April 11, 2019 Search Marketing

While the majority of commerce still happens offline, online sales continue to rise. In 2019 the retail ecommerce market in the US will reach $600.63 billion in sales, growing nearly 15% year over year. Worldwide, retail ecommerce sales are expected to top $3.5 trillion.

These figures represent the continued shift from traditional brick-and-mortar experiences to the convenience of online shopping. This trend extends through most retail industries, from auto parts to home furnishings to office supplies.

Retail ecommerce sales projections for the year 2022

Source: eMarketer

As ecommerce grows, retailers are shifting their digital spend to ad formats that drive online sales—especially Google Shopping ads. In fact, 80% of all retail ad spend is now being allocated to Google Shopping.

These ads are highly effective, since they appear at the top of the search results and display an image of the product that draws the eye. According to Google, many advertisers experience double or triple their clickthrough rates with Shopping ads compared to text-based search ads. In practically every retail vertical, Google Shopping ad spend outweighs text ad spend.

Google shopping vs text ad spending

  Source: Adthena

To gain a competitive advantage in Google Shopping, some retailers are turning to an unlikely source: consumer phone calls. Believe it or not, Google Shopping campaigns—along with text-based search ads and SEO—generate high volumes of calls to many retailers, especially in verticals where the purchase is complex or expensive.

Percent of shoppers who say they called after an online product search

Source: LSA

For 1000Bulbs.com, a leading online distributor for the lighting industry, phone calls from Google Shopping ads drive large orders. “Our average order value from calls is 3x that of online sales,” said Jeremy Foster, VP of Marketing at 1000Bulbs.com. “Businesses making large purchases want to speak to one of our experts to get answers to complex technical questions, get information on delivery dates, and check inventory.”

Calls from search and Google Shopping ads not only convert to customers at high rates, they contain insights into that caller’s intent, product interest, preferences, and value to your business. Retail marketers are using those insights to better target consumers with Google Shopping and other ads, showing them the right message at the right time—and for the right price—to convert them to revenue cost-effectively.

Below are some tips to drive more ecommerce sales from your Google Shopping ads with insights from consumer calls.

Tip 1: Convert More Prospects to Customers

Google’s Customer Match allows you to build audiences for Google Shopping ads using lists of consumer phone numbers. So put unconverted callers into the right audiences based on product interest expressed on their call. Consider adjusting your bids up or down for these consumers based on the purchase urgency and value uncovered from their conversation. You might also consider adjusting your negative keywords (removing some restrictions or adding others) for audiences based on what you know about them from the call.

You can then add unconverted callers from Google Shopping to the right programmatic audiences to convert them to customers with display and social ads. Insights from conversations can tell you much more about how to advertise to a caller than the webpages they visited—a common remarketing criteria.

Tip 2: Increase Revenue with Cross-Sell and Upsell Campaigns

Many retailers sell products that are either complementary or tiered. Put callers who bought one product into Google Shopping audiences for other relevant products. Timing is important—it depends on the products you sell, but you don’t want to target callers too soon or too late with cross-sell/upsell ads.

Tip 3: Expand Your Reach with Similar Audiences

Google’s Similar Audiences for Shopping enables retailers to target lookalike audiences that have similar search behavior and characteristics as those on a list. Acquire new customers by finding Similar Audiences for callers who either converted or are quality prospects. If these new website visitors don’t convert, add them to your remarketing lists.

Tip 4: Suppress Callers from Seeing Irrelevant Ads

You don’t want to waste budget retargeting a website visitor who already made a purchase over the phone. Or who called looking for a job or to solicit your business. You can add callers that already bought or aren’t sales leads to your exclusion lists for Shopping campaigns or ad groups so you don’t serve them ads that aren’t relevant.

Tip 5: Answer Caller Questions on Your Site to Increase Visits and Conversions

Calls provide marketers access to the questions that consumers have—in their own words—for each of your products and services at each stage of the customer journey. They reveal the answers your business gave to those questions and whether it helped win or lose the customer. By optimizing website content (and your Google Shopping product feed) for the important questions callers ask—and the answers that won their business—you can show up for those search queries that have real buying intent and better convert the consumers on your website.

To learn more Google Shopping ads best practices, download our eBook: Optimize Google Shopping Ads with Insights from Consumer Calls.

To learn more Google Shopping ads best practices, download our eBook: Optimize Google Shopping Ads with Insights from Consumer Calls.

Download My eBook →
About the author:

Derek Andersen

Copywriter, DialogTech

Derek is a copywriter at DialogTech. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Marketing and Creative Writing. He enjoys running, playing guitar, and staying up to speed on the latest news in marketing and technology.

See more posts by Derek Andersen

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