Key takeaways

So, what should we make of Google Shopping? We would highlight the following:

  • If you’re a retailer, you need to have your products listed on Google Shopping. This may seem obvious, but essentially you have to be in the game if you want to stand a chance of winning
  • Mobile visits are increasing rapidly, so your on-site experience needs to reflect that. Is your site fully responsive, for instance? If not, it’s likely that you’ll be losing out on conversions. Is your checkout process fully optimised for mobile users too?
  • Don’t forget about desktop users though. As a consumer, have you carried out research online, but made a final purchase from your desktop computer? This is still a familiar means of shopping for many. If you’re selling big ticket items, expecting to generate an impressive Average Order Value, then your website must support your Google Shopping advertising. This most certainly means providing desktop users the opportunity to zoom in on high definition photographs of your products
  • Competition is likely to increase over time. In order to ensure that you are in great shape, concentrate on maximising conversion rates. You should be looking at highly targeted ads (using negative keyword selections to remove irrelevant positioning), great product images, strong and informative product descriptions, integrated product reviews and promotional offers, together with competitive pricing

Successful retailers are making great use of Google Shopping. How does your approach compare?

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