Shopping campaigns: Play like every day is a holiday
What's ahead for shopping ads this holiday season and beyond? Columnist Alexander Paluch recaps a session from SMX Advanced focusing on what search marketers need to know.
Shopping campaigns are becoming a major source of website clicks and revenue during the holiday season, and the “Shopping Campaigns: Play Like Every Day Is A Holiday” panel at SMX Advanced featured tips and advice from three PPC veterans: Ann Stanley, Todd Bowman, and Mona Elesseily.
Ann Stanley: Shopping ads, buy buttons, social commerce & remarketing
Shopping ads and buy buttons are everywhere. Stanley explored those areas where ads are driven by product feeds, and clicks either lead to retailer websites or convert on host platforms. Her talk was full of data insights and provided a neat map divided into three conversion areas:
Area #1: The search giants: David Bing vs. Goliath Google
Thanks to Windows 10, Bing Shopping ads share is growing (21% US, 9% UK). With Google Shopping winning by volume, Bing nearly always shows lower CPCs. In terms of conversion and ROAS efficiency, results vary heavily by vertical. Bottom line: if you target the US or UK, give Bing a try to see how effective it could be for you.
Area #2: Social commerce: growing ecosystem with many faces
Social commerce still carries the promise of incremental returns by opening the door for the impulse purchases in the digital world. Stanley subdivides the area into four main types, showing how the growth potential is backed up by a hugely diversified ecosystem:
- F-commerce: Retailers can offer their products within the Facebook environment. Shoppers can browse through the retailer’s product tree, liking and commenting on products as they go and putting them into a Facebook cart with checkout option.
- Buy buttons: Although Twitter has discontinued its buy button in favor of Dynamic Remarketing, other players like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest still continue offering the ad format that allows brands to educate and sell at the same time.
- Dynamic remarketing: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram start the next generation of remarketing, where the shopper does not necessarily notice that he or she is being retargeted. In a nutshell: using a remarketing pixel, retailers inform the platform about what products users engaged with (looked at, put into cart, bought). They can retarget these users showing alternatives or complements to the products they interacted with — to cross or upsell. All of this is, of course, based on product feeds, dynamic ad creation and even works across devices.
- Social Shopping sites (Polyvore, Houzz, Opensky): These sites use peer-to-peer influence around different verticals (Fashion, Beauty, Jewellery, Home & Garden, etc.). Communities create content that inspires to buy. Merchants either directly offer their products or push these using paid features like sponsored promotions.
Area #3: Products and price buttons in display ads
Google starts using the Merchant Feed in many more areas: TrueView and the brand new Google Contextual Dynamic Creative carries product ads into YouTube videos and into the Display Network.