Retail marketers can not get out of Amazon with paid Google SERP, but they can find white space.
Among the measures that can help is the sharing of impressions. This is in the Google Auction Insights report for paid shopping and search campaigns.
The share of impressions is the percentage of impressions received by your ads, divided by the estimated number of impressions that the ads were likely to receive. The eligibility of Google is determined based on several factors, including targeting settings, approval statuses and quality.
On the surface, sharing impressions can help you understand if your ads will reach more buyers if you increase your bids or your budget.
But a smarter way to use print sharing is to gain context in the evolution of your advertising environment. Evaluate it alongside other performance and competition indicators. From there, use this information to determine how to tailor your campaigns and bid strategy to changing competitive pressures.
Let's take a look at the latest data and examples to find out how.
Share of Amazon's Impressions in Google Shopping
We analyzed Google Auction Insights reports from a major retailer in five markets. These retailers consider Amazon to be a regular competitor in Google Shopping and Google paid for the search.
The chart below shows Amazon's share of impressions over the past two years for Google Shopping auctions in which the retailer and Amazon were both eligible to serve an ad.
From this table, we can make some observations. One of them is that Amazon's share of printing tends to increase each year, peaking just before or during each holiday shopping period, and declined sharply in the second quarter of 2018 when Amazon briefly suspended its purchase campaigns .
We can also see that Amazon's share of impressions for categories such as office supplies and home improvements was consistently higher than that of sporting goods or clothing.
Why the difference between the verticals? This reflects in part the universe of search queries from each retailer and its extent that overlaps that of Amazon. Home furnishing and office supply retailers probably share more of Amazon's search queries universe.
In contrast, a retailer that sells a lot of North Face and Nike products, for example, may not see much competition from Amazon because these brands are not available on Amazon. When consumers search using North Face or Nike brand terms, for example, Amazon could possibly be included in search results that contain ads for similar products. Nevertheless, Amazon would have much less impression on these articles because of their lesser relevance.
Garment that goes up
Check out Amazon's share of impressions in the Google Shopping apparel category over the last few months.
One point to remember here is that the growth in the number of hockey sticks is in line with Amazon's private label push. According to the TJI Amazon Brand Database, the company introduced seven new private label brands and more than 150 exclusive brands to Amazon in the fourth quarter of 2018. Amazon's largest brand portfolio? Clothing and accessories, with more than 80 private labels and exclusive brands in the United States
The impact of Amazon in paid search campaigns compared to buying campaigns
The review of the same retailers in the search paid by Google shows a slightly different set of results.
Amazon has long been active in paid search. As she continues to experiment and refine her Google Shopping strategy, the company has a more established and growing presence in paid search, as suggested by this impression sharing data.
Amazon's increased share of print in the office supplies category, however, is unique. This trend is in line with Amazon's efforts in the office supply market in recent quarters.
For another display of data, let's isolate Amazon's share of impressions for each vertical sector.
In competition with Amazon, not against it
The best way to react to Amazon's growth is not to panic. Examine your results and determine the potential impact of Amazon on your business. Impression share is a measure that should not be directly related to strategy, but rather to contextualize the competition of advertisers in your market.
At the end of the day, keep Amazon's print side in perspective. Amazon has influence, but retailers who know their business and their customers can be well equipped to handle the increasing share of impressions from their competitors. Here's how.
To interpret the part of the printing
Can the print share help you determine your main competitors on Google and define the evolution of this landscape? If you're probably familiar with your competitors across your organization, this may be different from Google's paid search channels. For example, retailers who spend most of their digital marketing budget on Google Shopping could create strong competition for you on this channel, while creating little competition elsewhere. Use impression sharing to discover new competitors or established competitors who are more or less aggressive in their offerings. Suppose your CPCs suddenly increase. Examine the sharing of impressions to see if a competitor's high expenses are a factor.
Understand a healthy part of printing for your business
Your business, competitive environment, and return goals determine an ideal share of impressions. If you are faced with highly valued competitors like Amazon, a 10% share of impressions could be beneficial for your campaigns, as long as you generate effective revenue. If you achieve your revenue goals in the return objectives of your campaign, you are scared that a few competitors outperform you.
Also dig in click sharing
The number of clicks is the percentage of clicks on your ads compared to the clicks for which they were eligible. Analyze click sharing in combination with impression sharing to better identify areas of weakness and improve your campaigns. In paid searches, if the number of impressions is high but the number of clicks is low, it is possible that your ads appear for irrelevant queries. If the same situation occurs in Google Shopping, the price of your products may be too high compared to the competition. Or maybe competitors post promotions on their ads more often than you do. On the other hand, if the number of impressions is low and the number of clicks is high, consider bidding more aggressively to increase the number of impressions and generate even more impressions. clicks. Push the products that have the best price for an easy win.
Use smarter segmentation
If you can not just increase the budget in response to your competitors' increasing share of impressions, try this: Separate products into campaigns based on the visibility you want for these products. Increase bids in campaigns with the highest margin or best performing items. Or, create separate campaigns for trademark queries and unbranded queries. In Sidecar's Google Shopping Benchmarks 2018 report, we found that the number of clicks generated by brand searches yielded an additional 171% ROI and a CTR four times higher than unbranded searches. Also, in Google Shopping, use negative keywords to filter queries and avoid wasting impressions on less relevant or underperforming terms.
Bring your mobile strategy up to date
According to Sidecar research, Google Shopping reached an important milestone in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the first time, more than half of Shopping conversions took place on mobile devices. Search paid by Google was not far behind with 44% of all mobile conversions in the fourth quarter. If visibility and brand awareness are among your goals for Google Shopping, you'll get more for your money on mobile, because CPCs are cheaper and Showcase ads are a determining factor. These mobile impressions can lead to conversions on both mobile and computer. Consider creating a separate campaign for mobile traffic if you have not done so yet. It will allow you to pay the auction in a granular way on the performance of your products on mobiles.
Plan your search and purchase campaigns consistently
As the graphs above show, parameters such as sharing impressions vary between search and buy search campaigns. You may find, for example, that paid search faces more competition than shopping. Therefore, you can consider paid search as a channel background channel and focus your efforts on the most advanced queries offering the best chance of conversion. To complete this strategy, think about how you can fill the top of the funnel with Google Shopping, a channel on which you already have an advantage in terms of exposure. You may be able to resist more aggressive bidding on more products to further increase impression sharing.
Evaluating the shift to multi-touch attribution
Most retailers probably agree that hand-outs are a fundamentally flawed approach in today's omnichannel world. On the other hand, multi-touch attribution can allow you to measure performance on all channels and get an entirely new (and more accurate) view of your customers' journey. While it is certainly not easy to change the attribution model, some retailers such as Moosejaw are successful in making this change. The retail landscape is becoming more and more competitive. A multi-touch model that fits your business and your goals can be one of the few ways to discover a new benefit for pushing buyers into your marketing funnel.
By carefully coordinating paid search and purchase campaigns, you position yourself to take a complete funnel marketing approach. Give priority to your customers when developing any strategy for Google ads, while keeping the eyes of your competitors.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Associated authors are listed here .
About the author
Steve Costanza is senior analyst consultant for corporate client strategy at Sidecar . It analyzes the performance and strategic focus of digital marketing for large retailers in all industries, focusing on data visualization and advanced account segmentation. He is responsible for drawing the meaning of the numbers and determining how to use this information to guide marketing decision making. Steve is particularly close to Google's innovations that have an impact on shopping and paid search. He has a master's degree in data analysis and contributes to Search Engine Land as well as Sidecar's Sidecar Sidecar Discover which covers research and ideas that shape digital marketing in the retail trade.