AdWords Google Shopping Google Merchant Center E-Commerce SEM PPC Feeds Google Customer Reviews

Google Shopping Cyber Monday Prep Part 4: Utilizing Merchant Center Programs

By Richard Aviles on November, 6 2017

Stay up to date

Back to main Blog
Richard Aviles

Inbound Marketing Specialist at Sales & Orders. All I need in life is my girlfriend, my dogs, my camera and a campfire. Water's cool too, I guess.

November is officially here, which means the holiday commercials have already begun, and Cyber Monday is only a few weeks away.

As we continue to march on towards the busiest day of the e-commerce year, it’s vital that your Google Shopping campaigns are optimized and ready to shine.

Important optimizations can be made somewhere that in many cases goes overlooked: Google Merchant Center.

And while optimizing your product titles and product descriptions is very important, there are some other available (free) add-ons through Merchant Center that can help bolster the way people see your Google Shopping ads.

Google Customer Reviews

CustReviews

One way to stand out against your competition on Google Shopping is to add Google Customer Reviews to your feed.

Adding this Google Merchant Center program is as easy as adding a JAVA script to your e-commerce websites back end, and gaining 150 reviews from customers.

Once you hit that mark, your star rating will appear next to your store name in Google Shopping. The rating is based on a 1 to 5-star rating.

SellerRating

As shown above, your seller rating appears next to your store name in Google Shopping listings. Add these can go a long way in helping to attract new customers.

Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes: if you saw a list of 5 sellers and 1 of them had a seller rating that was 5 starts, which would you buy from?

This will improve the likelihood of a potential buyer clicking into your store and making a purchase.

The Google Customer Reviews program has 4 main program features:

  1. Seller Ratings: the 1 through 5-star rating that appears on your Google Shopping Ads
  2. Google Customer Reviews Badge: A badge you’re able to add to your website to promote yourself as a store who participates in the program.
  3. Google Customer Reviews Opt-In: A required display opt-in that users see after checkout. If a user opts-in they will receive an e-mail from Google Customer Reviews asking them to rate their experience.
  4. Google Customer Reviews Survey: A brief, optional questionnaire asking users about their experience on your site.

This program is available in over a dozen countries, including the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

Find out more about Google Customer Reviews, and see if they’re the right solution for your e-commerce business.

Merchant Center Promotions

MCPromotions

Google Merchant Center provides you the opportunity to add promotions to your feed and apply them to your Google Shopping ads.

When you add these promotions to products you sell on Google, shoppers see a “special offer” badge attached to your ad in Google Shopping.

SpecialOfferBadge

Retailers have the option of adding them to their all of their products or to a select group of products in their feed.

Adding this is quick, easy and has nothing but upside for retailers.

Benefits include:

  • Boosting clickthrough rates
  • Increasing conversions
  • Capturing multi-screen traffic

How it Works

To get started, access the Merchant Center Programs page by clicking on the three dots menu on the top right of the Merchant Center home page.

MCHome

Once you enter the Merchant Center Programs page, you’ll have to sign up for the Promotions program for it to become active on your account.

Fill out the brief questionnaire that gets sent to Google for review. Typically, you will get approved within 24 hours as long as you qualify.

Once approved, adding a promotion to your feed is simple.

If you’re planning on adding a promotion to your entire product offering, everything can be done right in Merchant Center.

If you only want to apply the promotion to specific products, you’ll need to add a field in your feed and insert the Promo ID so Merchant Center knows which products are eligible for the promotion.

There are 3 types of promotions allowed for this program:

  1. Discounts: $ off or % off.
    • Discounts must be at least $5 or 5% off.
    • Tiered discounts allowed ($x off $50+, etc.)
    • BOGO discounts allowed
    • Cash back or cash rebates
  2. Free Gifts:
    • Free Item: Must clearly describe the free gift and item can’t be samples or trials.
    • $x Gift card on purchase: Title must clearly state the gift card value and gift card must be from your own store.
  3. Free or Discounted Shipping
    • Must have valid redemption code

Here’s some more information on how to set up Merchant Center Promotions and best practices.

Final Thoughts

With the Cyber Monday and the holiday season fast approaching, taking any advantage of any assistance Google offers is important.

Considering there is not nearly as much customization available in Google Shopping as there is in the search and display network, utilizing Merchant Center programs can help your ads stand out from the competition.

With the help of Google Customer Reviews and Merchant Center Promotions, your store should see an increase in overall traffic and sales.

Stay up to date