How to Develop an Effective Retail PPC Strategy
Why Use PPC for Retail?
There are several reasons to utilise PPC advertising for retail sales:
- Retailers can get a click-through-rate (CTR) of up to 11.38% with paid ads (cmo.com.au)
- Retailers’ Google shopping ad spend increased 47% in 2020 compared to 2019 (wordstream.com)
- 75% of internet users find their queries on paid search ads while 33% click on ads that directly respond to their search queries (cmo.com.au)
- 63% of internet users say that they would click on a paid ad in the SERPs (cmo.com.au)
The Benefits of an Effective PPC Strategy for Retail
Measurability. PPC advertising via Google Adwords is perhaps one of the most measurable advertising platforms available. It provides valuable data and insight on campaign performance, ad spend, and more, enabling retailers to find out how they can maximise ad spending. Google Adwords also offers account management tools that help advertisers create effective and highly targeted and refined campaigns.
ROI. In Australia, effective PPC advertising has tremendous potential for delivering a lucrative return on investment (ROI) by directing quality leads to your digital storefront and supporting overall sales. With 32% Aussie consumers shifting to online shopping, retailers have the opportunity to develop and implement digital strategies that will help them capitalise on this trend. Consumers are also increasingly using comparison shopping and discount services online.
Further consumer confidence is 38% higher than the year prior, according to Hitwise Asia Pacific, which means that retailers are in the perfect position to drive online sales.
Brand differentiation. Standing out in a sea of brands and businesses is more difficult than ever for retailers considering how crowded and noisy that digital landscape has become. Having an effective PPC campaign in place allows you to create ads that separate your brand from your competitors. If price is your biggest differentiator, for example, shopping ads will make it easier for consumers to compare prices and products right from the SERPs.
Evaluating your target market and developing a deeper understanding of your best customers’ search behaviour will help you develop and refine a PPC campaign with the necessary demographic, geographic, and time-based strategies.
PPC Strategies to Try This Year
When implemented correctly, the right PPC strategies should help retailers drive sales, or at the very least gain visibility and brand recognition, through Google Ads and Google Shopping, among other channels.
Dynamic remarketing. This helps you create remarketing ads for your products minus the manual effort. Under this strategy, Google automatically generates ads for your business, including the relevant product images and information based on data from your product feed whenever internet users view specific products online.
After adding a dynamic remarketing tag to each of your site pages, you can start creating remarketing lists whenever a site visitor:
- Visits a search results page on the site
- Visits a category page
- Views a specific product and/or service page
- Adds products to cart
- Places an order/completes their purchase
Listings and product feed optimisation. Since dynamic remarketing ads are dependent on the accuracy of the information in your product feed, it’s important for you to optimise and update it on a regular basis.
To do this, you must first have a good understanding of how your data is pulled from your product feed and presented in your shopping ads. For one, the product title is often truncated to something much shorter, so be mindful of character number and length. Make sure that the most important selling point of your product gets mentioned first so that it gets displayed in your shopping ads.
Once your listings have been fully optimised, you can start adding custom labels to your product feed, which can structure your PPC campaigns. This also allows you to optimise bids for individual products or product groups, enabling you to set bids higher for top-selling items and/or seasonal goods.
When optimising your listings, you also need to be mindful of image quality. Always use high-resolution and accurate images for your product feed.
Lastly, your pricing needs to be competitive. Use the Ad Preview tool on Google to check how your product prices align with the competition. Since price is prominently displayed on shopping ads, not offering the best price or a strong selling point can break your chances of driving sales.
Local inventory ads. When implemented correctly, local inventory ads can turn local searches into in-store visits, which is helpful for brick-and-mortar retailers trying to increase foot traffic. These ads target internet users in your area and show them that you carry the products they’re searching for online so that all they have to do is show up and make a purchase.
The benefits of local inventory ads include:
- In-store inventory promotion – These ads make shoppers in your area aware that your shop has the products they need whenever they search on Google.
- Digital presence for your business: You can set up a Google-hosted local shop front to create a robust, digital shop-front experience for customers.
- Performance measurement – You can track and monitor the impact of digital ads and local listings on both your online and in-store sales, allowing you to make improvements as necessary.
This ad format can be particularly useful during the holiday season (e.g. Christmas, Easter), shopping holidays (e.g. Cyber Monday), and other occasions when there is high demand for physical products from Aussie consumers. It can also be highly effective for selling luxury items, big ticket items, and hard-to-find products that shoppers would like to see in person before committing to a purchase.
Audience filter and segmentation. As with any online retail operation, there are some customers who contribute more to your bottom line. These are your best customers, and it is best to focus on them when developing a PPC campaign. But these individuals also have different concerns, interests, lifestyle preferences, and barriers to making purchases. That’s why segmenting and filtering your target audience is essential to effective retail PPC optimisation.
You can segment and filter your best customers via:
- Operating system (OS) for mobile shopping