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Big changes in the Google Landscape - Paid for shopping is here to stay

So next year UK Merchants are going to have Valentines with a difference but will you want to receive a card from Google HQ or maybe even reciprocate. On Feb 13th 2013 the move away from free traffic on Google shopping will begin, which is both a threat and an opportunity for you all. If managed intelligently, we believe this offers an excellent opportunity to control a channel, which has been growing in importance every year, but was arguably the most difficult to control compared with other Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs).

If you have good traffic, sales and popularity in Google Shopping then you need to act now to protect this in 2013 and beyond.

Google have made the change, which in summary combines the current Universal Results and Product Listing Ads units into the new Commercial Unit, catchy name I know, its also known just as “the unit”.

Here at Intelligent Reach we have been involved in discussions around these changes for some time, in fact we have been very vocal offer the years that Google shopping would eventually move to a paid for model. All those merchants who listened will now be able to benefit from years (in some cases more than 6) of performance data at a product level.

The key things to note for the change are

  1. Your Google Merchant Feed needs to be optimised well beyond current compliance levels – are you in a position to do this?
  2. You need to start thinking about budgets, bidding strategies, on-going optimisation and who’s going to manage this for you (and with what technologies).

Feb 13th will come sooner than you think, for anyone with US sites you will already be doing this and like us taking that learning and looking to improve every day. If you don’t do any PLA activity right now in the current system, start doing some asap to get some learning and if you have a US site and you are not trialling the new PLAs then change that today.

We all know that when Google launches an initiative it stays launched and they make it work, its mooted that Google Shopping will in time rival the marketplaces of Amazon and Ebay so there is no way you don’t want to be part of this, don’t be a follower be a leader and download our white paper when it gets released.

In addition, over the coming weeks, we will be running a series of blogs looking at bidding strategies in more detail, called “To group or not to group”. We think that whilst there are many approaches, that product level management is the optimal way to manage this channel. Obviously to do this requires the right kind of technology but we have this so we are going for the ultimate strategy. We will work through lots of examples to show you the different approaches and their relative merits. We hope you can follow us.

We are happy to talk and offer advice anytime so just get in touch.

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