We are all busy. We should all forgive ourselves for not fully noticing the dramatic change that has been happening in the world of e-commerce.
Still, though, 2013 results recently out (above, with thanks to www.cpcstrategy.com) show that there is really no going back. Those online merchants who still wake up each morning hoping that things are ‘returning to normal’ and that Google will once again send them shoppers, in volume, for free, are going to be disappointed and might be putting their businesses at risk.
How has the Google E-Commerce Landscape been changing?
It is really very clear and simple if we just look at what happened during the past 14 months since May 2012, when Google warned the world that it intended to withdraw free clicks in favor of ‘structured shopping’ (simply put: pay per click). Shoppers are driven with massive success to Google.com/shopping where they make the buying decision. They are well served with a line-up of products side by side that match their needs, look lovely and include information about price, shipping, and quality of vendor. It quickly becomes obvious that, faced with the choice between the old-world way of clicking a series of text links, hoping to find the right product at the right price, or the new-world way of lining up images and prices, Google is giving shoppers exactly what they need. And Google is being rewarded for this with a steady flow of dynamically growing traffic – that merchants need to pay for. You see the brilliance of this strategy?
Give shoppers what makes their purchase decision quick and easy, so they come back time and again to this one place instead of visiting multiple other sites, searching for just the right item and wasting lots of precious time clicking, looking, clicking, checking, clicking… What a psychological relief for consumers! So they happily come back. Who wouldn’t, for such an amazing deal – and it’s free! And as much as sellers are the ones who need to pay for every click generated by these happy shoppers, we found that those merchants who position their products right and know a few tricks of the trade about ‘feeding’ to shopping portals the smart way, are actually doing better than before. They pay happily for the clicks that are way more qualified than the free visits from anyone and everyone in a who-knows-what mindset and purchase stage (though those could be valuable clicks too for branding and awareness with conversion potential but generally farther from closing the sale). And these up-to-date sellers are seeing much higher ROI than before – when they didn’t have to pay for clicks. What a win-win situation for everyone involved: shoppers, sellers and Google! That’s the most amazing part!
The way forward for online success
So the take-away is that, even though it costs money for every click that originates from Google.com/shopping, and there is simply no more relying on ‘free’ traffic for any business to ensure survival, let alone prosperity, there is more business potential in the “new way” than one may think. Success today depends upon new skills – online merchants need to learn about budgeting click-spend, about optimizing products for shopping portals, and about making their products stand out in this paradigm.
Please know that we at Vortx are here to provide you with the tools for success: our growing range of software products that are specifically designed to help you out-perform your competitors when ‘feeding’ your products to the shopping portals.
Look again at the opening chart. If you are not yet getting your share of the vast quantity of orders that are coming out of Google’s paid shopping engine, then we urge you to reach out. We offer webinars, software tools, introductions to expert partners and various learning mechanisms. Plus this August you are invited to join our e-workshop and/or come along to Denver for our interactive bonanza.