Ecommerce in 2020: Google Shopping & Facebook Shops

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Ecommerce has been growing for years, becoming the norm for many consumers as we get more comfortable shopping from our phones, laptops, and tablets. How has 2020 in all it’s myriad new developments impacted what you as an ecommerce store should be doing to sell your products? According to eMarketer, ecommerce revenue in the US is expected to grow by 18% this year, standing in stark comparison to the now expected decline of 10.5% in total retail revenue. In other words, now is the time to build out a more comprehensive ecommerce strategy and take advantage of some new developments, namely Facebook Shops and Google Shopping’s free addition.

FACEBOOK SHOPS

What is it?

Facebook Shops is a free, and simple, platform that will allow you to showcase your products on both Facebook and Instagram while being able to customize the look and feel of your store. Your Shops products will be visible from your FB page and you’ll be able to pick and choose the products from your catalog to showcase. Even more interesting, you’ll be able to feature these Shops products in ads, product-tagged posts, and stories. Viewers will be able to shop your products, add them to their carts and check-out within Facebook!

Pros

  • Adding Facebook Shops would be a great idea for you if you feel that your audience is power FB/IG users who will appreciate the ease of buying within the platform. We believe that with a younger audience this could be especially beneficial.
  • Adding Facebook Shops may represent an incremental lift purchases with no added cost besides the time of setting it up.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with your current website, it can be a quick way to improve shopper experience for FB/IG users.

Cons

  • Adding another ecommerce stream of revenue could sound a little overwhelming, but will the extra effort be worth it? Your first concern should be operational capacity. If you’re already stretched thin managing Amazon and website orders or have regular inventory issues you may find that you’re not ready to pile on FB Shops.
  • Adding FB shops to the mix won’t be as simple as
    • Step 1. FB Shops
    • Step 2…
    • Step 3. Profit.
    • You’re going to have to work for it. Figuring out how Shops factors into your marketing mix and build out a better FB ad funnel.
  • If you’ve only been using FBA (fulfillment by amazon) for ecommerce this would require handling fulfillment of orders yourself. If you don’t have a system in place it may not be a viable option.

Bonus note: if you use one of these platforms for ecommerce you are able to create a FB shops catalog automatically!

GOOGLE SHOPPING 

What is it?

Many ecommerce business owners will be familiar with Google Shopping, but as a paid advertising tactic within Google Ads. Most notably Google Shopping is the product ads that frame the top of the search engine results page when looking for items to purchase online. In late April Google announced this was changing.

“…search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.”

Along with Shopping Ads on the pay-per-click based model, with this new development you will now be able to serve your products in a similar product listing within the Shopping section, free of charge on Google. When clicking into the Shopping tab on Google, intent is high for purchasing and being able to deploy a blend of paid and free tactics is… HUGE. This shift allows a greater number of ecommerce businesses to get in the action without major investments and has already attracted attention of current sellers on Google. Google also recently announced that they will no longer be taking a commission fee for selling your products through another featured ad format displayed on the Shopping tab, through Google Shopping actions.

Pros

  • If you already are using Google Merchant Center and running Google Shopping ads, you don’t have to do anything and are probably already receiving additional impressions/clicks for free concurrent with your existing shopping ads.
  • After Amazon, Google is still near the top of the list for many shoppers looking for product information. By being able to prominently place your products within search results without having to run ads or build out a better organic presence could dramatically improve the trajectory of your business (especially if you’re just launching).

Cons

  • If you’re not currently using Shopping Ads through Google Merchant Center there is a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to create a product feed and go through the setup process.
  • Order fulfillment within Google Shopping Actions may be an added challenge for businesses that are not very nimble. Orders will have to be manually marked as fulfilled.
  • The benefit you receive from implementing this will vary widely depending on the demand for your products within Google.

OK! SO SHOULD YOU ADD ONE, OR BOTH?

The world may never go back to shopping in-store at the same level it did before COVID-19, and ecommerce spending is only going to increase. While adding either Facebook Shops or Google Shopping as sales channels will not be as easy as flipping a switch, you should determine if either works for your business and develop an execution plan. If your business is in need of a revenue boost and you have the resources these could both be great next steps. Also check out our blog on scaling your ecommerce store for additional considerations as you plan for growth.

WAIT … WHAT ABOUT AMAZON?

Oh yeah, Amazon is still a thing as well! You can’t talk about ecommerce channels and storefronts without talking about Amazon. If you have been focusing your sales efforts primarily on your website and/or Amazon, how do you decide if it’s worth pursuing additional platforms? Amazon will likely always be a necessary component of your strategy if it’s been working well, but having Amazon (especially FBA) should not divert you from investing time and resources into either of these channels. When it comes to Amazon, what worked yesterday may not generate sales tomorrow so it’s a risk to be too dependent on it. When you have the opportunity to put in effort for FREE incremental revenue you need to consider it. If you need help adding Facebook Shops or Google Shopping to your current ecommerce setup, Gemini is here for you!