Key Themes From Shop.org And Their Impact on Paid Search

By — 09.19.12

Last week, the National Retail Federation hosted the 2012 Shop.org Annual Summit in Denver, Colorado. Over 4,400 professionals gathered to hear about the latest trends in the retail space. From omni-channel, to mobile, to Google Shopping, retailers swapped best practices and ideas.

The topic on every retailer’s mind was omni-channel. How do you communicate across all channels, and then measure their effectiveness? How do internal teams work together to deliver a consistent brand experience? How is data shared across the entire organization? Jamie Nordstrom shared his thoughts on the importance of focusing on customer engagement. In his presentation, he gave examples of how Nordstrom delivers an excellent customer experience both in store and online. You can read the full recap here.

So what happens if you’re already engaging shoppers across channels? How can data from one channel be used to influence another? A great example comes from Adlucent client, Garrick Baxter. Prior to Shop.org, Garrick shared ways retailers can use paid search data to influence promotions and merchandising decisions. You can read more about it in our complimentary report, Making Retail Paid Search Predictive.

Another topic that continues to capture attention is mobile. As adoption increases and the list of mobile devices grow, retailers struggle to deliver a cohesive customer experience. From site design, to payments, to advertising, this channel presents a unique set of challenges. According to eMarketer, mobile advertising is projected to grow from $1 billion in 2011 to $4.3 billion by 2015, with paid search accounting for 40.2% of spend. If you manage your campaigns wisely, there are huge gains to be had. At Adlucent, we’ve found that mobile return on ad spend has grown 50% year over year, and gross profit per impression by 28%. As mobile proves to be a successful customer acquisition tool, retailers must develop strategies to best manage spend and provide shoppers with what they’re looking for — whether it’s products, promotions, or simply locating a nearby store.

With the recent switch from Google Product Search to a paid service, Google Shopping received a lot of media attention leading into Shop.org. Thanks to their visually appealing format, product listing ads (PLA’s) are on pace to overtake paid search ads at the top of queries. Retailers are quickly getting on board to take advantage of the lower cost per click’s and higher conversion rates. In fact, Adlucent client Adorama saw PLA click-through rates (CTR) rise 176% and conversion by 100%. In addition, revenue from PLAs grew 63% in the second quarter of 2012. So what percentage of advertising dollars should you put towards Google Shopping? That depends on your unique set of products and your customer acquisition strategy. A unified approach to paid search and PLA’s is key, so make sure to consult your search provider.

Next year Shop.org will be hosted in the Windy City and there’s sure to be a new list of trending topics. What do you predict will be the problem to solve?

Andrea Stout

Andrea is the Director of Marketing at Adlucent. She loves developing content, crunching numbers, and learning the latest trends in ecommerce. Connect with her on Twitter.


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