Today’s retailers are facing a number of challenges, including supply chain issues caused by the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, rising expectations of omnichannel shoppers, and the increasing importance of consumer privacy. It’s no overstatement to say we’ve reached a new era of e-commerce, but what can retailers do to ensure they are ready?
As Google’s VP of Search and Commerce Global Ad Solutions, that’s a question I ask myself every day. Technology has a big role to play in helping retailers grow, whether that’s through data collection, digital advertising, or automation.
That’s why Google experts and industry leaders recently came together to help retailers make the most out of the digital tools available to them. The key takeaway? Shoppers need more help than ever to navigate choice complexity. Here are three actions retailers can take right now.
1. Be present with strong video content
A recent global survey revealed that 65% of shoppers agree that YouTube enhances the traditional shopping journey by delivering unexpected inspiration.1 And 63% of shoppers said they had bought from a brand as a direct result of seeing it advertised on YouTube.2
This means that video offers a huge opportunity for retailers to connect with potential customers throughout the shopping journey. While some of those consumers will be watching product videos with an intent to make a purchase, others may just be browsing entertaining content.
A full funnel marketing strategy — responding to the upper, middle, and lower funnels of the shopping journey — can turn either of those viewers into future customers. Plus, it’s a great way to guide shoppers through an overwhelming offer of choice as they do their product research.
To achieve this, retailers must prioritise creating strong video content focused on building brand awareness and loyalty. Engaging content is the foundation of an effective video strategy, so that should always be the starting point.
To turn inspiration into action, retailers can then use YouTube’s Video Action campaigns to drive conversions with clear call-to-actions (CTAs). For example, adding product feeds with rich imagery to your video will significantly boost the performance of ads. In fact, we’ve seen retailers who add these to their campaigns achieve over 60% more conversions at a lower cost.3
Watch the virtual Get Retail Ready session ‘Why retailers can't overlook YouTube this season’ on-demand for more tips and inspiration.
2. Help consumers find you with a unified ad campaign
Consumers are constantly adapting their shopping behaviour to respond to changing market conditions – and retailers have a big role to play in helping them do so with ease. But in these dynamic times, it’s much more difficult for retailers to set realistic ambitions, with year-over-year comparisons not as reliable as they normally would be. But setting the right growth objectives is crucial to driving the best possible media performance, which, in a world filled with uncertainty, is top of mind for us all.
That’s why internal alignment on the core focus of your business is the crucial first step of your performance strategy. Only then can you start looking for the best solutions to match those goals. Is your core objective to reach more customers? Then you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find you across the shopping journey.
Running Performance Max campaigns can help you do this as it lets you run ads across all Google’s channels from one single ad campaign. Designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns, it helps you find more relevant customers and drive more conversions among your most valuable audiences. And as you build stronger connections with shoppers at every touchpoint, it will be easier to help them find what they’re looking for.
Watch the virtual Get Retail Ready session ‘Maximise the returns of your Ads with Performance Max’ to get more out of your media investments.
3. Invest in an end-to-end omnichannel strategy
Omnichannel shoppers — those who use a combination of online and offline sources throughout their consumer journey — make 2.9X more purchases and spend 2.3X more than single channel shoppers.4
But while their expectations for seamless shopping experiences rise, retailers aren’t always able to live up to them. It can be challenging for them to build an organisation truly fit for omnichannel operations. This is either because they still work in silos — marketing often operates independently from retail stores or tech teams — or because they measure performance with channel-specific KPIs rather than looking at it holistically.
To solve the measurement challenge, retailers can merge online and offline performance by adding store visits and store sales to Google Ads. This will help them understand the real impact of digital campaigns on omnichannel sales and make it easier to set holistic KPIs that consider both online and offline profits.
Ultimately, this makes it possible to optimise towards incremental revenue regardless of where a sale takes place. And as retailers move more seamlessly between channels, it will be easier to offer shopping experiences that do the same.
Watch the virtual Get Retail Ready session ‘Creating the best end-to-end customer experience with omnichannel’ for more expert tips and insights.
Watch Get Retail Ready on-demand
Dive deeper into each of these topics — and much more — by watching our digital summit, Get Retail Ready, on demand. Register now with code TWG-OD to start watching straight away.