Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst Europe 2014. We’ll be live blogging some of our keynote sessions to make sure that Catalyst attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #EUCatalyst and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest updates.
David Lloyd now takes to our keynote stage to talk about the latest Google changes and discuss some of the key trends we are seeing today.
People are online:
The average download speed in the UK has ramped up at an unprecedented pace in last 6 years. David says that everyone at Google is obsessed with speed. For retail websites, after 3 seconds, every second longer you take to load, you begin to lose 7% of customers. When conversions are so important, this lack of speed has a massive impact on the bottom line.
David tells the room about Google Fiber in the US, which gives inhabitants of three US cities broadband speeds 100 times faster than normal. He also said that maintaining speed isn’t the only focus, it needs to be capable the remaining 5bn people online who don’t have interest access online by 2020. This is a very exciting opportunity for business.
David reiterates that the UK is the most sophisticated e-commerce market in the world, the second keynote speaker to say this today. David thinks that while today international expansion accounts for $25bn but this could rise to $130bn by 2020.
Consumers are mobile
76% of people have a smartphone, and 64% of people have admitted to researching a product before they go to buy it. 39% of people purchase directly from their mobile at least once a month. David said that 4G is definitely contributing to this growth in m-commerce. John Lewis reported that on Christmas Day 2013 was through mobile or tablets while Argos says that 20% of total sales come from mobile devices.
David does a live demo of his Google phone and the information that we have at our fingertips.
So how can you benefit from people being online? There are two ways to get a slice of this cake.
Previously all you really needed to know about Google was keywords, bids and ads. Today, although those are important, these areas are becoming more complex. Now we have Sitelinks, Google PLAs, ratings, Google+ etc. Consumers are receiving a lot more information before they ever click into an ad and are getting a wider picture.
David is now demoing the Google Shopping product, showing how Google captures different shoppers at different stages of the shopping funnel. Rich information is equipping consumers with all they need to complete a purchase. David explains that Google’s requirement for high quality images is just for this reason; customers are visually driven and are increasingly searching for richer information.
What a Google user wants is to give us a really simple question with little information and have Google deliver back as much information as possible to make their purchase decision as easy as possible. This is why the product feed is so important and why Google requires many different options.
Google Shopping Campaigns
David is speaking about the recent introduction of Google Shopping Campaigns, which allows retailers to group products together, better insights and competitive landscape data. From an initial customer case study, one customer say a 30% decrease in their CPA for campaigns.
David finished off this section with 5 practical tips;
1. Make sure all your products are online
2. Provide as full a feed as possible
3. Use shopping campaigns to increase control
4. Use benchmarks to educate bid strategies
5. Monitor and optimise
David said that you have to think not just about what the customer can see, but what they can’t see. Working on things like location, device or context will make your searches a lot more relevant. Remarketing is a really important aspect of this, but by a show of hands, only 10% of the audience are effectively using remarketing campaigns. Think about your location- if you know your customer is nearby and on their mobile, you know the intent is there, but not many are using location based bidding.
The Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO) effect is something of high importance. Not everyone will end up converting online, but if you’re not enabling that research, you will not convert anywhere. Smartphones don’t always have the conversion rates of desktops, but look at the potential value of store locator or stock searches.
David also shared a very exciting coming soon to the UK announcement, which was local PLAs. It’s already launched in the US and will soon be in beta testing in the UK, which will allow retailers to give local store level inventory. So exciting!
Reminder for the Catalyst Europe’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #EUCatalyst tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be live blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.