The Rise of E-Commerce
Online shopping has witnessed significant growth. Last year, The Nielsen Company reported that over 80% of frequent online users, equating to roughly 31.6 million individuals, visited at least one of the UK’s top 200 e-commerce sites. Impressively, 16% of these visits culminated in an online purchase. This trend indicates a substantial flow of money into the coffers of online and multi-channel retailers.
Google Commerce Search: Designed for Retailers
Google Commerce Search (GCS) is tailored for retail websites. Its primary objective is to boost sales for retailers by offering shoppers a swift and precise search pathway to their desired product, focusing solely on e-commerce results. Matthew Dodd, the Senior VP of Research and Analytics EMEA, mentioned in his article that one in every six online UK retail visits leads to a purchase. Given this positive trajectory, it’s evident that e-commerce platforms will garner significant attention from both retailers and developers.
What’s New in GCS 3.0?
Google has been proactive in refining its Google Commerce Search platform. Introduced in 2009, GCS is a subscription-based search platform tailored for e-commerce sites and frequented by online shoppers. The latest version, GCS 3.0, boasts several interactive features:
- Product Availability Tool: This feature informs consumers if their desired product from a multi-channel retailer is available nearby, potentially saving on shipping costs.
- Search-as-You-Type Tool: Mirroring Google Instant, as users input their search terms, the most pertinent results are displayed immediately.
- Recommendation Tool: This feature showcases products that other shoppers have reviewed and purchased within the same category.
- Promotional Tools: Retailers can now create promotional product banners that are strategically placed on relevant product pages.
Enhancing SEO and Reach
The ability to personalise product pages offers an immediate SEO advantage, directing traffic that might otherwise have missed specific items if retailers depended solely on their website. By leveraging both organic searches and this premium service, retailers can tap into a broader audience, leading to potential sales growth.
The Cost of Google Commerce Search
GCS isn’t free. Retailers incur an annual license fee determined by the number of products uploaded to the GCS merchant account and the volume of search queries directed to the site. However, with an entry price tag of $25,000 per year, it might be out of reach for many smaller merchants.
For larger retailers integrating GCS into their online marketing strategies, it becomes imperative for smaller retailers to ensure their company websites are optimised for their chosen keywords, potentially seeking the expertise of a professional website marketing firm.
Google offers a range of online marketing tools tailored to different budgets. Whether it’s the Google Commerce Search for major retailers or Google Adwords for smaller enterprises, each tool aims to drive more traffic to websites and boost revenue.