While there are many ways for retailers to improve their revenues, the options offered by Google have become among the most popular in recent years. With the fast and steady rise of e-commerce, it’s no surprise that Google is one of the top shopping channels that our customers request. Therefore, we have learned the ins and outs to help them create optimized shopping experiences on the channel in order to increase their sales and customer base.
If you know your company has room to grow, there’s no better place to start that growth than with Google. There are four distinct options to choose from, making it easy to pick the one — or several — that makes the most sense for your unique business. Here’s what you need to know about each.
1. Google Shopping Feed
Put simply, the Google Shopping Feed is how you communicate your retail company’s inventory with Google. The platform is powered by Google Ads and Google Merchant Center. The former is what you use to run your shopping campaigns, while the latter is where your actual feed is housed.
Once you have created your Google Shopping Feed, it’s simply a matter of uploading it to Google (for the vast majority of retailers, manually entering the information is unrealistic) and then regularly maintaining it.
After that, the heavy lifting is done, and you can focus on tweaking your campaigns’ other features (e.g., bidding price, images, etc.) to help improve your sales. It’s just like the inventory in your actual store. Once it’s been unloaded and put in its rightful place, your team can turn its attention to all the different options for driving sales.
With that said, this isn’t a minor step. One simple mistake in entering your inventory’s information could hurt your sales or even trigger Google to reject your entire feed. The risk of human error is one reason most companies don’t enter this data manually.
2. Google Shopping Actions
Arguably, one of the most exciting new additions to the world of Google e-commerce is Google Shopping Actions. This platform makes it extremely easy for retailers to position their inventory across multiple platforms: Google Express, Google Search and Google Assistant.
Customers receive a similar experience, too. They’re given a universal shopping cart, shareable list and instant checkout that saves their payment credentials. That makes shopping much more convenient for them, which is great for retailers who may otherwise lose them as they switch from one platform to the next.
Aside from finding products via traditional searches, customers can also go through Google Express, the online store that offers home delivery and is meant to compete with Amazon Prime. The other exciting way to be found by customers is by Google Assistant. With the popularity of voice searches on the rise — and no sign of that trend reversing — this opportunity is quickly becoming the standard retailers need to adopt.
Fortunately, as we just covered, once you have your feed in place, it’s a fairly simple matter to then apply it to these other channels.
3. Google Manufacturer Center
Manufacturers know that getting their products sold online isn’t as simple as just providing them to retailers.
The truth is that once the products are handed off to the retailer, a lot can go wrong when it comes to product information. Any false information, even if provided unintentionally, can affect exposure and resulting sales. This doesn’t just hurt the retailers. It hurts manufacturers, as well.
Fortunately, the Google Manufacturer Center (GMC) offers manufacturers an opportunity to provide Google with information about everything from their products’ titles to their descriptions to their dimensions and more. By doing so, the search engine giant can verify any information provided by a seller against the data it knows is accurate because it came from the source.
Of course, more information is also helpful to the customer, which means this effort may drive more traffic to the sellers who are marketing the manufacturers’ products. This can lead to better conversion rates and return actionable insights about each detail the manufacturer provides.
4. Google’s Local Inventory Ads
People still visit brick-and-mortar retailers, but the interaction has changed significantly in the digital age. In fact, according to a study reported on by Digital Commerce 360, 80% of customers say they are less likely to visit a physical store if they can’t first check their inventory online.
This is why brick-and-mortar companies must take full advantage of Google’s local inventory ads. These ads give you the opportunity to put your inventory online and where shoppers are most likely to see it — at the top of Google’s search results — even if they originally had no intention of buying from your local store.
Among other reasons for using Google’s local inventory ads, one major advantage is that it levels the playing field between newer or smaller companies and their bigger, more established competitors. Your local retailer may not be able to afford a prime location that sees lots of foot traffic, which means losing sales to competitors that can. Instead, you can compete for online traffic, making it much easier to increase your sales without spending significantly more on real estate.
Putting Google To Use For Your Retail Business
Getting set up with any of the four options above may take a bit of time, but that’s an extremely small price to pay for the returns you may see. Better still, maintaining these channels is extremely easy, and they could continue growing your revenues year after year.
Make the time to invest by starting with the foundation, your Google Shopping Feed, and build on your efforts as it makes sense for your business.