Amazon Prime Day is the Difficult Starting Point of the Back-to-School Shopping Season – This year more than ever.
But the major trend is that Prime Day is no longer limited to Amazon. It occupies the entire retail sector and is generating increased interest in shopping through multiple marketing channels.
Including Google search.
My colleagues and I looked at some of the biggest trends affecting school search marketing, from Prime Day and its halo effect to the latest Google Ad formats and targeting features. Here are some of the results of Prime Day's impact on the Google search channel, what they mean for the coming weeks and other big trends to capitalize on this school season and beyond.
1. The first day sparked a keen interest in Google research
It's no surprise that Prime Day's hype reached a new high this year, and Google Trends demonstrates it well. The Google Trend scores are relative to each other, which means that a 100 (which occurred during the week of the first day of this year) represents the peak of popularity. a search term over a period of time. Relatively speaking, searches on "first-day deals" on Google had lost 26% of their popularity in 2018.
We also analyzed the Google Shopping impressions of several hundred retailers in June and July 2019 and compared them. year to year to better understand the impact of Prime Day on the interest of Google search.
In the two weeks before the First Day (July 1 to 14, 2019 and July 2 to 15, 2018), we saw a 58% growth in Google Mobile Shopping. impressions. For context – this growth was exactly the same in June compared to the previous year.
The inflection point arrived on Statistics Day (Prime Day), which lasted 48 hours this year and 36 hours last year. The number of Google Shopping mobile impressions has increased by 80% on the first day of the 2019 Prime Day (July 15th) compared to the first day of the Prime Day 2018 (July 16th). The second day of Prime Day recorded an 84% increase in the number of mobile impressions from one year to the next.
The growth of desktops / tablets is even more pronounced, rising from a modest growth of 18% before Prime Day to 40 and 47%. respectively on the two-day sale.
2. The First Day Halo Effect Creates an Opportunity in Google Search
Why Increased Interest in Google Search, While Amazon was the giant who managed the sale? Consumers could have checked prices on Google Shopping (Amazon's business could be accelerated by Amazon's recently revised price parity clause). Consumers could also have seen if products were available at a nearby store. Or, consumers were looking for discounted products from the many retailers offering their own promotions at Prime Day.
This is further evidence that Prime Day transcends Amazon. The halo effect creates increased commercial interest on other channels, including Google search. As a result, retailers with back-to-school products, as well as many other types of products, are likely to see better impressions on Google ads over the next two weeks as consumers continue to search for items that have attracted their attention. watch out for the Prime Day. did not buy.
In addition, the months of July and August are quite conducive to the potential realization of blank tests for some year-end promotions, and not only. back to school promotions. Enjoy the increased notoriety and commercial interest. Consider small tests to experiment with different rebate amounts, coupon amounts, and copies of promotional ads that you'll release more widely in the fourth quarter.
3. Back to school is a short and better defined season.
Prime Day became the back-to-school send-off, offering substantial discounts to price-conscious parents and students. From there, the seasonal peak continues to arrive early. For example, for a multinational brand of apparel and accessories, we found that the number of clicks and conversions from Google Shopping for queries containing "backpack" was the highest seven-day period in 2018 in 2018
The season tends to end as abruptly as it begins. For the same brand, the entire week of Labor Day in 2018 (September 2-8) saw a 50% drop in conversion rate in terms of "backpack" compared to its seasonal peak performance.
As the school year progresses, remember that there is less time for a click to be converted during this season. This is because Google Ads assigns orders on the date of the click, not on the date of the transaction.
As always, it is important to get in front of the buyers to know what to buy and where. Once buyers have chosen a retailer, they are likely to do without the search engine altogether, completely eliminating other advertisers.
4. Back to school remains unrestrained competition
With a very short season and fiercer competition than ever before, it is essential to adjust your offers proactively for the success of your seasonal marketing strategy.
You have probably already mentioned your last season's performance data as a point of reference for this year's campaign and auction strategies. Otherwise, segment the performance of your best back-to-school products and keywords by day or week over the previous year to predict when performance trends are increasing or decreasing.
A good practice is to use income. Per click, as a target key performance indicator, because it takes into account both the increase in conversion rate and the decrease in average order values associated with heavy promotion periods.
Of course, investment prospects do not guarantee past performance. future performance. The most recent performance (usually 30 days) of your major queries and products should be the basis on which you build your predictive bid adjustments. Factors such as inventory, product lineup, competitive landscape and changes to Google's algorithm can have huge consequences on performance from one year to the next. . Keep an eye on the future, but stay firmly in the present.
5. The electronics and clothing will be the best sellers – but know which parts of YOUR catalog will be the most requested
A neat Google Ads account is the key to seasonal dominance . In Shopping, be sure to set up your campaigns, ad groups, or product groups to isolate your major back-to-school items. According to the National Retail Federation, the two most important expenses for back-to-school buyers this year will be clothing, accessories and electronics. That said, review your past performance to identify the items in your catalog that will be the most requested.
If your product feed does not contain the most accurate or descriptive product types, consider using a custom label. seasonal products. The more granular your auction structure is, the more control you have over the products you promote.
In text ads, your campaigns are, hopefully, already grouped by topics. Rather than applying general adjustments to all your campaigns, increase more selectively the groups of keywords that represent your best back-to-school products. Do not forget to update your ad page and landing pages for the season, especially if you are advertising promotions or if you have created new seasonal site pages.
For more details, consider creating a separate campaign for the previous campaign. school keywords, so you can quickly and easily change your spending after the end of the Labor Day weekend.
6. Back to school search terms may trigger ads in Showcase Shopping
As I have shared in the past, Google continues to cut corners on ads traditional shopping sites that display large queries on mobile. The replacement is the most attractive Showcase Shopping ad. This trend has accelerated before last year's holiday season, which means it's the first shopping season for which Showcase ads will be a major factor in traffic.
Here's an overview of the impressions of the Showcase Shopping ads for a sample. of several hundred retailers in the last 18 months:
Search terms such as "school supplies", "backpacks" and "children's clothing" are likely to trigger the Showcase Shopping broadcast. If you're not in the Showcase game, you essentially miss all the impressions that Google's algorithm decides to trigger a Showcase carousel. Check out the demonstration procedures I've shared on Search Engine Land to help you navigate the format.
7. Back to school is a case of essential use of detailed demographic data
Back to school is also a good time to use Google's detailed demographics with your shopping campaigns. The parent segment is particularly interesting during this season. It is divided into three categories: parents of infants (0 to 1 year old), infants (1 to 3 years old), preschool children (4 to 5 years old), elementary school children (6 to 12 years) and adolescents (13-17).
If your catalog covers all these age groups, as well as adults without children, it may be wise to segment your campaigns or ad groups by demographic targets, in order to refine the most relevant products . each audience.
Back to school, return to vacation planning
Once back to school ends in September, the end of the year holidays will come into the consumer consciousness. Generate the best performance of your back-to-school campaigns now, while starting to spend your time in Vacation Planning mode. More to come in my column as the holiday season approaches.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the invited author and not necessarily those of Marketing Land. The list of authors is listed here.
About the Author
Steve Costanza is the Senior Consultant in Business Strategy Analysis at Sidecar. It analyzes the performance of digital marketing and the strategic direction of large retailers in all sectors, focusing on data visualization and advanced account segmentation. He is responsible for drawing the meaning of the numbers and determining how to use this information to guide marketing decision making. Steve is particularly close to Google's innovations that have an impact on shopping and paid search. He holds a Master's degree in Data Analysis and collaborates on Search Engine Land as well as on Sidecar Discover, Sidecar's publication that covers research and ideas that shape digital marketing in retail.