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Susie Hood

Google Shopping Ads for Fashion Brands

9 tips to help you rise above your competition

Google Shopping is a highly effective way to reach potential customers who have shopping intent. Google Shopping ads are the most prominent feature in search results for things like products and it’s a great way to reach a relevant audience who are ready to make a purchase at a cost that is much lower than many other channels and platforms. However, it’s a very competitive marketplace and many fashion brands are competing for the same traffic. In order to be successful in your Google Shopping activity, a blend of certain skills and disciplines are required, which have crossover into all aspects of digital marketing for fashion brands. These are our top tips for success.

1.   Get the technology right first

One of the issues we see time and time again that stands in the way of success from day one with Google Shopping is that the necessary accounts and tracking elements are not set up fully, which can cause unnecessary delays. In order to launch Google Shopping campaigns, you need:

  1. A secure ecommerce website
  2. Tracking tags on your site to keep tabs on user behaviour and conversions
  3. Remarketing tags/pixels/cookies to collect data that you can later use for remarketing
  4. A Google Ads account
  5. A Google Merchant Center account
  6. A product feed (and related images in place to be pulled through) for Google Merchant Center

If these accounts and elements are set up properly from the start, it can save a huge amount of time and back and forth later. With the right data being shared across platforms, you can start collecting information as soon as the first ads launch, which helps your campaigns to perform better sooner. It’s important to test everything that you set up before launching any live ads to ensure you don’t waste any spend that doesn’t benefit your business. You should check things like:

  1. That the feed is correct and contains all the products you want to include
  2. That the product data is up to scratch and will provide enough information to prompt sales
  3. That you have sufficient stock levels of the products you include in the feed
  4. That the ads are consistent with the respective landing pages that they send people to
  5. That there are no errors showing in Merchant Center
  6. That your website analytics are set up to track conversions and capture enhanced ecommerce information
  7. That data from Google Ads is also being shared to analytics
  8. That remarketing is set up to capture the right data and segments for your business e.g.
    1. An audience segment for all site visitors
    2. A segment for those who browse products
    3. A segment for those who add to basket but don’t buy
    4. A segment for those who abandon the transaction during the checkout process
    5. A segment for people who complete transactions

2.   Invest the time in producing great content

It’s common for the content used in Google Shopping campaigns to fall a little under the radar. However, effective ads campaigns depend on a great blend of SEO, PPC and content marketing to make the products stand out. You can:

  1. Write rich descriptions for products of up to 10,000 words each
  2. Write better copy than your competitors selling the same or similar products
  3. Use SEO best practice to ensure the feed covers the terms that customers might search for
  4. Add multiple product images, preferably unique ones where possible, to give your ads more impact than your competitors’

3.   Organise your campaigns in Google Ads

Some routine organisation for your campaigns in Google Ads can make all the difference to how straightforward things are to manage and to evaluate performance based on highly granular differences. This helps you to more effectively optimise campaigns as you go, driving up the conversions and revenue and making the most of your fashion digital marketing budget. Some simple ways to organise include:

Separating product groups by type and brand, which enables you to experiment with different bidding strategies and adapt easily to seasonal trends. This also gives you great granular sales data to help with optimisation and you can turn off different variations if needed.

Experimenting with traditional Google Shopping and SMART Shopping campaigns to find the best fit or the right blend to maximise results. With SMART Shopping, the remarketing ads are handled by AI.

4.   Plan remarketing activity in Google Ads

Remarketing can be a driver of significant sales, because most website visitors won’t buy on their first visit, but can be tempted back at a later date to complete a transaction. If you plan remarketing campaigns that remind people of your brand and products once they have left your site, this can be a great way of bringing them back again.

You can adjust your bidding to focus on the most engaged audiences, who are the most likely to convert, such as:

  1. Basket abandoners
  2. People who have viewed particular products

You don’t need to do this when you are using SMART campaigns, but many retailers find that a blend of both works best.

5.   Check performance daily

While there is some value to letting new campaigns have a little time to find their feet and gather data to provide you with actionable insights, checking performance on a daily basis is a must if you want the best possible return on your investment.

In Google Ads this might look something like:

  1. Identifying differences in performance at various times of the day, geographical location and by device type – you can update your bidding strategy accordingly to spend more when conversions are more likely
  2. Looking for products that aren’t converting and investigate why this could be. Is the pricing not competitive? Are there errors on the landing page? Are there issues with stock or with sizes? Do shipping costs compare well with other retailers offering the same or similar products?
  3. Checking remarketing activity and whether your spend here needs to be tweaked to achieve better results

In Google Merchant Center, this might look like:

  1. Checking the feed is live and updating as expected
  2. Noting the tips that the platform offers you and act on any that make sense for your campaigns
  3. Looking for any products that are disapproved and work on improving the feed

6.   Replicate the most successful elements of the campaign in Bing

BING has a current share of UK searches standing at nearly 10%, which can translate to a good return in sales if you apply all that Google Shopping has taught you to this platform too.

Nearly 40% of BING’s audience is aged between 35-54 years old, which means that fashion brands with some audience segments that match up can achieve really positive results.

There is much less competition on BING than with Google and many retailers find that the cost per click works out at around a third less on average. With a higher engagement rate and more conversions for every pound spent, BING can really make sense for some fashion brands.

7.   Take a long-term view of attribution

Google Shopping might just be the first step on someone’s journey to becoming a customer so it’s important to take a measured view of attribution and not rely on last click stats to inform all of your activity. For example, finding the role that social media for fashion marketing is playing in your customer journeys can help shape your remarketing creative.

Lining up the data in Google Analytics to show the role of Google Shopping Ads in your conversions can provide great insights into customer sale paths and enable you to identify patterns which can help you to tweak your campaigns to be more effective.

8.   Take advantage of added extras offered by Google Merchant Center

Merchant Center has some features which can give your products even more visibility online. These include:

  1. The ability to set up exclusive promotions
  2. The exposure afforded via Google’s Shopping tab
  3. The ability to link in with your physical stores to offer things such as click and collect in various local areas

9.   Get the right partner

Making the most of Google Shopping does require insight and skill in multiple marketing disciplines, which can be a challenge for some fashion brands, especially those without a huge in-house marketing team. The kinds of skills needed include:

  1. Experience with Google’s paid advertising platforms
  2. Solid technical expertise
  3. Good all-round digital marketing knowledge so learnings from different channels can all be applied to each other for better results
  4. Great content production
  5. Expertise in analytics and finding insights from performance data

The good news is that fashion brands don’t need a large in-house team to achieve great results with Google Shopping Ads; they just need a good partner digital marketing agency who have the experience and skillset required. As a Google Partner, Hitsearch have been helping fashion brands to get a great return on their marketing investment for 15 years. Our case studies show some of the ways in which we have done this and how we’ve helped our clients to exceed their goals.

Over the years, we’ve developed a highly effective blend of technical excellence, marketing expertise and creative ideas to assist your business and drive more sales. Get in touch today for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our experts to see how we can help you. Call 0800 011 9715.

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If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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