Consumer behaviour has changed

Google Shopping has been on marketer’s lips for some time now, and with the announcement that free listings are being brought back into Shopping results, a well executed Google Shopping Ads strategy has never been more important.

This is particularly important given the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour. Everyone knows that use of the word ‘unprecedented’ has been unprecedented in the UK recently. In the words of Marie Guilin-Merle, “the way we consume everything from content to products to media has transformed”.

Changes to personal income have changed our customer’s consumption cycles. When consumer behaviour and buying cycles change in a noteworthy way, your marketing strategy should too.

The impact of COVID

The assumptions we were previously able to make and the data we were able to collect about a customer’s awareness and consideration phase has to a degree, gone well and truly out of the window. 

Not everything is searched for or browsed, and consideration periods aren’t always logged in the digital world. A lot of the time, Awareness is happening on Zoom calls and Webinar attendance, and Consideration is happening solely in the minds of those isolating at home.

So, what does this mean for marketers? Amongst many other things, it places far more importance on the purchase stage of your strategy.

With over 71% of people in the G7 saying their personal income has been impacted by coronavirus, there has never been more of a need to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and to convert users when they are actively showing purchase intent. A product’s price and making sure you’re getting a good deal is more of a concern than ever, driving ever more to comparison shopping services like Google.

But Shopping campaigns can be somewhat complex, and are not always set up in a way that allows them to be properly segmented, technically sound, and stringently targeted.

Whilst Google Shopping may have opened up to free product listings, and is moving towards consisting “primarily of free product listings”, Digital Marketing Managers need to dynamically reprioritise their campaigns to ensure they’re appearing as much as possible. One way of doing that is to ensure you aren’t wasting your Google Shopping spend.

Common Google Shopping mistakes

Some of the most common errors Ayima see across poorly executed Google Shopping campaigns include

  • Inconsistent application of campaign settings
  • Remarketing being kneecapped by the site not tracking
  • Audience list overlaps
  • Poorly structured campaigns

It’s important to recognise this is just in Google Ads, we’ve not even touched on the quality and content of your Google Merchant Centre feed, and the potential impact this could have.

That said, one of the most expensive mistakes we come across can be some of the most simple, like negative keyword usage structures. Whilst it may seem rudimentary, it is still a common and often expensive mistake.

When you have irrelevant terms bringing in traffic to a campaign, your ROAS plummets. When reviewing campaigns set up by legacy agencies, we’ve seen up to 20% of spend being wasted on searches that wildly mismatch the products being shown, this is not going to get you clicks and the accidental clicks it does drive are not going to convert. Regardless of your level of spend, 20% is a sizable slice of the pie to spend on no return.

Often the client can even have a relevant product for the search in question, but through poor campaign setup, Google’s directing traffic to the wrong product, and sometimes even the wrong product type altogether.

Often we see large amounts of brand traffic coming in through non-brand campaigns, and vice versa, on the back of mal-executed attempts to divide the two. You want to be sure your PPC reports are accurately reflecting the lay of the land, and overlap here can cripple performance from the off.

Shopping mismatches not only incur a large amount of wasted spend, but impact your overall performance through a vicious negative cycle:

  • Poor matches leading to poor CTRs and consequently worsening quality scores, leading to higher overall CPCs even on your higher-performing product groups
  • Search terms hopping across multiple product groups and campaigns also leads to severe issues with optimisation as algorithms struggle to optimise towards what these dirty datasets

The impact on your ROAS

Digital Marketing Managers need to take notice, as a vicious circle of poor performance leads to cutting budgets, which can lead to poor performance, which can lead to cutting budgets leading to...

All of these issues then begin to compound one another; even when taking a conservative estimate, mismatched Shopping spend could make up a considerable percentage of your overall media budget. Media budget that you need to make work harder than ever for you in a time like this.

The difference between success and failure on Google Shopping could be crucial to the ROAS your Paid Media campaigns bring in, and a properly set up campaign could deliver the following:

  • A minimum 15% increase in overall ROAS through thorough and targeted segmentation in campaigns
  • A 20% increase in revenue through proper segmentation of product groups
  • An average 25% increase in overall Conversion Rate via targeting prioritisation of bestselling products

Consumer behaviour isn’t just changing, it’s changed. For any ecommerce brand, Google Shopping should become a key element of your call and response marketing strategy.

We are a performance-driven agency with a focus on driving ROI for marketers all over the world. To discuss your campaign structure, prioritisation, shared budgets and custom feed columns with our team of experts today, get in touch.

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