A new home for Retail and Shopping content: the Google Shopping Blog

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | 4:10 PM

For the past four years, we've had the pleasure of connecting you, our Google Retail UK Blog readers, with the latest retail insights and trends. 

We’ve recently received numerous requests for a one-stop shop (pun intended!) for all Retail Ads and Google Shopping related content. So starting today, you can get all the retail advertising and trend info you're used to seeing here, along with the Google Shopping content that has been appearing on the Google Commerce Blog and Inside AdWords, on our new Google Shopping Blog. Going forward, we will not be posting any new content on this blog.

We look forward to your continued support -- and please, don’t forget to subscribe to the new blog so you won’t miss out on any posts! 

Many thanks,

The Google UK Retail Team

Think Insights: The One-Stop-Shop for Google Retail Research

Monday, June 25, 2012 | 9:00 AM

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Access the latest retail research from Think Insights, as it expands to cover 21 countries.

Google research has found that four out of ten people prefer to research online before purchasing offline, known as ROPO. To help you understand the impact ROPO is having on your business, we have put together a seven-page white paper called: Influencing Offline, The New Digital Frontier. This is just one of many pieces of research that you will find on our new website: Think Insights.

Think Insights is your online destination for marketing insights, industry research and consumer trends. The site has expanded and now brings together research from 21 different countries, including a dedicated section focused on retail. You can also:

  • Find ground-breaking research looking at the impact of YouTube and TV for various retailers, across FMCG, automotive, tech, telco and finance. 
  •  Watch new videos to help you understand the consumer journey, in particular ROPO and attribution.
  • Access studies into online shopping behaviours across various European countries, including: Ireland, Finland, Austria and Denmark. 
Visit Think Insights to find the latest Google research, videos, infographics and studies.

Posted by Claire Martin, UK Marketing Team

Mother’s Day 2012 Trends

Friday, February 10, 2012 | 5:32 PM

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner but the day to spoil the other important woman in your life is coming up fast and here in the Retail team we’ve been digging around to see how online shoppers behave around Mother’s Day. What did we find out?

Below are some of the top trends:

  • Queries for Mother’s Day related terms increased by 60% in 2011 with searches starting to ramp up 4 weeks in advance
  • There are TWO peaks for Mother’s Day queries in the UK; the first being in the run up to Mother’s Day in the UK and a second peak a month later for US Mother’s Day. There is a significant volume of searches in the UK for Mother’s Day gifts for the US holiday so be prepared for this.
  • Mobile has become increasingly important with 22% of Mother’s Day queries carried out on a mobile device in 2011
  • Chocolates and flowers just won’t do any more. Personalized gifts have become increasingly popular last year and it’s likely for that trend to continue. Gift certificates were down 1.7% year-on-year (YoY)
  • Flowers still trend as the main category of gifts for mums but luxury hampers are a close second
  • Mums are becoming more hi-tech with purchases of electronics items up 7.4% YoY.

So what can you do to make sure you make the most of Mother’s Day 2012?

  • Check your coverage in generics as well as products. Most people are searching for gift ideas and research a lot before deciding on an item. By covering the generics, you are more likely to be front of mind as they progress down the purchase funnel
  • Engage with Mobiles and Tablets. With over 1 in 5 Mother’s Day queries on a mobile device, ensure that you have dedicated mobile campaigns for Mother’s Day to be present when consumers are searching for you. Average order values on tablet are actually 20% higher than desktop.
  • Searches for Mother’s Day tend to ramp up 4 weeks in advance. With Mother’s Day on 18th March this year, the earlier you can implement your campaigns, the more Quality Score you can build on those keywords so by the time searches begin to rise you are in a good position.
  • Searches for Mother’s Day tend to ramp up 4 weeks in advance. With Mother’s Day on 18th March this year, the earlier you can implement your campaigns, the more Quality Score you can build on those keywords so by the time searches begin to rise you are in a good position.

Mobile: Have We Reached a Tipping Point?

Friday, January 6, 2012 | 3:50 PM

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Over the last year we have noticed several prevailing trends across the online retail landscape. First there was the trend towards social as people found new ways of easily connecting to each other online. While connecting with friends was one element, many retailers used this opportunity to successfully create more personalized relationships with their customers through various social networks.

Second we noticed a shift towards local, most famously embedded in the rise of coupon giant and recent stock floater Groupon and the multitude of daily deal sites that followed. The point here is that customers are looking for information and products that are not only relevant to their interests but also to their location - I want it and I want it here and now...

Lastly, we observed a technological shift that one may argue is more fundamental and fuels the trends in social and local. We are talking about the shift from desktop and laptop Internet use to mobile platforms such as smart phones and tablets. An Ofcom report from August 2011 shows that over a quarter (27%) of UK adults are now smartphone users and that 59% of those users purchased their new device within the last two months[1]. This not only enabled them to be more social and to make use of the device's GPS for finding great deals, but it also encouraged them to browse, search, compare and purchase on the web.

We have tracked this development over previous years and have seen search queries from mobile devices surging, particularly in 2011. Looking back on last year, Christmas is the day that mobile queries experience their annual peak. The most likely reason for this is that consumers are visiting their family and friends and are using their mobile devices to compensate for not having access to their computer. In addition, with phones and tablets being great Christmas presents there are many new mobile devices tested for the first time during the same period, which further amplifies their usage during the festive season.




As seen above, mobile Internet usage in the UK became more dominant during the past two months with weekly peaks on weekends. While mobile queries accounted for 14% of total retail queries this summer, the share increased continuously to reach a record breaking 26% on Christmas Day. Within this overall retail category apparel queries reached 27%, while consumer electronics and home & garden queries had a mobile share of 24% and 26% respectively.

What does this mean? It certainly indicates that mobile has been huge this Christmas and retailers capable of offering a good mobile experience will certainly have benefited. Moreover, it means that we may have reached a tipping point in which mobile has achieved enough momentum to really make a difference. Pleasing the customer across all devices and providing a seamless experience is one of the main challenges for 2012 and we are excited to see how UK retailers will deal with this challenge.

[1]Ofcom, The Communications Market Report, United Kingdom

Retail UK & Christmas Newsletters

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 2:19 PM

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The UK and Dublin Retail teams have created two new newsletters for e-retailers. The UK Retail Newsletter provides an overview of some of the latest product updates and industry insights. Meanwhile, the Xmas Newsletter focuses on how you can improve your AdWords account level basics ahead of this year's peak shopping period.

Interview with Peter Fitzgerald, UK Vertical Sales Director

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | 4:40 PM

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OC&C Strategy Consultants recently produced these videos of Peter Fitzgerald in conversation. Each offers a snap-shot on innovation, future trends and some of the success stories from the world of online retail.

The importance of getting the digital basics right:

video


Why retailers should focus on putting the customer first:

video


The success of grocery retailers online:

video


Amazon's innovation in the online space:

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Introducing Nearby Stores and Local Availability in Europe, Australia, and Japan

Friday, September 16, 2011 | 3:28 PM

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(Cross-posted from the Google Commerce Blog)

Last year, we announced a Nearby Stores feature to help online shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. find products offline. When a merchant stocks an item in their online store, we make an educated guess that they might also stock it offline - and recommend you “call for availability” to see if they have it in their store nearest you. This week, we will be launching this feature for online shoppers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia.

We’re also launching a beta version of our Local Availability feature in Japan, the U.K., France and Germany, together with some top retailers in those countries, including Yodobashi Camera, Argos, Debenhams, HMV, Boulanger, and Hornbach. With Local Availability, we work directly with the retailer to tell you what they have available in their stores, and at what price. Whether you’re shopping for a last-minute gift or simply don’t want to deal with shipping, you can quickly and easily find what you’re looking for.

So head to Google to start shopping locally - and if you're a retailer with store locations in our launched countries, follow the instructions in our Help Center to make sure you’re included in our Nearby Stores feature. Local Availability is currently in limited beta in the U.K., Japan, France and Germany, but we hope to make it more widely available in the future.