Google often hosts exclusive invite-only events for a select few of its Google Partner agencies. As we have Premier Google Partner status, we are invited to a few of the more exclusive events, annually.

Two of our PPC Directors attended the recent Google Partner Retail Excellence event. The event provided insights, tips and tricks for online retail. The speakers included the UK and Ireland Director of Google Marketing Solutions Alice Mansergh, Measurement and Attribution Product Specialist Patrick Spath, Regional Display Product Specialist Sarah McGuiness, Mobile Product Expert David Whelan and Brand Development Manager Aislinn Connolly.

The Google partner event is indispensable in terms of insight. Some of the most interesting insights from the event included that shopping ads convert 37% better than text ads and remarketing users are twice as likely to convert. Also fascinatingly 56% of sporting good searches are female and 40% of baby product purchases are made by people who live in a house without kids.

According to Google, on average users check their phones up to 150 times a day, which is a lot of potential touch points for an online retailer. The mobile share of online retail purchases in the UK is now 26%, with 50% more shopping ads reaching mobile users last year.

Unfortunately 35% of people won’t buy on smartphone due to the payment process being too difficult and there is a 26% higher bounce rate on mobile. The payment process on an online retailer website should be simple to ensure as few users as possible abandon the payment process on mobile. It is also important to note users are cross device. 75% of online adults start activity on one device but continue or finish it on another device. If a user abandons the payment process due to it being too difficult they may return on another device.

Reducing online retailer website load speeds on mobile can also result in happier users. Google revealed 40% of people abandon a website when it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 47% of users expect a mobile website to load in 2 seconds or less. 52% of users say that a fast website loading time is important for brand loyalty.

Over the last year there has been a 50% increase in mobile searches containing the word “best” meaning customers are specifically looking for the best product. An ecommerce website could use this insight to create content pages for the best products within each category or could offer their products to bloggers that are writing an article on the best of products within the category they offer. Another interesting point is that searches for “near me” doubled in 2015 meaning that customers expect a convenient purchase, which could assist local retail businesses.

Mobile searches in store have increased by 30% and 64% of users who purchased in store were influenced by digital. This means there is now a bigger connection between the digital and physical world; Google called this concept phygital. In the last 5 years, foot traffic in retail stores declined by 57% but the value of every visit has nearly tripled as customers have already researched online regarding the purchases they are planning to make.

Also revealed during the Google Partner event was that 70% of the bandwidth of the internet is taken up by video with 50% of that by YouTube, which is the second largest search engine behind Google. 50% of video views are on mobile devices. Google is predicting that 80-90% of the internet will be video in 2018 to 2019 so it will continue to become a bigger medium for customers as well as for retailers.

64% of shoppers say YouTube influences purchase decisions. As an example, the top 5 toy channels on YouTube get 5 billion views every month. Consequently online retailers should be using video to market to customers and provide information regarding their products.

Google recommended three ways to use video advertising to communicate with an audience. These were humour, emotion and a human connection.

Micro Moments
There are three micro moments in an online buyer’s journey. The first is the “I need some ideas moment”. This moment is when a user is conducting their initial research. 90% of users have no ideas when they start searching for products. The next moment is the “which one’s best moment”. This moment is for searching for the best product available to purchase. The last moment is the “I want to buy it moment”. This moment is those that are ready to purchase.

Holiday Season
You might think that September is early in the year to be discussing the big C word. However, one of the biggest department stores in the UK Selfridges launched their Christmas store on 1st August 2016.

Search engines are the go-to source for gift idea inspiration from October onwards. More importantly, 25% of people have already started Christmas shopping by Halloween and 48% of shoppers have completed their Christmas shopping before Cyber Monday. Online retailers now need to be prepared for Christmas earlier than ever before.

In 2015, Black Friday shoppers spent £1.1bn, with 63% of traffic on mobile with 37% on desktop. In 2015, Cyber Monday shoppers spent £968million, with 60% of traffic was on mobile with 40% on desktop. The total sales revenue on the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend was £3.3bn.

Online retailers need to build anticipation for its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Online advertisers need to be prepared for the increase in cost per clicks over Black Friday and Cyber Monday with keywords CPCs needing to be increased and remarketing lists needing to be built from September onwards.

Interestingly Boxing Day is now not even in the top 10 days for online sales even though it was historically the biggest physical sales day in the UK.

As a Google Partner Converted specialise in ecommerce and online retail. Contact us today regarding your mobile website, mobile advertising, video advertising or holiday season advertising.

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