In sector after sector, retailers are being edged out of their own markets by the forces of digital disruption. Advertising online can make retailers more visible to today’s consumers. To really put themselves in a position to succeed, however, they should make full use of the world’s most powerful search engine: Google.
Google Shopping displays products and their prices on the search results page whenever a user searches for a product. The ad is then also displayed on the Google Shopping page, with many other results for the same product if the user clicks that tab.
Google Shopping isn’t an online shop, but rather an advertising platform. Shop owners can get more clicks, more exposure, and ultimately more sales if they learn to use Google Shopping effectively.
Thailand – with its rapid development and increasing population of internet users – is rife with opportunity for e-commerce. Shop owners and vendors, both inside and outside of Thailand, should advertise to Thais with Google Shopping if they want to take full advantage of this flourishing new market.
If you’re a retailer who wants to get on Google Shopping, you need to use two platforms: Google Ads and Google Merchant Center.
Google Ads allows you to direct your campaigns. This is where you can set budgets, manage bids, schedule ads and optimize your ads’ performance. You can easily create an account with your usual Google login.
Google Merchant Center is home to your product feed. It essentially keeps track of all the details of your products – sizes, colors, prices, etc – and formats them to Google’s specifications. To create an account, you need input all the relevant information about your business and provide your website information.
Next, you need to accurately upload all the necessary information about your products in either text or XML format. This will include a list of all the products you sell, with all their details, including brand, price, identifying features, stock, and availability. If this information is put into their system incorrectly, the product ad may not appear in the relevant user searches.
The feed is where the Merchant Center gets all the data and information that it needs to display your product ads. If your primary feed data meets Google’s standards, your ad can go live. You can also create supplemental feeds to update your existing product ads based on how successfully they are performing.
Campaigns allow you to track the performance of your product ads and help you tailor the details that users can see before they click on the ad, in order to optimize performance. They also drive traffic to your website, which can ultimately lead to more sales.
You can create a campaign in your Google Ads account. After that, Google creates ads for you and places them on its own site and many other sites all over the internet through targeted advertising. These ads contain a photo, a price, a store name and much more. Potential customers can therefore get a strong idea of the product before they even click on the ad.
There are many benefits of these types of campaigns:
- Users get a full sense of whether or not they are interested in the product, because the initial ad shows them all the key information they need to know up front.
- The ads use attributes instead of keywords, so they will show up in a broader range of search results.
- If relevant to the user’s search, Google Shopping ads and text ads can appear twice in the same search result, which effectively doubles the range of the ad.
- You can see how your product ad is performing within the metrics of your choice, relative to your competitors. You can make changes to your supplemental feed based on this data and run experiments to determine the most effective strategy.
The short answer is yes. But results depend on how effectively you use the platform. Essentially, success will come from two main areas:
- Optimizing your feed: If you have clear and concise product data, images and pricing, your product has a much better chance of achieving success. Best results come when you monitor how your product is performing and adjust accordingly.
- Having a good bidding strategy: You can automate bids on your products, and Google’s machine learning will know when to make bids at crucial times to drive traffic. But you have to set the parameters for the machine learning, and so you should test bidding strategies to see what works best for your product.
Setting up your ad costs nothing, but your daily costs can vary widely depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. The platform functions on a cost per click basis and there are no minimums. That means you can set it as low as $0.01. The cost of using Google Shopping depends on how much you’re willing to invest in the platform. Excepting all other relevant factors like feed optimization, the popularity of the product, and the performance of your competitors’ ads, the visibility of your ad essentially increases with the more money you spend.
Thailand is a rapidly developing nation of 69 million people. By the year 2023, the nation will be home to a projected 57 million internet users. This sharp increase in internet users is forcing retailers to adapt to the growing e-commerce market. In 2019, revenue from e-commerce will be an estimated $4.375 billion; this figure is predicted to show an annual growth rate of 10.1 percent, for an estimated revenue of $6.433 billion in the year 2023. These numbers represent a massive opportunity for retailers who utilize Google Shopping in Thailand.
Yet, as with other types of business activities, there are a few technical matters you need to be aware of before you target Thailand with Google Shopping ads.
Retailers located both inside and outside of Thailand can advertise on Google Shopping in Thailand in either English or Thai. If you’re a retailer operating within the borders of Thailand, you simply need to ensure that you have met Google’s ad requirements and are complying with all Thai laws in your offline business.
If your store is located outside of Thailand, you should input prices into your feed in Thai Baht (THB) and use that currency for shipping information in your Merchant Center account. Google can make the conversion from your currency to THB if you adjust the currency settings.
You must make sure to comply with all relevant Thai tax laws. Thailand also has some particular advertising laws that you should be aware of. For example, the country has strict laws to control the advertising and promotion of alcoholic beverages, and so Google has simply banned alcohol ads from the platform. For the same legal reasons, Google has also banned ads for any fertility products, medications such as the morning after pill, as well as contraceptives such as birth control and condoms.
If you comply with Thailand’s laws and Google’s regulations, you will be able to expand your business and take full advantage of the myriad benefits of Google Shopping. Thailand’s population is embracing e-commerce by the millions, creating an increasingly active online consumer market. If you’re an ambitious retailer, you should consider the buying power of those millions, and start advertising your products to them with Google Shopping in Thailand.