2021 is poised to have the highest retail spending in almost four decades, which means major opportunities for your business. Now’s the time to optimize your digital marketing strategy for a successful last quarter. Here’s our summary of Google’s guide for retailers and brands on how to harness their tools, products, and consumer insights to engage customers, drive traffic and win the holiday season.
Reach customers as they browse
Social media is no longer just a place of entertainment, it is also where customers browse and discover new brands. In addition to creating YouTube videos to inspire potential customers, there are many Google tools you can use to help optimize your video campaigns. Tools such as
Google Reach Planner can help you customize your Youtube strategy by helping you choose your audience, find the right advertising mix, and assess your reach.
Google Brand Lift measures the impact of your brand with non-traditional metrics such as ad recall, brand awareness, and consideration, giving you detailed insights into the impact of your campaigns.
Engage customers as they browse
Customers are proactive and savvy. Whether buying online or off, consumers thoroughly scour the web for alternatives, sales, and reviews before making a purchase. Other times, customers might not have a specific product in mind when they’re searching in a general category (ex. “Popular children’s toys”), which is where Google’s Responsive Search Ads can help you stand out. This tool lets you add multiple headlines and descriptions to your ad, which Google will adapt to the search terms of potential customers, potentially improving your campaign’s performance. The Google Ads audience targeting tools can help you reach potential customers based on who they are, as well as their habits, interests, and previous interactions with your business. You can also target in-market audiences, which are people who have been searching for products and services similar to yours.
Whether they want to buy online or pick up in store, customers expect an easy and seamless shopping experience. They also want things fast – a page load speed that is even just 0.1 seconds faster can boost conversion rates by 5%. Tools like
Google Grow My Store can help you evaluate your retail website so you can see how you compare with competitors, identify areas of improvement, and access personalized market insights in order to reach and convert new customers.
You can also list your products in the Google Shopping tab for free, boosting your exposure. Automatically syncing your product feed directly through your eCommerce platform will also make it easier for your products to appear in relevant searches.
Google Shopping is featured at the top of Search results, making it a great way to capture audience attention.
Google’s Smart Shopping campaign gets your products in front of potential customers on various platforms, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, and the Shopping tab. This is a powerful tool that automates ad placement while simultaneously adjusting for your specific budget, choosing audiences for maximum conversion, and testing different asset combinations for your ads.
Don’t forget about app campaigns for converting mobile shoppers. Once again, Google has all the tools you need to ensure your online presence is a success. Their App campaigns can help you test out different asset combinations (meaning text, photos, or video) in order to create impactful ads that convert.
Lastly, you want to showcase your in-store services in order to increase store visits. Shoppers rely on Google to learn about a business before choosing to visit. You’ll want to make sure your Google Business Profile is accurate and up-to-date so that you can stand out and convert both on Google Search and on Google Maps. And of course, Google also has tools for growing your offline business goals. Local campaigns specifically promote your store locations to shoppers searching on Google properties in order to drive in-person visits.
Customers rely on Google Search to verify business information even for in-store purchases. Keep your Business Profile up-to-date to help them get through the door.
Get ready for the holidays
Retail is expected to have its biggest holiday season ever. Cyber Monday and Black Friday alone are expected to surpass $10 billion in online sales. Even those who shop in-person will rely on online searches to confirm stock or availability before they visit a store.
It is crucial to start your holiday campaign early. Over 30% of shoppers in the US start their holiday shopping in June, and nearly 60% of US shoppers will shop early in order to avoid an item going out of stock. Give shoppers more incentive to buy now with promotions and free and fast shipping annotations. Top it off with a return and refund annotation to provide reassurance to the buyer.
Shoppers also turn to Google for inspiration. When they don’t have a specific product in mind, shoppers search for “ideas” on both Google Search and Images. Get your products and services in front of customers on their personalized Youtube, Discover and Gmail feeds using Discovery Ads. Inspire visitors with video action campaigns, and then turn that same YouTube video into a virtual storefront by adding a browseable product feed on your video page.
Once you covert, you want to keep your fans engaged and loyal. Shoppers are using terms such as “ethical online shopping”, “support local business” and “black-owned shops”, showing how important values-based shopping has become for today’s consumer. In addition, providing a seamless mobile shopping experience makes it more likely that customers will complete a purchase. Covert new customers with an authentic values statement and an intuitive app experience using App campaigns and business identity attributes.
Emphasize a convenient and seamless shopping experience for those coming in store. Local inventory ads allow you to showcase your products to local shoppers searching on Google. Not only can shoppers view your inventory, but they can find store hours, directions to your location, and everything else they need to make both a visit and a purchase.
And finally, businesses today need to be ready to embrace change at any moment. A whopping 15% of searches are new on Google every day, meaning businesses need to be ready to adapt to new trends. Prepare for rapid changes with Google’s automated tools and insights. The automatic item updates feature ensures that your inventory is accurately reflected in your online presence. Google Insights and the best sellers report will give you the data you need to plan and refine your overall digital strategy.
Google’s digital marketing tools are varied and powerful. A thorough understanding of how to wield these tools will make the difference for a company that is ready to drive results. If you’re looking to leverage the power of digital marketing in order to grow your business, contact us by submitting a form below!