Demandware Says Data Quality Is Key to Google Shopping Success
By Ina Steiner
Gary Lombardo is the Solutions Marketing Lead for Demandware, an ecommerce platform for enterprise retailers. EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner caught up with him at the recent Shop.org Summit in Denver to talk about the ramifications of Google moving from free listings to a paid advertising program called Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
Lombardo said that said while there's a lot of concern about how Google Shopping's move to a paid model will impact online revenue, Demandware clients generally don't view it as detrimental. They are open to the change, and see it as leveling the playing field compared to other CSEs, such as Yahoo Shopping.
Merchants who already use Google paid search have an advantage over those who don't, he said. But how does Google balance relevancy over how much a merchant has bid for a PLA ad? Lombardo believes Google will surface the ad based on the rate that the retailer is paying, though he said quality of the data feed - product data in particular - is really important as well.
Retailers must determine the right budget to ensure they get the right bids and they are competitive, and they must make sure the data-feeds quality is absolutely "bullet proof" to ensure their content is surfaced relevantly in Google. Retailers are figuring out the strategy and the budge right now, he said.
Lombardo doesn't think smaller retailers are necessarily at a disadvantage when it comes to the quality of the data they can present, but certainly from a budgeting standpoint it's more challenging - his advice is, don't wait. "Start, get going, make sure you're active with the PLAs."
Don't be absent, he advised. "See how it works, and optimize over time, and try to benchmark using the analytics Google does provide within their toolset. You'll be able to see how it's working over time and adjust accordingly."
"As for data quality issues," he said, "make sure the pricing information is accurate, the copy associated with the product, the titles, the images, descriptions - all of that is in place." He said there may have been a lax approach by some merchants when it was free - "now is the time to correct that."
You can listen to the podcast interview with Gary Lombardo on Ecommerce Industry Soundbytes.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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