Recall your last I-want-to-buy moments - maybe it just happened in the past hour, or to as far as yesterday?
No matter it is a daily essential purchase or a big-ticket item, shopping has become indispensable in everyday life. Let’s be frank that, we, as a consumer, unconsciously rely on search engines - quite frequently Google - to search for the exact item we want, or its alternatives, and (potentially) a customer journey follows.
These hundreds of micro-moments that shoppers go through – asking themselves ‘Which one should I get?’, ‘Where should I buy from?’, etc. - can become the most unbeatable tipping points for eCommerce businesses to connect with potential customers and drive sales ultimately.
Noting that over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine (SEJ, 2021), it rationalizes the emerging trend of ‘Google for Retail’ and the prevalent use of Google Merchant Center (GMC).
By official definition, Google Merchant Center helps businesses get their shop and product information onto Google, making it available to shoppers across paid and unpaid channels, and onto surfaces across Google, Shopping ads, Shopping Actions, and other Google Services (Google for Retail, 2021).
Strategic use of this Google tool can be game-changing, as it helps you manage the appearance of your in-store and online product inventory - creating an appealing ‘shop façade’ for your eCommerce business for FREE!
Google Merchant Center grants your business integration into various Google services and ventures. Through GMC, your eCommerce business can enjoy:
• High Visibility with Google Shopping listings
• High Relevance with Google AdWords integration
• High Transparency with Google Analytics support
• High Engagement with customer reviews
• High Conversion - from Google to your website
• High Connectedness with Google Local Search integration
Register with GMC
Setting up on GMC is easy. Check the list below to get your eCommerce business ready to sell on Google:
- Do you have an existing Google account?
- Have you registered and verified your website and business via Google My Business?
- Is your product data listed out accurately and comprehensively in a file format compatible with Google?
- Have you synced all data as required by GMC?
Advertise with GMC
Although Google Merchant Center is entirely free to use, it works best with the support of ads to create an effective ‘Selling on Google Shopping’ ecosystem.
Google Shopping ads is among the most popular ad format through GMC. With the Shopping Ads, you can improve the search rankings of your offerings and have your product(s) presented alongside your competitors’, whenever a relevant search query is entered, in a carousel-like style.
Here’s an example of how it works – when we type ‘white sneakers women’ on Google search:
Among the estimated 1,560,000,000 results in 0.57 seconds, these products have ranked top with the help of Google Shopping Ads across Google, showcasing not only text, but a photo with product details: product name, price, seller’s name, and attribute (e.g. free shipping, link to product reviews, etc.).
Google Shopping Ads helps promote your products and drive valuable traffic to your website, potentially turning browsers into customers. And the best thing is, you only pay for what you get.
As secured as a 100% money-back guarantee, there are two major payment models:
(1) Cost Per Click (CPC): You pay every time a browser clicks on your ad; and
(2) Cost Per Engagement (CPE): You pay when a browser expands the ad and engages with it for more than ten seconds - even a scroll or a tap counts.
Synergizing with Google My Business
With GMC comes the connectedness of Google! Linking your Google My Business (GMB) account to your Merchant Center inventory ensures that your eCommerce business and product listings are closely connected.
The integration between GMC and GMB not only provides high transparency in product information, but it also brings great convenience for you to manage every facet of your eCommerce business and listings, overseeing and optimizing marketing activities altogether.
Learn about Google My Busines – an underrated Google tool to optimize SEO for your eCommerce business: https://bonuship.com/en/blog/digital-marketing/riddle-me-underestimated-google-tool-can-make-or-break-your-ecommerce-business
Do you know you can ask Google for customers? NAH, we are just kidding.
While there is no free lunch in customer acquisition, you can strategically turn browsers into customers with the synergy created across Google!