Google provided information to merchants to help them reach holiday shoppers during its annual Think Retail event held on Tuesday. While the focus was on Google Ads, it reminded sellers they can list their in-store and online product inventory at no cost through Google Merchant Center and offered advice on optimizing product feeds.
“More than half a million online businesses use Google Merchant Center to show their products for free across Google websites and apps,” the company said.
Google also explained how sellers could entice shoppers with holiday deals by adding sales price annotations to products offered at discounted prices. “If you have special promotions, such as a 15% off Thanksgiving code, create a promotion in Google Merchant Center so potential customers can see your offer details on Google,” it advised.
Merchants can then measure the results of their promotions to see what’s working. “In Merchant Center you can measure key performance metrics, like impressions and click-through rate, for any of your products with a deals-related badge. With this information, you’ll know the top performing promotions and which categories perform the best when on-sale.”
A Google spokesperson provided EcommerceBytes with a list of some newly announced merchant features:
- Conversion value rules for store sales and store visits – advertisers can now set store visit or store sales default values at the campaign-level.
- Product-specific insights – advertisers can now optimize their product feed and holiday season coverage with product-specific insights at the account level using the products tab in Google Ads.
- Deals Content API – merchants and advertisers can now add their sales and promotions to their listings via the Content API, which makes it even easier for merchants to upload and manage their deals at scale.
- Shipping & Returns Annotations – new for our Shopping Ads, merchants will be able to list expected delivery date (dynamic) (“Delivery by XX/YY”) and free returns right on their ads.
When it comes to reaching holiday shoppers, it seems it’s never too early. Google said a survey conducted in May found a significant number of consumers worldwide had already started their holiday shopping (17%), while over a third (36%) said they already had ideas for holiday gifts.
By June, 26% of US shoppers had already started their 2022 holiday shopping. Why? Some shop early to make sure they get items before they go out-of-stock, while others take advantage of discounts to beat potential price hikes, according to Google’s Director of Product Management for Commercial Experiences Stephanie Shum during a keynote at Think Retail.
Google also made available a summary of key takeaways from the event, including a calendar to help sellers plan their holiday ad campaigns. The presentations are available for viewing online, including the following keynote address from this year’s event: