With lockdown restrictions lifted, the trajectory for online retail growth has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but a much more competitive search marketing landscape means that retailers and brands should review their online strategy.
This recommendation comes from Leeds-based Google Shopping specialist Bidnamic’s 2022 Google Shopping Trends report, which offers insights to retailers and brands on how to drive success in their Google Shopping campaigns.
Using a combination of owned data and external research and sources, the report touches on the main issues affecting the ecommerce landscape over the past year, from supply chain woes and Amazon’s dominance, to Chinese market share and the shift in consumer shopping behaviour, while looking at what 2022 has in store.
Blending machine learning technology with human thinking to drive sales through owned channels, Bidnamic managed more than 2 billion automated bid changes on Google Shopping in 2021, saving countless hours for online retailers, while generating over 70 million clicks on over 29 million SKUs. It has been able to drive down the average cost per click (CPC) to £0.38 for those using their services.
Delivering 8 billion impressions across their clients, analysis showed increased competition drove up the average CPC by 50%, and 17 out of 20 categories tracked saw an uplift in impressions.
Spending its way to become everyone’s number one competitor on Google Shopping, Amazon increased its share of total impressions on the platform by over 50% in 2021, focusing heavily on categories that experienced above-average growth in demand driven by home working, such as office supplies where the retail giant had 71% of impressions, up from 54% the previous year, and cameras, with 69%, from 45% in2020.
Amazon also grew its share of impressions in animal and pet supplies to 68% of impressions from lockdown pet owners, while both Toys & Games and Baby & Toddler categories saw impressions rise from 48% to 67%, with parents investing more in educating and entertaining children that were unable to go to schools, nurseries or childminders.
In 2022, Bidnamic expects to see advertising budgets shift towards paid search with cost per click rising and more shoppers turning to Google to find the best deals on products. With global market disruption continuing, Google Shopping’s proven resilience will make the platform essential for online retailers and brands.
Liam Patterson, founder and CEO at Bidnamic says: “This report really highlights the changes the ecommerce landscape has undertaken in the past year, and how quickly its growth has accelerated. While that has returned to pre-pandemic levels, we’ve obviously arrived at this level of online retail sales much sooner than anticipated. With the uncertainty around online advertising at the moment, particularly with the phasing out of third-party cookies, retailers need to ensure they push for greater understanding of the online marketing mix. With heavyweight competitors like Amazon gaining a greater slice of the pie, channels like Google Shopping are becoming a fierce battleground and to stand the best chance of winning the customer, retail advertisers need to fully optimise ads at an individual product level. Realistically, with thousands of products in some cases, this is impossible for the average retailer to do manually and it’s where machine learning really comes into its own.”