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Mobile Shopping Is Better, Faster, Stronger. Here Are 3 Ways It’s Reshaping Google Ads.

Ellen Harvey

Last week, Sidecar hosted the webinar, “The Mobile Tipping Point: Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Mobile Google Ads,” which provided a first look at some of the key findings from the 2019 Benchmarks Report.

With insights from Sidecar’s Senior Analytics Consultant Steve Costanza and Product Manager Mike Perekupka, the webinar tracked the rapid growth of mobile engagement on both Google Shopping and paid search in the last year. The webinar tackled the mobile shopping phenomenon from a number of angles, tracking growth in mobile AOV, the rise of Showcase Shopping, and vertical-specific stats across Google Shopping and paid search.

Our analysts predicted how mobile engagement will expand in 2019, and provided advice for retailers looking to harness mobile shopping and build stronger performance marketing strategies around this channel.

Here are just of few of the trends uncovered during the webinar:

1. Holiday Mobile Conversions Have Reached a Tipping Point

During the holiday shopping period, mobile conversions, as a share of total Google Shopping conversions, finally surpassed desktop. That marked a critical moment in mobile’s elevation to shoppers’ device of choice. Paid search mobile growth was not far behind. In Q4, mobile conversions made up 44% of all conversions on paid search.What this means for retailers is that mobile experiences need to be faster and easier for shoppers, or retailers risk alienating nearly half of their potential customers. According to Google, even just one second page load delay can reduce conversion rates as much as 20%.

“If you have four pages for checkout on your mobile site, that’s four opportunities for you to lose the sale,” explained Steve. He encouraged retailers to adopt fast, mobile payment systems like Google Pay and Apple Pay, speed up their sites with specifications like Google AMP, and invest in responsive design so that sites are optimized for whatever device shoppers use.

Google Shopping Mobile Growth

2. Shoppers Are Increasingly Willing to Spend Big on Mobile

Sidecar tracked three different AOV buckets on Google Shopping, including mobile orders that were valued from $0 to $150, $150 to $300, and $300-plus. Interestingly, the highest AOV bucket saw the greatest revenue growth on mobile, increasing 63% year over year. It also captured the greatest increase in spend, growing 71% year over year.

This seems to indicate that shoppers are more comfortable buying big ticket items on mobile and that retailers have recognized a profitable white space in their mobile strategies.

“Fight the conception that shoppers are not willing to make big purchases on mobile devices. That’s changing,” said Mike. “Consumers are willing to spend more on mobile, especially as checkout gets easier, as screens get larger, and mobile sites become faster.”

Google Shopping Mobile AOV

3. Showcase Shopping Has Become Table Stakes

The most prominent mobile ad format is Showcase Shopping, which displays large, lifestyle images of retailers’ products when shoppers use generic search queries. Instead of clicking on a single product, shoppers can expand the retailer’s ad to view multiple products within a category.

“Showcase Shopping is really becoming table stakes,” explained Mike. “The growth is impressive. While it still makes up a relatively small portion of mobile spend, it can’t be ignored.”

In 2017, when Showcase Shopping launched, it captured just 1% of retailers’ mobile spend. 2018 marks a major growth year for the format, with impressions increasing over 500% in the second half of 2018, and its share of mobile spend growing to 6% in October of 2018.

“Google has told us that Showcase Shopping will eventually account for up to 20% of all search volume,” Steve added. “We’re not there yet, but our best advice is to be prepared. Set up these ads now and accrue data on this format so that you know how to work with them. Then, when that day comes, you’ll be prepared and have an advantage over every other retailer.”

Showcase Shopping Growth

To understand the biggest trends driving mobile growth on Google Ads and how your business stacks up against the competition, watch the complete webinar by clicking the link below.