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Google Shopping and Mobile: A Huge Opportunity?

Dave LeDonne

It’s no secret that Google Shopping is growing fast; in August, adgooroo reported that Google Shopping now accounts for more than 60% of paid search dollars for Internet Retailer’s Top 20. Yet another undeniable trend is the increasing amount of e-commerce traffic coming from mobile devices. A recent Google study revealed that 65% of consumers use a smartphone as a starting point for online shopping.

So we’ve got a large and growing acquisition channel and a large and growing shift from desktop to mobile in e-commerce traffic. And this presents both an opportunity and challenge for the e-commerce marketer. Consider that even though traffic to e-commerce sites via mobile is growing, conversions (purchases) overall are still relatively low for mobile traffic. Marketers therefore are struggling to find the right strategy to maximize mobile ROI in Google Shopping.

On one hand, marketers don’t want to miss the opportunity to market relevant products to a huge chunk of their potential customers. On the other hand, they’re struggling with channel spend justifications knowing that customers accessing a product listing via mobile are not as likely to convert as desktop shoppers.

So how is the marketer responding? In adgooroo’s recent summary of spending between during Cyber Five 2014, the top 20 advertisers spent anywhere from 0% to 100% of their Google Shopping spend on mobile traffic. Of course, retailers may have made strategic decisions based on their site, product focus, past performance data, etc. But some are likely tabling the mobile conundrum because, simply put, optimizing for mobile is hard, especially for larger sites with many campaigns and ad groups, all of which need their own mobile bid modifier, and a consistent way to analyze data to understand what that modifier should be.

My suggestion? Although it’s not easy to find your mobile sweet spot, not developing  a data-derived strategy for mobile traffic in the Google Shopping channel is not an option. Start small if you must, but dig into your data and make moves on the mobile front. The increase of mobile traffic represents a rare chance to capitalize on a large, growing number of potential buyers and keep ahead of the competition.

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