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

Dave LeDonne

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.

The What

First of all, what the heck is Customer Match? As the name implies, Customer Match matches your ads on Google properties (in this case, Shopping results) with Google users whose email addresses you have acquired from past purchases, newsletter sign-ups, etc.

All you need is a list of email addresses from your database. Upload them to your AdWords account using the Shared library, give it a name, and it’s off to the races — or in the spirit of the Copa Centenario and Euro 2016 tourneys, off to the match. (Go Iceland!)

Here’s a look at how Google breaks it down:

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

Simple, right? Next, you can set a bid modifier for each uploaded audience using the Audiences tab in your campaign. Your campaigns and ads will run as normal, but when Google recognizes one of your audience members is signed into his or her Google account, it will increase (or reduce, if that’s your thing …) your bid to serve up an ad accordingly.

The Why

Okay, so what’s the big deal about Customer Match? Google is pretty clear in its belief that this feature will help marketers increase visibility among their highest value customers — and re-engage these users at key decision moments. But what does the data tell us?

Customer Match for Google Shopping offers e-commerce marketers some serious upside for very little added work or additional spend.

As a Google Premier Partner for Shopping, Sidecar has had access to the early beta of Customer Match for a few months now. And initial results from customers who have used the feature are encouraging: One customer using Customer Match for Shopping achieved a cost/converted click of $3.57 over a 30-day trial period, a fraction of their CPA for standard Shopping ads.

Though it’s still early, the evidence is clear that Customer Match can deliver serious returns for e-commerce marketers.

The How

If you’re sold on Customer Match for Shopping, here are few things to keep in mind as you begin deploying the feature in your campaigns:

  • Be creative when building your audiences. You can get super granular when setting up your audiences with Customer Match. Maybe you want to target high AOV customers from the last year with a new big-ticket item. Just build an audience from your database matching those parameters. Want to get right back in front of customers who bought last week? Pull the list and get after it.When it comes to creating your Customer Match audiences, the only limit is your own customer database — and your imagination.
  • Skeptical? Start from zero. No doubt you might be thinking, “What’s the catch?” Besides the minimal time it takes to upload your email list, Customer Match doesn’t have to cost a dime — but can provide marketers with new insights on their audiences anyway.To start, just set your Customer Match audience bid modifiers to zero. You’ll still see all the data (clicks, conversions, etc.) on this audience. From there, you can more accurately and confidently increase your bid modifiers.If you want to get started right away, rely on institutional knowledge about your audiences to set your initial bid modifiers and adjust from there.
  • There’s no need to create a separate campaign for Customer Match. We’re big proponents of creating separate campaigns within Google Shopping to maximize returns. For Customer Match, however, you wouldn’t need to create and support a separate campaign.While your Customer Match audiences will likely perform strongly, the difference ineach product’s performance should not vary enough between your Customer Match audiences and the rest of your PLA traffic to warrant the effort a second campaign requires. And unlike, say, mobile, Customer Match should only be a small percentage of your overall traffic.

All things considered, Customer Match for Google Shopping offers e-commerce marketers some serious upside for very little added work or additional spend. It’s as close to a free lunch as you’re likely to find in the pay-to-play world of paid search marketing.

Interested? You can sign up for the public beta of Customer Match here. For all you ever wanted to know about Customer Match and RLSA (another retargeting tool) for Google Shopping, grab our e-book Customer Match & RLSA for Google Shopping: The Ultimate Guide.

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