They encourage you to take advantage of the Google Shopping Engine. How can you turn down free traffic? Ricardo explains some of the steps that can get you started with your integration. Ricardo also discusses how Kliken can offer you a more automated,
Jesse: Hi, Richie! How goes it, man?
Richard: It’s going well, it’s going well, other than my Podres and your Twins out of the baseball, you know, other than that.
Jesse: Yeah, well, we’re done with baseball, footballs hanging on by a thread as we speak, but. Yeah, and for people listening here, you’re probably going to be getting close to you, probably in the thick of it, like getting ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. So today, hopefully, we’re hitting you at the right time with the right message here on getting going with Google Shopping. And Richie, we’ve been talking about Google Shopping a bunch, probably several podcasts. And I know there’s a couple of you out there. But I know not everybody listens to every single podcast, and so sad. But anyway, we’re going to bring up this topic with a different twist because there’s a ton going on. Google, they’re in a battle, and they’re bringing us some new stuff. So I’m excited about, and mostly we’re bringing up Google Shopping, not because we like to hear ourselves talk. It’s like the best way for new
Richard: I was just going to say to add to that, if we’re repeating something, we’re usually repeating it for a good reason. We’re repeating it because it works or something that’s super important. And people still forget to do or might not think that it’s that important. And so, if you hear us bringing something up over and over again, it’s important to do. Remember when we were kids, and our mom told us to eat vegetables? We’ve come to realize that was an important thing to do. You heard the same thing over and over again, but we’re trying to give you things that will help your business. And this is just definitely one of those that are highest on the list.
Jesse: Yeah, good point. The whole reason you’re listening to this podcast, at least I hope, I don’t think we’re that entertaining. The reason you should be listening to this podcast is that you want to take your business forward. You want to get some sales. And this is why we keep bringing it up. This is going to be probably the best way to get sales for
Ricardo: Thank you for having me. Good to see you again.
Jesse: You and I speak on the phone probably every couple of weeks for calls, but for the people listening that it’s probably been a year or two since we had you on. So happy to have you back. Now we’re bringing you back for several reasons. But one, you really know what’s going on with Google. You talk with them way more than anybody else. I know a lot of cool stuff going on there. Let’s talk about some of the new things going on with Google. Can you fill us in on the Google My Business and Google Local World first?
Ricardo: Sure. Yeah. So, Google My Business. Obviously becoming the leading platform, I would think, for local. Well, in the past, we have had our local listings. You might think about Yelp or some of those platforms. Now, obviously, Google is by far the largest source of local information. So we want to go to a restaurant, many years ago you might have thought about Foursquare, things like that, or maybe Yelp and now everything is Google. Right. So Google is doing a fantastic job at mapping the local searches and the local content to the Google My Business engine and really growing it as well to where it’s not just a listing anymore. Before, it was just kind of a listing, like a very simple thing.
But now, you can actually have offers in there actually directly tied with Ecwid for your customers. You can have a coupon every month that actually goes on Google My Business. It’s becoming more and more, almost like a
Let’s say you have a special schedule for the holidays. Again, this is a coupon that you can use and so forth and all very tied as well with calling the business, going to the business. The numbers are actually truly outstanding for local searches to actually going to the store on purchase. It is a huge influence on purchase behavior. So we’re really excited about what Google is doing on that side with reviews. For example, the reviews are critical in the rankings, and I love that personally. I’ve always been a little bit against SEO, to be honest with you. Because it can’t guarantee results. And I love the fact now that a lot of the organic rankings from Google come from reviews because I think that’s actually fair. Right. If you have a good company, you cannot hire somebody to fake reviews. And it’s difficult. Right. So it’s actually great that they’re using that as a proxy for a
And I know that you are on Ecwid have done tremendous, great things for the store owners like curbside pickup delivery to help them through these times. So with the context of local search on Google My Business plus having the ability to go and do curbside pickup and things like that, I think it’s just a great addition to the mechanisms and the marketing that the users are using now.
Jesse: Yeah, yeah. Actually, that’s kind of an extra tip for anybody. Don’t ignore those Google My Business. You can edit that; you can set it up, you can have reviews there. And I’ve seen a ton of Google commercials for like Google helping small businesses. And when you see these commercials, and they’re getting heavy rotation and football and baseball, I guess it’s time to see commercials. But that’s Google. Google my Business when they see fine businesses near me, and they show a little curbside pick up stuff. So everybody is listening; that’s Google My Business. You have to claim that it does connect to your store. A little extra tip here from our Google connection, Ricardo. There’s this other term out there, Google Services. I understand it, but maybe you can kind of shed some light on it. What the heck is Google Services?
Ricardo: Sure. So another great, great initiative that Google has pushed out because of COVID. And they really are doing a lot of things with having the small businesses’ best interest at heart and really helping. It was opening up the Google Shopping engine. In the past, it was all paid advertising, basically, like all the ads that showed up on Google Shopping would pay. But through this new program, Google announced in April about free listings and getting traffic on both Google Services and then the Shopping tab. Now they allow companies to actually get organic traffic, basically
That’s why it’s actually called services. And basically, what that means is that your products might show up in searches on, for example, Google Images or even Google Search itself. Not the shopping tab. So the biggest difference really is the Shopping tab is what Google called enhanced listings. The technical term is enhanced listings. And basically, they started their listings that you could see on Shopping that is not paid, and they’re only on the Shopping tab of Google. However, though, your products might show up in other places, as I mentioned, like image search or actual regular search in other places, and that’s powered by the Services. And so they are independent but kind of same content.
Jesse: Got it. Now, the key thing I heard there is free organic traffic from Google. So everybody likes free traffic. As much as we do a lot of paid search and paid traffic, there was some free traffic there. So I saw Richie light up as well. Everybody likes, you know, we want to get some free traffic. You don’t want to pay for everything.
Richard: I mean, the only time we don’t like traffic is when we’re driving on the road. Right. Other than that, when it comes to business, we like traffic, especially free.
Jesse: Yeah, I like the free. And now, when this was announced in April, they’ve changed the name of this a little bit; this was the free, organic, free listings candidate. There’s a bunch of terms that were thrown out, free organic shopping listings. But now, let’s dive into the meat of it. Here is the Google Shopping. Actually, Ricardo, since you do this all the time, maybe you can give a walkthrough of it if you want to do this on your own. What would the steps be for a merchant to set this up? Because it is possible, but if you want to go, outline the steps that somebody would go through.
Ricardo: Sure. So there’s just a bunch of steps. The first step is that you need to get a Google Ad Merchant Center set up for your business. So you will have to go on Google, get on your Merchant Center. Basically, get your store approved for the Google Merchant Center. That requires a bunch of steps. That’s not just one simple step. You need to have your store verified. That means that you will need to take a meta tag and place it on the store manually and then tell Google, and hopefully, Google gets it. And then you need to get set up all your policies and shipping policies, refund policies, return policies, your shipping methods or payment methods, your contact information readily on the website, then that has to be approved one by one.
So if any of them fail, you cannot go live. And then once you have accomplished all that, then you need to generate a feed for your products manually, probably like me. File in your computer and get in there, then set it updated on your own or, hopefully, set up a scheduled task to do that or some sort. And if you do all that, then you would be able to put the product on Google Merchant Center basically through a very laborious, intensive process that then also you have to keep on doing so.
This is not a
Jesse: And that also assumes you set up all your products correctly and you had SKUs and you had all the waits and things like that. It’s a fairly involved process. For the people that are the hackers listing, you can do this, go nuts. It’s available. A lot of people can do it. Ricardo, I know I’m going to lead you in here. There must be a better way, though. What can people that said: I really don’t want to do that. What do we have for them?
Ricardo: Yep. So we did a beautiful integration between Google, Ecwid, and Kliken to make that basically seamless. Right. So you basically select the very simple step in the UI. You select your start categories, the products that you want to be shipped to Google Shopping. And literally, in no time, it takes customers less than ten minutes to set it up. Then we hold your hand by your hand all the way to get it live.
We generate the Merchant Center automatically. We claim it automatically. We take a look at all the inventory, make sure it has all the proper attributes. Suppose they don’t resurface it, if once you actually submit when we submit to Google Shopping. If there are any issues with your store, let’s say that you’re missing a refund policy. We surface it; we send you emails about it. Hey, you’re missing a refund policy that said you’re getting up and running.
And then once we guide customers through the whole process of doing this and they and the shop is live, then they start getting traffic from Google for free, depending on what regions in the world they are, actually the US right now, it’s actually driving more traffic than other places. But towards the end of a year, it’s going to be everywhere. And then, all the inventory management going forward is fully automated. So that’s a great thing about the deep integration we have with Ecwid. If you change your inventory in the store, we know, and we push it to Google; if you run out of inventory, so like some products are done, then we take them out so that they’re not on listings.
So we actually keep that all in sync automatically daily, so it completely automates all that. And then finally, if you want to do a search like we actually want to buy ads like shopping ads and search, and you can do it also in the same once you’re approved in Google Shopping. It literally is just a
Richard: Correct me if I’m wrong here, but it sounds like reading between the lines. You didn’t actually say, but you help people get approved, too, and you’re letting them know, like when you said you need a refund policy or you need this. So you’re helping them through the approval process. And then, as they make changes to their business, there’s nothing new that they have to do. Your software or your API is going to help fix that, and they’ll correct it in Google Shopping?
Ricardo: Yeah. So especially when it comes to inventory. As you add new products, you delete old products; you change products, you update products, you change pricing. You had a new category of products. All that automatically gets pushed. Once you’re setup, the maintenance of the inventory syncs between Google and the store is fully automated.
Richard: So basically, what I’m hearing is they can go free, or they can go
Ricardo: I never thought about it. We should’ve called it aspirin. We’re like, hey, just go ahead, use it.
Jesse: I think Richie is pitching for a marketing job there.
Ricardo: I have to say I love that line. That’s great.
Richard: Ahead, take it away.
Jesse: Now the beginning of this process. This is like a managed service, almost like an agency, because some of this stuff, a computer can’t do this. Like you have actual people that are working with you. Is that correct?
Ricardo: It’s correct. Although I have to admit most of it is
If you have any issues, we have support. We can help you navigate all that. We email you; we talk to you, there is a phone number you can call. And then once you sign everything up, that’s why I’m saying it’s a little bit like
Jesse: Got it. So how much does it cost for the service?
Ricardo: It’s a whopping ten dollars a month. The price of a beer.
Jesse: Yeah. Pretty much is now. That’s what I meant early on. It’s a managed service because there’s a lot of back and forth to get it going, and then after that, it’s a little more automated and
Ricardo: If you’re doing it by hand, it’s a long time. It’s very complex. With us, it’s between five business days to ten business days depending on if you already have pretty much everything in hand, have the return policies, and things like that. It takes about five days to review and get the process done. If you don’t, then it takes, ten and obviously, it depends a little bit on the store owner themselves because if you need a refund policy, well, they have to put one up. Right. So they have to be motivated to do that. But I would say the average is between five to ten days.
Jesse: Ok, yeah, it makes sense. If you tell somebody, hey, you have to post this information on your site, and they don’t do it well, it’s going to take a little longer. OK, see, somebody goes through the process that they’re on, it did get going in five days, a little bit more, whatever. If they have some problems, then what’s the process? Do people usually try to see what they can get from free traffic first? Or do people go advertise right away? What is the usual process?
Ricardo: That’s a great question. Yeah. I think there are three main paths that we see. One is the organic traffic path where they go, and they buy, they get on Google Shopping, and then they start seeing some visits and sales and so forth. It’s a shorter period of time. Then, later on, they buy ads. So that’s that. We also see there’s a huge percentage of the users that start organic, and then they enhance the traffic with ads. However, as you know, on Ecwid, you can buy that at the moment of purchase. You can also buy a shopping campaign at the same time. So it’s just basically free listings. Gimme free traffic, and then a campaign on in one and significant group of people actually do to buy that.
There’s another group that’s a little bit different. So they tried to go and Google Shopping, but they don’t qualify. Many reasons why you might not qualify. So, for example, you cannot sell services on Google Shopping. It could be that somebody is using the Ecwid store to actually have a catalog of services and things like that. And so I actually see a group of people doesn’t fit that well into the whole shopping union, but then they can buy search ads. So that goes back to the old SEM Google keyword, you know, old AdWords. So these are the groups. I would say that the services group that was discussing it’s a very small percentage, like less than five percent.
Jesse: You see a ton of Ecwid merchants. I don’t know, probably thousands. So for people that sign up and are just looking for free traffic. They just want the free organic traffic. They sign up to do everything. What kind of numbers do you see online? I mean, I’m sure it depends on a million different things, but on average, what are people seen for, like clicks per month from the Google Shopping tab?
Ricardo: Yeah, sure. So. If they get approved, obviously, the first thing is that because they have to get approved, you’re not going to have to cover everything once they get approved. The vast majority of customers do see so. So the good thing is the vast majority see between 10 to 100 clicks a month. So it’s actually a pretty good number. And then we see about 25 percent of the users that actually see sales. Put it in right away, like in the first thirty to
And we actually have done that analysis, and we actually think a
Jesse: Ok, good. And that’s the first month. Eventually, everyone will get some sales if you can stick it out.
Ricardo: Exactly. Google is great at that too. The better you perform, the more traffic they give you.
Jesse: Just doing the math for everybody, if you get ten clicks, that’s a buck a click. That’s not a great number, but it’s not a crazy number either. It’s still about average. If you get a hundred clicks, you get ten cents anymore; you just don’t get
It’s gotten a ton better than what it was even a few years ago, mostly because they’re putting in free listings now. These used to be only paid, which eliminates, I don’t know, half the people out there, if not more so. So anyway, just everybody picture. That’s when we did the Google Shopping tab. That’s where it is on Google. And Ricardo, is there anybody you’ve seen that is maybe having more success now with this Google Shopping tab than they did with what used to be Google Shopping like a year ago when it was all paid? Is there anybody that uncovered some new method for them? Anybody’s fun, unexpected success with this.
Ricardo: I would say across the board because, in the past, it was all paid. You actually had to be running ads at all times. I think there are two macro things that have happened. One is that Google is really doing a fantastic job at promoting
I mean, like if they point that firehose to something, you’re going to get a lot of great traffic there. That is one side. And then the fact that it’s organic and paid together also is great. The maximum success we’re seeing is for people that are doing both. So you have the free listings up and running, and you’re running some smart shopping ads at the same time, and then that’s where you see a almost like a two plus two equals five. So you’ll see a lot of synergy between one side and the other one. And the Google engine is also getting a lot of data points on the organic side, on the other side to be able to serve everything better. So now we actually see a pretty significant uptick across the board for our customers. It’s definitely making a difference.
Richard: So for those people who were using just the Google Shopping feature of yours and then decided that they want to go into doing the paid ads, are there any additional things they need to do, or is this kind of included in the initial set up? And do you help them craft the ads, or do you give them any data that may be on how people searched, or how does that work as far as what they do next with the creation of the ads?
Ricardo: Yes, exactly. The same process is fully automated. You are already one step ahead because you are already on Google Shopping. So, I mean, normally they only had had the biggest roadblock was to get them on Google Shopping. Once something was up and running, serving the ads and making the ads, it’s quite straightforward. So anyway, because you’ve already been approved for the free site, you’re ready to hit the ground running. And then the way it works is the ads. We all generate ads and generate feeds and things like that. So it’s basically the almost identical process is the same. It takes less than five minutes to go through it, and then we automate the optimization. So the other big thing with ads is it’s not so much the onboarding only but OK, how are you using my money? I’m spending five hundred bucks. How you actually using it in the best feasible way?
That’s actually what we use a lot of technology to make sure that is the best return on investment. On average, on the platform, we’re seeing about eight times or so for every dollar people put in, they get it out. And that is that it is all fully automated. The next iteration of the platform that we’re building right now, we actually call it Store AI because it puts our brain on the store, and that does a little bit.
And that does a little bit where now not only allows you to market but tells you what you should be marketing to maximize your output. And that is actually something very intuitive, very actually for especially for stores that are at scale. It’s a little counterintuitive because when you think, OK, so you have a lot of products and you have 20 percent selling great, and you know, 50 percent are selling OK, and then 30 percent on really selling.
If you were going to deploy marketing, what is your best marginal return? Right. I mean, do you put money behind the ones that are selling? Or put the money behind the ones in the middle, or you put money in the ones that never see any traffic at all? And actually, you’re not rotating the inventory. That is actually a very different analysis. That’s perfect for machines. Actually, it is almost like a perfect optimization problem for machine learning.
So that’s what we’re going to to be able to actually recommend not only to the campaigns but say, hey, you should be putting, for example, we call it the dark side of a moon campaign because there are products that never see any traffic. They’re good or bad, and they never see traffic; they actually never get profit. So you should do a discovery campaign on those products only and see how well they perform and then decide what bucket they go into and things like that. So that’s coming this year.
Richard: That’s the beauty of having it connected and using the AIs. I used to think about that when I would run some retail stores for a while ways back. And I used to always think like the difference between digital and retail stores; you would have to completely reconfigure the store. But I would think, oh, let’s say, for instance,
It’s like, well,
Ricardo: Now, we’re super excited about it. I think it’s going to be a tremendous step forward in marketing.
Jesse: Yeah. And for people listening, if you’re doing advertising, you know that there’s a is taking over on the Google and Facebook ads. So while, yes, you can do that yourself, I’m kind of taking over. But like, you don’t necessarily know what products, as Ricardo was saying, the products that aren’t selling well, you’re going to ignore those. You’re not even going to put those out there to let Google say I take over.
So it is helpful, you need help right now to advertise. I’ll just say it that way. Like, even though that’s what I do for a living, I know that I’m basically teeing up the AI to do the heavy lifting for me. I’m just feeding the information to the AI. So this is kind of doing the same thing. And that number 8 ROAS, if you don’t know what that means, that’s a good number. It’s good. Usually, people are happy to get four. So you spend a dollar to get four back, and then that’s usually a
You’re not just selling to get your money back. It is a very simple thing to sign up there. I was also wondering about all these other products or verticals. You know, there are some products in on the low end that maybe they can’t really afford to advertise. Are they seeing some success now with free listings? Like if you have a product, it’s four bucks or something like that. It’s going to be pretty tough to advertise and make a profit. But like, are they doing better on free listings right now? Have you seen anything like that or anything?
Ricardo: I mean, yeah, for free listings, you get the traffic regardless. If it qualifies, if there are searches. It really makes those low margin products probably much easier to sell and to make some money on them. With that said, overall merchandising strategy that we see across the board and you guys, I’m sure, have seen it like everywhere else. This why do you have some of those cheaper products? Just bundle them a little. You bundle four for ten dollars, and you are actually selling a
But that’s an interesting question. We’ve been actually working a lot on that side of it on the Store AI. Margins are directly related to the marketing strategy. So like if you have high volume, low margin items, right. You should treat that marketing campaign differently than a low volume, high margin. And then how you actually think about what was marketing to deploy to ourselves. So that’s actually the true heart of what we’re doing with Store AI.
Jesse: Yeah. Pretty exciting to see that roll out just because I’ve seen it. Like, if you have some expensive products, some cheap products, like right now, if you’re doing it yourself, the answer would block all those low margin products, all those low dollar products are being seen at all because you don’t want to pay for the clicks, you know, but if you had some help, you had some AI on your side. There are ways to market those merchandise. So, yeah, we’ve got to make sure we know exactly how this develops. Yeah.
Ricardo: Let’s say that you’re spending five hundred bucks. And you have all your products. You’re going to do exactly what you’re saying; you’re going to say. I’m not going to even try this. But if you have a really easy way to automate a campaign, you could say, hey, look, I’m going to put the low margin products on one hundred fifty dollar campaign or a hundred bucks a month and just run low margin products and see and see how we perform. See if I can get it to break even because that’s the other thing that you never know. The auctions might actually be being expensive and trying to advertise them very effectively on their own. So it’s actually a really interesting way to look at it. And going forward, I think it’s going to be a lot of progress on that side.
Jesse: Very cool, Richie, getting close to our time here. Any last questions you’d like to ask?
Richard: Gosh, I mean, this is one of those podcasts where it’s tough to get off. You know, I feel like I could just pick in your brain forever, Ricardo, but it’s coming up like we have a little bit of a backlog. So is this probably going live what,
But moving it towards AI and the machine aspect of it later, like it’s a little more
Jesse: Yeah, via the control panel, there are two different ways; under the Marketing section, it’s Google ads, and under the Channel section, I think it’s Google Shopping. They both lead to the same place. And you’re going to enter a process that’s going to be very simple like Ricardo said. It’s really a control panel.
Get your products up there; click into there. It’s ten bucks a month. And if you’re listening to this when we think you are Cyber Monday, Black Friday is coming. The holidays are coming. You can still get this going. And, you know, but you have to kind of you have to get after it, like right now. So hopefully that’s it’s timely for everybody. I’m always excited about having guests on and have like a new kind of a simple way for people to get going.