Live Blogging from 2014 Catalyst: Google Fireside Chat (Part II)

March 11, 2014

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst 2014. We’ll be live blogging the general sessions to make sure Catalyst attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #Catalyst2014 and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest.

Moderator: Link Walls, VP of Product Management, ChannelAdvisor

Guest: Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management for Shopping Search, Google

Part I of this blog is located here:

Enhanced Campaigns

Link: Talk to us about Enhanced Campaigns

Buch: I don’t personally own Enhanced Campaigns-caveat.  Reason Google launched is that mobile was an after-thought—a tier 2 platform, and they realised it’s where the industry is going. Didn’t serve the user to not be focused on mobile.

No reason to differentiate between tablet and desktop.  Made it easier to participate on mobile.  It’s working, mobile ad traffic is up, and mobile participation is up.

It’s been almost a year, see it as quite successful.

Link: Challenge we see is that it’s difficult for some retailers to get a mobile app in order.  Online retail community needs to figure out what a good mobile site looks like.

Buch: Need to pay attention to mobile as it’s growing.

Link: Talk to us about Google Shopping Express

Buch: GSX.  Google Shopping Express website shows selection of products from local retailers.  Delivered by Google. Google is not the seller, just handling the transaction. Rationale for doing that is that there are a lot of people who want local products but want them delivered.  Retailers can’t have a scalable delivery service, especially for cheaper orders.

Found people really like the service. Become quite popular in the Bay area.  Still evaluating expansion geographically as well as the number of supported categories.

Give you a 2-4 hour window for delivery, received the same day as the order.

Link: Talk about Google Merchant Promotions

Buch:  Promotions, discounts and coupons have always been a part of shopping.  Historically Google has supported this.  Allow retailers to send us a list of coupons/promotional products.  Free service.  Have found it leads to an uplift in performance.  They do check to ensure that users are getting the proper deal. If it’s 25% off, the retailer should not have raised the price to make up the difference.

It’s been good for authentic offers that users can trust.

Link: Can backfire, especially if there are exclusions, so retailers should manage carefully.

Link: Landscape of the search engine results page (SERP) has changed so much. One question we get is “Does SEO still matter?”  A lot of that has been pushed down due to new programs. How should retailers think about that?

Buch: When Google as a company decides what should be on a SERP, the arbiter is what the user will like. If nobody clicks on it, it’s not going to show up.  Have strict guidelines for how much of page can be taken up by content that isn’t search results.

Doesn’t run the SEO side, but his understanding is that organic traffic is still very important to retailers.

Link: In our data, it’s becoming more of a winner takes all.

Buch: Pretty strict wall between how much space can be paid.  The algorithm picks the results that are going to perform best.

Link: Any closing thoughts?

Retailer can’t think of platforms singularly.  Use mobile and tablet as a visual shopping companion.

 Reminder for the Catalyst America’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: #Catalyst2014 to keep 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.