Google announced this week that it is finally initiating the rollout of its updated Shopping platform in a number of additional countries across the world.
In fact this drive to launch in more regions began on the 13th of February and will impact on a large number of e-commerce merchants, who want to get their products seen by a wide audience, both domestically and internationally.
The Google Shopping experience is entering markets including the UK, Germany, Brazil and Australia this month, according to an official statement from the search giant.
Google points out in a blog that it is necessary for vendors who are currently running Google Shopping campaigns free of charge to create a Product Listing Ad (PLA) project. Those who do not might find that traffic tails off, as Google will no longer be privileging older campaigns over its freshly updated offerings.
Google has created a relatively simple guide that helps to outline the main requirements of creating a PLA campaign. In short, this involves setting it up, modifying it to the requirements of your e-commerce venture, then adding information on how Google will bill you for the services that it provides.
Google spokesperson, Sameer Samat, spoke about the improved Shopping platform in relation to the multichannel nature of modern consumer habits.
He said that e-commerce companies need to make their products and promotions searchable and executable across a wide variety of devices, since people are no longer using only their desktop PCs to spend money, but are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to enjoy online retail.
Samat explained that promotion across a variety of devices was simple to achieve using Google Shopping, which is why the search giant is recommending that existing merchants take the leap to the new PLA campaigns, which will also require an adjustment of the bidding structure for relevant keywords.
Google Shopping’s PLAs have been relatively well received, both on an anecdotal level and judging by the results of recent reports into the matter. In fact, this is such a solid approach to e-commerce searching that Microsoft’s Bing is apparently in the process of developing its own equivalent service.
Last month Wired reported that Marin Software had found a 600% increase in PLA spending after Google Shopping went live in certain areas in the autumn of 2012.
In addition, the click through rates achieved by PLAs were 210% higher than the equivalent text ads used in the past.
This will presumably result in higher conversion rates for e-commerce merchants who have made investments in Google Shopping PLAs.
Of course, it will also be necessary for these vendors to optimise their sites, so that once people do end up visiting based on a product listing from Google Shopping, they are actually convinced to go through with a transaction.
Since Google is putting the emphasis on multi platform, multichannel retail, this means accounting for the fact that many visitors will be viewing sites from a mobile device, thus requiring that owners have made sure of solid usability.