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Google Shopping: Is It Good to Be The ‘Best?’

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It’s not just Olympic athletes; everyone wants to be the best, right? The hours I spent at the driving range last weekend certainly attest to that … And it’s no different for e-commerce marketers. I haven’t met one that didn’t want more orders, more revenue, and more profits.

That’s why marketers immediately perked up when Google made ranked Shopping ads a permanent fixture back in March, after testing them since 2014. Professionals who instinctively seek the top in all of their efforts were curious about how these ads would perform and the impact they would have on campaigns.

Well, now that the dust has settled a bit, we thought it was time to take a look at ranked Shopping ads and determine whether it was good to be “the best.”

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Tips & Tricks

Back-to-School: 5 Quick Fixes to Give Your Google Shopping Campaigns a Boost

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Wow. It’s almost the middle of August. And that means we’re right in the thick of the second biggest retail season: back-to-school.  

The NRF projects that shoppers in the U.S. will spend $75.8 billion stocking up on new gear for classrooms and dorm rooms this year. And since 46% of consumers plan to shop online for back-to-school, millions of seasonal items will be found on Google Shopping.

The time is now to give your Google Shopping campaigns a mid-term checkup to make sure you’ve got everything set up for success for the remainder of the season. Sharpen your pencils and answer a few quick questions — straight from the pages of our e-book, 10 Moves to Master Seasonality in Google Shopping.

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Tips & Tricks

Google Retires Converted Clicks in AdWords: How to Say Goodbye

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CPC, CTR, AOV, ROAS. Digital marketers are blessed (or cursed, depending on whom you ask …) with tons of jargony words and acronyms to measure campaign performance.

But conversions is what we most want, right? For nearly all marketers, that’s a big fat “yes!”

And last week, Google answered this question with an AdWords update: In September, it will phase out the Converted clicks metric, and make “Conversions” the default tool for measuring actions taken after an ad is clicked.

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Mobile

A Step Closer to Solving E-commerce’s Mobile Conversion Problem

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Mobile is almost a perfect boon for retailers. Operative word: almost.

Mobile has surging traffic growth, now driving half (at least) of the traffic to U.S. retail sites. Smartphones are widely distributed — 68% of U.S. adults have one. BUT, mobile still tends to convert at about half the rate of desktop.

Mobile conversion has plagued us for years and yet no one has upended the current experience to deliver a superior solution. With the present state of affairs, we’re dealing with a lot of friction — slow page loads, multi-step checkout processes, forced account creation, and site redirection.

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Google Shopping

Get Ready Now for Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads

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Here we go again. Last week, Google announced a new ad format for Google Shopping, called Showcase Shopping ads, that will surface for generic search queries.

Notice a trend here? Google continues to update Google Shopping with new features and ad formats to deliver on its promise of putting retailers’ products in front of the right consumers.

Though Showcase Shopping ads were just announced, Google intends to make them available for all advertisers before the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. And since it’s never too early to begin prepping for the holidays, here’s what you need to know about Showcase ads.

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E-Commerce Trends

The What, Why, and How of Machine Learning

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“What is ‘machine learning’?” is high on the list of most-commonly-asked questions of the Sidecar team.

Machine learning underpins Sidecar’s optimization technology for product listing ads, and we’re not shy about making that fact known. But we understand that the term might sound a little bit sci-fi to some.

However, since it’s so central to what we do and who we are, we thought a simple explanation of machine learning was in order — no computer science degree required.

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Data

Case Study: How to Drive 44% More Revenue on Google Shopping in 90 Days (While Maintaining ROAS)

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When I first spoke with Brandy Lorah, Boscov’s Director, E-commerce Marketing, she told me that one of her big goals was to grow revenue on Google Shopping and keep cost/sale (also calculated as ROAS) steady.

Brandy also told me she wanted to see that revenue growth happen consistently through the year — and not have a big drop-off after the holiday shopping season.

I bring this up because many retailers have shared similar goals with us. They want to incrementally drive more Google Shopping revenue. And if that means increasing investment, it’s OK — as long as they maintain their ROAS or cost/sale goals.

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Google Shopping

Customer Match for Google Shopping Has Arrived. Here’s What You Need to Know.

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Independence Day isn’t here quite yet, but you might want to bust out the fireworks a few days early. On Monday, Google announced that it would launch Customer Match for Shopping campaigns.

Though Customer Match has been available for nearly a year for ads on YouTube, search, and Gmail, plenty of e-commerce pros have wished they could add it to their Shopping campaigns.

Google Shopping accounts for an ever-increasing slice of retailers’ online revenues, and e-commerce marketers are understandably keen to take their performance in the channel even higher. Here’s the skinny on Customer Match — and how you can use the feature in your campaigns.

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Tips & Tricks

Should You Include Search Partners in Google Shopping Campaigns?

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Google Shopping success means constantly innovating, revising, and analyzing to improve performance. But there’s one option that is scrutinized far less often than other metrics: adding a campaign to the search partners network.

No gray areas here; you’re either in or you’re out, and many marketers decide one way or the other and rarely look back.

But then, in typical Google style, the search engine goes and makes a big update that causes e-commerce pros to rethink: Last month, it added Shopping ads to image search results. The catch? Only ads from campaigns that had opted into search partners are eligible to appear.

All of a sudden, whether or not to add search partners got a whole lot more interesting. And we’ve got you covered with a look at the opportunity and the right way pursue it.

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E-Commerce Trends

4 Google Shopping Highlights from IRCE 2016

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Bring together thousands of e-commerce pros from all over the world, and you can’t help but uncover some fascinating industry insights. And that’s exactly what went down at this year’s IRCE in Chicago.

Several folks from the Sidecar team joined me out there, and we had the chance to speak with hundreds of attendees about a topic that’s been in the spotlight a lot lately: Google Shopping.

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