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Democratising Google Shopping saves retailers significantly on ad spend

Evans Cycles is just one of a number of UK retailers who are able to make their online marketing budget stretch further, following a ruling from the EU which has resulted in Google opening up its shopping comparison service to other players.

Last year, the EU Commission slapped Google with a €2.42 billion fine for abusing its dominance as a search engine. The Commission stated the company had illegally given itself an advantage by appearing at the top of its own Google Shopping search results. The ‘shopping’ tab first introduced by Google over a decade ago has over the years made other comparison shopping services redundant, and following the EU ruling Google has been forced to open up Google Shopping to other players.

So it can comply and increase competition with paid adverts from other comparison companies, Google has partnered with a number of third-party firms. In order to increase awareness and competition on Google Shopping, the tech giant is offering retailers a reduction in cost per click (CPC) costs of up to 20% if they use a partner agency, rather than Google themselves.

Lee Faetz, director of eCommerce, Evans Cycles, described to Essential Retail how the retailer has seen a “significant drop in the cost per clicks” which is driving more footfall to its website since working with Google-accredited agency, Productcaster, a few weeks ago.

“We use Google Shopping as part of many of our acquisition tools, and this has allowed us to acquire more customers for the same amount of money or able to expand [our marketing efforts] because our ROI will be better because the cost of click will be better,” explained Faetz.

Productcaster is one of the first Google partner sites to launch in the UK, with retailers including Argos, Cdiscount, Durex, Gear4music, H. Samuel, River Island, Wayfair and Yours Clothing all benefitting from the Google discount following the EU ruling.

Hedley Aylott, CEO of Summit, the company behind Productcaster said, “When we became aware of this opportunity for retailers we created the Productcaster service to get our clients and agency partners live on CSS within a matter of days across Europe. They are already seeing a 15-25% benefit in CPC savings through Productcaster. We want to make it as easy as possible for retailers and agencies to take advantage of the lower media fees in an ever-competitive market as fast as possible.”

But the reduced CPC incentive will only run for a limited time. Faetz continued: “In the short to mid-term we will take advantage of this, but I don’t think anyone has the right information of how long this will go on for.”

Justin Opie, MD at IMRG, said with the current uncertainty facing the retail market, retailers should be jumping to increase their ROI from online marketing.

“The savings to be had through this new retail offering from Google are potentially significant given that our data shows that on a last-click attribution basis, paid media on average accounts for around 20% of the online retail revenue that is derived from all marketing channels,” commented Opie.

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