In case you haven’t noticed it, Google is on the move. In the past 2-weeks, they have launched the +1 button, Google Wallet, and now they have just released Google Offers.
Google Offers is the company’s response to Groupon, but it features integration with Google Wallet, the new mobile payment system reveled last week. The great part about integrating with Google Wallet is that customers do not have to bring the coupon printouts in the store with them. Instead, consumers will only have to bring their Android, (NFC-capable) phones.
>Tuesday, at the D9 Conference, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius announced the launch of Google Offers beta in Portland, OR.Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, also indicated that Google Offers was the business plan for Google Wallet and the way in the company planned to monetize its new payments system.
Google choose to launch their beta in Portland, OR, citing that “Portlanders know how to mix the urban (killer coffee, music and art) and the small-town (easy walking, biking and socializing). There’s no end to the city’s great restaurants, coffee shops, hot spots and places to explore. That’s why, when we started planning the Google Offers beta, we knew Portland was the ideal place to get it all kicked off.”
They hope to bring Google Offers to other cities soon, with New York City and the San Francisco Bay area as next stops (reportedly by summer: http://goo.gl/HmdEb)
So with deal services, like Groupon and Living Social, Google seems to be in the right position, especially with the integration of Google Wallet. According to the Associate Press, daily-deal revenue is growing much faster than overall e-commerce. In just three years, the business model has changed local advertising, delivering faster results than other marketing methods. Store owners get immediate revenue and can see exactly how many customers an offer brings in.
Sounds pretty good to me, but I am curious about feedback. Has your business used deal-sites to market your offering?
This holiday season the keyword is incentives. Most consumers aren’t frivolously spending their money; they’re cutting back and searching for the best deals. If you want to be the retailer that they choose, you’d better consider incentives. This statement might sound forward, however the statistics don’t lie. Let’s look at some incentives that consumers are searching for before making a purchase.
Coupons are a big hit and they are becoming more popular. According to comScore, a global internet information provider, 62% of consumers are using coupons to help cut back on their shopping expenses. A survey by eMarketer, a market research company, shows that 59% of consumers will be using coupons to decrease their shopping expenses. Surprisingly enough, wealthy consumers, those that make $100,000 plus a year are turning to coupons. According to a survey by comScore, coupon site visits by the wealthy increased by 37% compared to this same period last year. Here’s a hint, if you have an ecommerce site, coupons are a definite plus and consumers will be looking for you.
Consumers are also motivated by free shipping. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it twice, “If a site doesn’t offer free shipping, I’ll find a site that does.” If you don’t believe me check the statistics. According to a survey by comScore, 72% of consumers said, “If an online retailer charged them for shipping they would search for an online retailer that offered free shipping.” Now more than ever before consumers are becoming more savvy. If a competitor is offering the same product with free shipping, I’d bet money that you’re going to lose the sale if you’re not offering the same.
Sales and deals are being sought out by consumers. Everyone loves a discount. According to a survey by e-Marketer, 40% of consumers will be looking for sales and 24% will be looking for deals in order to lower their shopping expenses. Why do you think Black Friday is such a busy shopping day, not to mention Cyber Monday which follows a few days later?
Incentives are the key this year. More and more consumers are comparison shopping and not just buying items on the first site they see. Comparison shopping sites are seeing an increase in traffic and more competitors are allocating their advertising budget towards online spending. If a retailer wants to be competitive this year, they need to have an incentive, even if it’s not coupons, free shipping or big sales, there needs to be an offer that tells the consumer they are getting the best deals on a particular site.
So what if it’s only October? Before you know it, everyone will be in holiday shopping mode and in today’s economy everyone is looking for a good deal. It is wise for online retailers to start taking advantage of those early bird holiday shoppers now; don’t wait. As the holiday season draws near, the competition will increase and as a result, so will the costs to advertise. There are a variety of ways online retailers can work to increase holiday sales and here are just a few:
Utilize Holiday Keywords and Ad Copy – This will make your ads stand out. Also utilize captivating calls to action; anything that will make a shopper click on your ad rather than your competitors’.
Create Holiday Themed Landing Pages — Make it easy for your shoppers; send them directly to your holiday page.
Increase your budgets to allow for more visitors – Traffic volume will likely spike as we approach the holidays, therefore you will want to raise your budget to ensure that your ads stay active.
Bid more aggressively — You will want to be seen as close to the top of the page as possible!
Expand your keyword menu — Be sure to focus on your industry’s high ROI/high volume keywords. As an advertiser, you don’t want to miss out on a potential sale because you did not cover all of your bases.
Offer Online Coupons and Discounts – Entice your shoppers by offering “online only” specials, coupons, discounts on future purchases, repeat buyer/loyalty savings, etc.
Give a Gift with Purchase – Who doesn’t like getting something for free?
Offer Free Shipping — A Forrester Research survey showed that consumers are more likely to shop online at stores that offer free shipping.
Provide Free Gift Wrap — Shoppers love the convenience and time saved by having their gift wrapped! Last minute shoppers will especially appreciate this.
Be sure to include of the above services and features in your ad copy!