Why you should bet on Google Shopping rather than Facebook / Instagram this holiday season

photo of two silver giftboxGoogle Shopping is just the right tool to win this Holiday season

It sounds deceivingly easy. You have a great product. You create great visual content. Your packaging is instagrammable. The influencers say they love it. This will for sure translate into a lot of sales right? Right, only it doesn’t.

Or, not always. Or, it does only for some brands and requires a big budget, a unique product and a lot of luck (alternatively, having a celebrity as a CEO can be a big help). Anyone launching a skincare brand today will note that overnight success stories are of a bygone era.

Maybe it’s time to move away from the alluring world of community-building, customer evangelism and the whole brand building narrative and come back to marketing as a science, based on hard numbers and meaningful metrics. And numbers speak for Google.

Google makes it easier to get started

If there is one form of digital marketing that doesn’t require any advanced training to get started, it’s Google Shopping. If you’re using Shopify or BigCommerce to run your ecommerce store, the setup should take you minutes.

The basis of your Google Shopping campaigns is a product feed which can easily be created automatically by a third party app. If you have great products, with beautiful pictures and strong titles and product descriptions – in a nutshell, if you have a professional store – that’s about all you need.

Running Shopping campaigns is also relatively easy and doesn’t require any black magic or superpowers. Google offers many automations and if you accept losing some money for the first few weeks which the algorithm is going to need to learn your customers’ preferences, you can hand of your campaign management completely to artificial intelligence.

As long as you don’t mind losing some money at the beginning while the algorithm is learning, your Google Shopping campaigns can be fully managed by AIhigh angle photo of robot

Google Shopping does not devalue your brand

Forget the Glossiers, the Aways, the Kylie Cosmetics. Instagram is flooded with cheap products drop-shipped from China and this sad truth increasingly surfaces in the media. How do you stand out in this crowd? How do you make sure you are not considered as one of them?

Most likely your consultant has been telling you, you need to be offering discount codes to more easily acquire new users. Alternatively, she’s been telling you to offer discount codes to convert your first-time buyers into repeat buyers. Whatever the case, she’s certainly been telling you to offer discount codes!

Unfortunately, discounts are only going to further devalue your brand and those buyers you acquired at a razor-thin margin may not want to come back and if they have to pay the full price.

Google is measurable

But what about the influencers? For sure relying on them to promote your products to their base is what you need to be doing (because just about everyone else is). Unfortunately, three out of four marketers say tracking ROI is their top challenge when it comes to influencer marketing.

This happens for an obvious reason – it’s not in the influencers’ interest to be commissioned on the sales they actually bring in – it is much more beneficial to charge for “reach” or contributing to “brand awareness”. These vanity metrics are not only just that – vanity metrics – they are also easy to skew by the creation of fake accounts for instance.

Advertising with Google is all the contrary – you get almost too much data and too many metrics. You can see how each of your products is performing, in each geographical area, at which time of the day, each device… You can spend hours analyzing this data.

As mentioned earlier, you can also choose not to do that and let the Google algorithm do the math and make the decisions for you.

Google is often cheaper

If there is one metric which is of real importance when running your digital marketing campaigns it’s the Return on Ad Spend or ROAS measured as total sales generated from a campaign divided by the total money you spent on the ads.

Google Shopping often offers better ROAS than any other digital marketing venue because the ads are shown to people searching for the particular product you advertise. I am going to be shown this gorgeous cashmere sweater only if I’m looking for one, not if I’m checking out the news or updates from my friends.

That’s why, this Christmas, when buyers explicitly turn to Google to search for products to buy, you need to make sure that your products are there to be found.

Happy Holidays!

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