Tag Archives: retail

Are You Ready For Google Shopping Campaigns?

Google plans to migrate all remaining legacy Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns to Google Shopping beginning in August 2014. Here are some questions to ensure you’re ready.

What are the differences between the old PLA campaigns and Shopping Campaigns?

The Ads – Shopping Ads are still PLAs. The big difference is that now you don’t have to know precisely what is in the Product Feed to create valid groupings. AdWords now connects your Merchant Center feed to your AdWords account in a way that lets you drill down into Google’s category taxonomy to create Product Groups, or you can use other feed attributes such as Condition or Brand, or you can use custom labels to define your target set of products.

Product Groups = Product/ Targets – Each AdGroup in a Shopping Campaign consists of one optional ad (this is the promotional text that will appear with every product ad served from the group) and one or more Product Groups which determine the eligibility of products to be served based on more easily-defined parameters. Don’t let the rebranding of these campaign assets throw you off.

No Keywords – These are not keyword campaigns. They will behave differently and you will want to experiment to find the best way to structure your Product Groups. A simple start should include using Google’s product category taxonomy to group like products. Next break those groups down using additional attributes, such as Condition or Brand, or your own custom feed attributes. You can, however, add negative keywords to your campaigns to avoid unwanted impressions.

Google has provided several learning opportunities for marketers, including basic and advanced webinars: http://www.google.com/ads/experienced/webinars.html

 

Are your product feeds optimized for Shopping Campaigns?

Where the old PLAs used adwords_grouping and adwords_label fields for organizing your product targets, Shopping Campaigns introduces the availability to create up to five custom labels that can be used in conjunction with Google product category, brand, item ID, condition and product type to create Product Groups to be targeted.

These attribute filters can be combined and stacked to tailor your feed to meet your needs. Start with the highest level of categorization and break the category down to more granular levels. Your Product Groups are bid at the most granular level specified.

 

Do you have a plan for measuring the performance of Shopping Campaigns and comparing them to old PLA campaigns?

Gathering benchmarks now will help you see where differences may exist between Search Product Listing Ads campaigns and the new Shopping Campaigns.

Fortunately, Google has introduced some additional impression share and benchmarking metrics that will help you understand your place in the marketplace, too. Benchmark max. CPC and CTRs gives you an idea of the performance of similar product ads in the marketplace.

 

Is budget set aside for your Shopping efforts, or is it lumped into your Search budget?

If at all possible, segregating your Shopping budget from your overall Search budget can help ensure you have more time and freedom to experiment with the new Campaign type. CPCs have increased as more and more retailers have adopted product listing ads and it will be important to be cognizant of how those changes will affect your overall marketing spend.

Mobile is Star this Thanksgiving Day – Smartphone Search Spend Up 1000%

Today we released a mid-quarter report highlighting a strong Thanksgiving weekend for digital marketing. In the report, we discuss how mobile devices represented a growth area for retail marketing, with huge increases in search spending for both smartphones and tablets, the growth of Thanksgiving Day as an important event for online retail marketing, as well as the increasing value of programmatic display advertising.

Key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile devices drive major growth:  Thanksgiving weekend saw a magnification of the importance of mobile devices with huge increases in US paid search spending, especially for smartphones, which saw a 542% increase year-over-year (YoY) for the full weekend, peaking at over 1000% growth in spend on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Holiday weekend metrics up over last year: US retail advertisers had a busy Thanksgiving weekend, with a 52% YoY increase in spend. Impressions were also up 40% compared to the 2012 shopping weekend.
  • Thanksgiving growing in importance for online retail: Thanksgiving Day, along with Black Friday, saw the biggest increase in US paid search spending among retailers in what was a perfect storm of wide adoption of mobile devices, a shortened holiday shopping season and increased promotion of Thanksgiving as a shopping day.
  • Programmatic Display increases in effectiveness for US retailers: Retailers saw conversions increase 52% on Black Friday and 79% on Cyber Monday YoY as the effectiveness of programmatic display advertising benefited from both technology and marketers becoming more sophisticated.

“Online advertisers are shifting tactics to meet consumer demand – resulting in increased messaging across mobile devices and adding Thanksgiving Day as a major shopping day,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “With a shortened holiday shopping season in 2013, this past weekend resulted in impressive growth for digital marketing that will help push through to a strong overall Q4.”

To download the report, click here.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Clickmas

If you work in digital advertising in the UK, chances are you’ve heard of Cyber Monday. Originally a Christmas marketing campaign to persuade people to shop online after the Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, Cyber Monday now become one of the biggest online shopping days in the USA and this year, the average shopper is predicted to spend US$646 (£402) in online purchases this year, up 11% from 2012. Continue reading It’s beginning to look a lot like Clickmas

What Marketers Should Expect from the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season

It’s no surprise that ecommerce has seen incredible growth over the last few holiday shopping seasons, but soon we will see Internet sales exceed those of brick and mortar stores during this very spend-heavy time of year. According to Deloitte, for the first time ever, when it comes to purchasing holiday gifts, American consumers’ most likely destination to shop is the Internet.

The official kick-off for the holiday shopping season in the US is Thanksgiving Day weekend. From 2008 to 2012, the United States saw a 31% increase in total sales, both on and offline, during the five-day period (Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday). Between 2011 and 2012, online sales increased 15%, whereas brick and mortar sales increased by a mere 3%. Based on this very positive trend, the 2013 shopping season is sure to produce an increase in overall sales, but more appropriately, continued growth in online shopping.

Trends to Expect this Holiday Shopping Season:

  • Showrooming. This is the act of using one’s mobile device in-store to search for an item across the Internet at a lower price. This is an obvious disadvantage for brick and mortar stores, clearly benefitting ecommerce. According to an Accenture study, almost half of those surveyed said that the primary purpose for their cell phone use in-store was to compare prices. Of those, only 10% purchased the product in question at the brick and mortar store.
  • Promotions. This year’s holiday shopping season will be significantly shorter than usual, which is thought to put digital retailers at an advantage, as consumers will seek the convenience of online shopping in a condensed period of time. But this also makes competition among ecommerce brands greater, encouraging more offered promotions in order to gain as much spend as possible in a shorter than normal time period.
  • Mcommerce Growth. US retail mobile commerce throughout the year will reach $41 billion, up 68.2% compared to last year and by 2016, mobile transactions will account for a quarter of all retail ecommerce. The 2013 holiday shopping season is predicted to see 19% of all consumers making purchases on tablets and 18% on smartphones – in 2012, 15% of consumers bought items on their tablets and 14% on their smartphones. This reinforces the need for marketers to really amp up their mobile efforts as more and more of their customers are looking to the convenience of mobile online shopping.
  • Contrasting views regarding growth or decline in holiday spend. The government shut down prompted speculation that consumers would be hesitant to spend more this holiday shopping season than last year. However, the Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intentions Study revealed that Millenials will spend 19% more this year than they did last year. Looking back, we have only seen an upward climb in spending, even during the recession, making it highly unlikely that sales will dip this holiday season.

In the meantime, brick and mortar stores are on the defensive and are attempting to regain lost business by increasing their operating hours over the weekend, including Black Friday openings as early as the evening hours of Thanksgiving Day! Many have invested heavily in mobile apps and advertising to accommodate in-store shoppers.

Aside from the convenience of online shopping, brick and mortar stores lack the personalization that consumers have grown to love within the digital space. In order to compete, many department stores have begun to adopt and implement the aid of mobile apps, ads and resources to tackle this obstacle. The 2013 holiday shopping season will reveal the successes of those efforts.

At the end of the day, it is inevitable that we will see growth in consumer spending during the upcoming holiday shopping season. It will be interesting to reflect on the how the above trends impacted that spend, as well as the distribution of spend between online and offline outlets. It is more important than ever for ecommerce and traditional retailers alike to leverage digital marketing in order to reach consumers where they spend most of their time.

 

IgnitionOne will be at Shop.org in Denver Sept 10-12

IgnitionOne will be sponsoring and exhibiting at this year’s Shop.org in Denver, Colorado!

Visit us at booth 906 to learn more about our services or to chat with a representative. We will be giving away locally brewed beer on Tuesday, beginning at 2:30pm and Wednesday, beginning at 1pm. Pick up your branded pilsner glass at booth 906 during regular Expo hours and bring it back for an afternoon refreshment. One lucky person will also win a Jawbone Jambox in our raffle.

Lisa Arsenault, Director, Client Solutions, will be speaking at the Big !dea Session on Wednesday, September 13, at 10:30am, exploring what retailers need to know in order to use mobile regarding ecommerce and research, and will evaluate appropriate methods for devising mobile search strategies and the tactics needed to support them.

If you will be at the event and would like to schedule a time to meet with one of the members of our team, please contact us at info@ignitionone.com.

The Shop.org Annual Summit is digital retail’s most influential annual event. Those who attend are some of the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world, and they come to the Summit to build relationships, exchange ideas, share knowledge and discover the next big thing. Each fall, Shop.org produces the Summit as an educational and networking event for the entire digital retail community: senior management, marketers, merchandisers and solution providers. More than 4,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors will gather this year in Denver for the 2012 Shop.org Annual Summit.

Travel and Retail Report; Attribution and Conversion Path Insights

IgnitionOne released research today that shows the effect of media types and exposure paths on the speed of conversion and on the average order value (AOV). Using marketing data from US and European travel and retail firms over a two month period, IgnitionOne looked at the types and number of media exposures, latency (the amount of time between the first exposure and when the conversion occurred) and the exposure paths that led to conversions.

Download the 2012 Travel and Retail Report here.

 

Key findings in the report:

  • For travel, paid search is the key driver in getting customers to spend more money.  Outside of organic search, it drives a 71% higher average order value (AOV) than any other single-channel path. Within multi-channel paths, when paid search follows an organic search click, the AOV is 18% higher than the average multi-channel path.
  • Email campaigns are a drag on travel order values and increase the time to convert when part of conversion paths.  Across single-channel conversion paths, email drives a 56% lower AOV and takes over 250% longer to convert a user than on average. Across multi-channel conversion paths, when email is the last exposure, it results in a 36% lower AOV and 100% more time to convert than on average. When email is the first exposure, it results in a 39% lower AOV and takes a user almost 150% more time to convert than on average. This can be explained by email campaigns being traditionally very promotional in nature, which lowers the AOV. Email campaigns are also more heavily dominated by existing customers who may not be currently in the market for travel and/or are more discerning among promotional offers.
  • Display is an effective channel for retail, especially early in the conversion path, feeding the top of the funnel. Even on its own, display drives a 29% higher AOV than other single channel paths. Combined with search channels (both paid and organic), it drives a 16% higher AOV when it’s at the top of the path and converts users 43% faster than other multi-channel paths. At the end of the path, latency tends to be higher but AOV is 36% higher than other multi-channel paths.

“By better understanding how different media interact and assist along the path to making a purchase, marketers can more efficiently leverage advertising dollars,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “These types of insights are possible when marketers take advantage of advanced attribution models and move away from last-click models.”

This report is the latest in a series of reports from IgnitionOne reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. This and previous reports can be downloaded at bit.ly/ignitiononeresearch