How are you feeding your e-commerce store?
As a seasoned user of the web, you are probably aware of RSS feeds, which are mainly used to deliver news directly to our browsers and other websites. But what if we told you that these content feeds could be used for more than just news?
Consider that, as a website owner, you could increase your e-commerce sales by providing product-feeds to the correct search engines. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
How to increase e-commerce sales with product feeds to Google Shopping
You are probably aware that Google displays products which you can purchase whilst you search for an item using their search engine. This part of the Google Search experience is called Froogle and is often used as a fast route to an e-commerce purchase.
Google uses user-submitted product feeds for the Google Shopping area and, for the moment, this is a free resource managed via your Google Merchant centre. The trick is to know how to build a feed for submission.
We have built a number of product-feeds over the past 12 months and all of the clients have noticed an increase in sales whilst the feed is active.
The feed needs to be managed well and should not be left to run by itself for more than 3 or 4 months. This is because Google will often tweak their algorithms, resulting in a drop of performance for users who do not keep their product feeds up-to-date.
One major change on the horizon will see UK sellers having to follow the US model, whereby you must have a Google AdWords account linked to your merchant centre. The new model is built on Product Listing Ads, which is likely a move to help boost Googles’ profits through pay-per-click advertising.
The planned extension to the US model is set to roll out in February 2013 across 10 countries including the UK and Australia.
Google is offering promotional credit to merchants who apply for and create a Product Listing Ad campaign promoting all of their products in their Merchant Center by April 12th 2013.
Amazon offers similar tools via their Pro Merchant Service and will charge you for having a selling account.
What else do you need to know?
Being trustworthy is just as important as submitting your products into your feed. The simplest way to achieve this is to encourage customers to write good reviews on your website.
Many feed creation services and search engines pull-in reviews to enhance their shopping search results. To qualify, you will need to set up a feed or use a 3rd-party to organise this for you.
eKomi can help but we think that £299 a month is a little pricy
Power Reviews is another such tool concentrating on shopping through social media. Prices for this service must high due to the need to request this information via a form. They must be good though, as they have Staples, Gap and Toys’R’Us amongst their clients.
Devstars can, of course, help build your own review system as we did for Plum Baby. We can then submit your product feed to various platforms so your company and products will look as good as they can.
If you need to advertise your products to appear within search results, please do not hesitate to drop us a line.