Ecommerce Trends & Marketing with Google – Event Recap

Wave Commerce joins the Google team to discuss ecommerce trends, Google Shopping ads and digital marketing strategies for driving ecommerce sales growth.

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Last week, Wave Commerce was invited to share insights into ecommerce trends and discuss the use of Google Shopping Ads at Google’s Hong Kong office for an invitation-only workshop.

As of now, Google has extended its Shopping ad units to over 30 countries, including Hong Kong. We’re still only seeing Shopping Ads appear for a subset of product searches on Google, but we believe as Shopping Ads become more pervasive in the region, this will become a big opportunity for ecommerce marketers in Hong Kong to capture and grow ecommerce sales.

We had a great time seeing folks in the ecommerce marketing space and as usual, was just fun to visit Google’s office place. For those who missed it, here’s a brief recap of the event:

Ecommerce Trends & Insights from Google

Matt Ng, Agency Manager at Google, kicked off the workshop by showing recent global shopping trends. He provided case data for fashion industry searches in Hong Kong and showed how frequently shoppers opened Google’s touch points such as Gmail, Youtube, and etc over time.

In addition to discussing broader retail and ecommerce trends, Matt’s presentation also touched on various Google tools and solutions that may be useful for marketing your online shop. In particular, if you haven’t done so already, you should definitely check out Google Merchant Center, where companies can register for free. After setting up an account, merchants create and submit a product feed to take advantage of Google’s Shopping Campaigns (product listing ads — PLAs), for reaching potential shoppers through Google search.

Google’s data on how shoppers used mobile to search, research, and make purchases

Matt also showed us how to use Think with Google, which is a pretty nifty tool for gathering insights on consumer and shopping behavior as well as Google search trends to help with planning strategic digital marketing campaigns. An interesting set of data points came from Google’s Consumer Barometer, which revealed that Hong Kong consumers are likely to use their smartphones at some point during the buying cycle, with 34% having used a smartphone for getting inspiration, 46% for comparing online, 35% for seeking advice, and 22% for preparing to make a purchase. We find this information to be helpful in thinking about the effort needed for engaging shoppers across different levels of the purchase conversion funnel, starting with creating targeted digital marketing content for mobile to help shoppers during the discovery and research phases to ultimately sales conversion.

How to Set Up & Optimize Google Shopping Ads

Next up was the Wave Commerce team, and our team members, Alex and Chester, presented how-tos, analysis and tips for optimizing Google Shopping Ad Campaigns. Merchants who have created an account in Google’s Merchant Center can choose to upload their online store’s products to Google to create Shopping Ads. These product feeds can be done manually or uploaded automatically. Merchants can watch the video below to see how to set up a product feed for Google’s Shopping Ads:

There are tools out there to help merchants on BigCommerce, Shopify or other ecommerce platforms to automatically create and manage product feeds for Google Shopping. Although it is natural for merchants, especially those with larger inventories, to prefer automated product feed management and updates, we encourage merchants to consider taking manual feed approaches first to ensure that they are able to properly test, iterate and optimize product feed information before trying to fully automate feed management. For example, when setting up product feeds, it’s important to check that product images show up clearly and that the title of your product contains search keywords.

After the presentations, we had a couple of breakout sessions to deep dive into Google Shopping ads as well as discuss setting up an ecommerce store on Shopify. The breakouts were the most fun as the audience was a diverse group, from local emerging brands to MNCs across a range of backgrounds from fashion and cosmetics to health foods and furniture.

All in all, this was a fun event and we look forward to sharing more of our experiences in future seminars. Is there something you’d like to know about or think would be a great topic for an event focused on digital marketing or ecommerce?

Get in touch and tell us what topics you’d like to discuss! We’d love to hear from you on what digital marketing or ecommerce trends you think would make for an interesting future event.

Wave Commerce is a Shopify and BigCommerce partner and may receive affiliate revenue from merchant subscriptions to these platforms.