Almost every entrepreneur who runs a webshop will at least sometimes love it Google Shopping have heard. This relatively young tool from Google has for some time been ensuring that searches by Google users immediately result in product offers from web shops. That, of course, sounds like the holy grail. But is it that too? What exactly does Google Shopping do? And is it ultimately a good way to improve your conversion?
This is how Google Shopping works
'In the past' you first had to lure internet users to your webshop and then get it to search and order products in that webshop. In order to transfer transactions to searches in Google, it is therefore very important to 'tell' Google exactly what your webshop offers. Now this works quite well for small, very specific web shops - if you only sell sheet music, for example, it is relatively easy to process in your SEO. But for more diverse web stores, with different products, it is difficult to clarify what you are selling from the digital facade of your web store.
Google Shopping reduces that sales funnel and enables consumers to view a specific product in a specific webshop directly from a general search. Google has insight into product feeds from affiliated web stores and can link products from your web store directly to searches. As an entrepreneur, you can use this to get consumers into your online store that you might otherwise have missed. There are potentially an awful lot of them: check how many people use Google and you will get an idea of your potential reach.
So is Google Shopping just good news? That remains to be seen.
Disadvantages for web shops
With the arrival of Google Shopping, competition between online shops has increased again. Now, competition in itself is not bad, but in general it is the bigger parties - the Amazons and bol.coms of this world - who can afford to start a price war and win. Competition often has a negative effect on smaller web shops.
In addition, Google Shopping has become an extra price comparison tool that is also used a lot - after all, everyone uses Google. In short: you must almost with it, otherwise you will fish behind the net. Again, it is often those large parties such as Amazon that can invest a lot in visibility via Google Shopping, for example. If you do not go along with that trend, you will eventually get the shortest time. Despite all the advantages and possibilities, Google Shopping also has some potentially unwanted side effects for entrepreneurs.
Investing in Google Shopping?
Sooner or later, if you want to advance with your online store, you will have to invest in Google Shopping. The increase in scale and the broadening of the range that such an investment entails, you simply cannot downplay. Simply put, there is no advertising against that.
Google Shopping is especially interesting to use for online stores that are past the start-up phase and are ready to process more transactions. But also online stores that already receive a lot of orders can benefit enormously from Google Shopping. Actually, the only condition is: you want to grow and you are (in all respects) ready to grow. An important point of attention is that you look beyond one-off transactions and focus on building relationships. Google Shopping can be expensive when you have to bring in new customers every time, but if you can build the relationship after the first purchase into a permanent customer relationship, Google Shopping is well worth it. Pay attention to the so-called Customer Lifetime Value (CL), which stands for the average turnover per customer during the entire customer relationship. A frequently used means, for example, is to give a personal discount code after the first purchase via Google Shopping for the next direct purchase.
How do you start with Google Shopping?
Using Google Shopping for your online store is done in four easy steps. We briefly explain how it works.
Step 1: sign up
You register your webshop via the Google Merchant Center. For that you have one Google Ads account required. Once you've taken care of those two things, you're ready for step 2:
Step 2: product feed
The content of your webshop must be exported to Google Shopping as a product feed. There are all kinds of (technical) requirements and conditions attached to this product feed. If you don't have much with IT and have not built your own webshop yourself, you will not be able to solve this yourself. Ask your website builder for help and work out what it takes. Does your webshop run on WooCommerce / WordPress? Beautiful! Then you generate a product feed with a few mouse clicks from WooCommerce.
Step 3: start campaign
Now you are ready to start your first campaign. This goes in your Google Ads account. Here you indicate, in addition to the goal and general information about your campaign, how much you want to pay per click (Cost per Click, CPC) and what your maximum budget is for the entire campaign.
Good to know: you do not pay to Google per transaction, but per referral. It is therefore important that the conversion on your website itself is of a good level, otherwise it will only cost you money.
Step 4: monitor and adjust
Like everything in the field of self-employment, your Google Shopping campaign must also be carefully analyzed. Monitor how your campaign functions, what the conversion is and make timely adjustments. This adjustment means that you will play with the settings in Google Shopping to see what the effects are. An important knob to turn is the CPC. This determines how well certain products from your feed are visible in specific searches.
'Adjust your CPC to visibility and conversions'
Bouke Majoor, owner of Conversies.nl, endorses the importance of adjusting your campaign:Turning your CPC button is the best way to positively influence the conversion of your Google Shopping campaign. You want to have successful products visible in Google Shopping, which you control by increasing or decreasing the CPC. For example, you want to make products with a high ROI clearly visible and you do that by increasing the CPC. They are then shown more often and thus get more clicks. Does a product get relatively few clicks despite the higher visibility or do the clicks not result in conversions? Then it is better to exclude or change that product. "