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Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

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Jesse and Richie talk with Ricardo Lasa, the founder of Klicken a second time. Google has a new automated advertising option — Smart Shopping Campaign — that is now available to Ecwid merchants using the Google Shopping integration.

  • The “old” Google Shopping
  • How Smart Ads are different
  • Display Ads
  • Gmail Ads
  • YouTube
  • Dynamic Prosecting and Remarketing

Jesse:: What’s going on, Richard?

Richard:: What’s happening, Jesse? Ready to get this started?

Jesse:: I am, happy Friday. I’m excited about today because we’re going to bring some people some very actionable advice that they can use. Basically, it’s gonna be like this magic easy button that they can push. It’s pretty cool.

Richard:: We love the easy buttons.

Jesse:: Yeah, I love the easy buttons and I also love when we can talk to people we’ve already spoken with before. Our guest now has actually been on before. We’re gonna be diving deeper into what they do. Let’s bring on the guest, Ricardo Lasa. How are you doing, Ricardo?

Ricardo:: Good. How are you guys doing?

Richard:: How’s everything? Did you survive the hurricane?

Ricardo:: We did, apparently.

Richard:: We were supposed to be recording this last week and we’re glad you’re safe and sound and the business is still booming over there.

Ricardo:: Yes. Thank you. That’s probably all for now. Many many monsoons every once in a while.

Jesse:: I imagine you just gotta get used to it.

Ricardo:: Yeah, pretty much.

Jesse:: The afternoon rains. Awesome, we’re glad you’re back. Ricardo, you are the CEO of SiteWit and to Ecwid listeners might be more recognizable as Klicken which is how you’re branded within Ecwid. Let’s step back with a quick recap on what we talked about before. What does your product do? Current state before we talk about a new announcement.

Ricardo:: Great. Yes. Our platform is Klicken and we automate Google Ads. And then also Google Shopping Ad campaigns. It’s a deeply integrated platform into Ecwid that allows you to easily generate Google Ads campaigns and Google Shopping campaigns. It also includes the generation of the Google Merchant Center account and the verification and claiming of the account and also all the generation of the feeds. It fully automates Google Merchant Center. And then it generates our global campaigns, global ad campaigns. So we measure the results and automatically bid and optimize towards maximizing sales. It’s an all in one solution to get the most out of Google Ads for Ecwid merchants.

Jesse:: Well, I think that’s a really good description. Way better than I would have described it. I think that’s like the easy button right there.

Richard:: Yeah. And for those customers or Ecwid users that didn’t hear the initial podcast, it sounds as if you actually are doing all the heavy lifting. Right. There’s just a little bit of configuration in the control panel and in signing up with the actual service and then you guys do all that. There’s nothing additional the merchants need to do. They just pull the descriptions from their current product descriptions and pictures or how does that work exactly?

Ricardo:: Yeah, that’s right. That cycle is right. Actually, the onboarding process is fairly straightforward. You just basically select it where you want to run the ads and then what categories from the store you want to advertise because we have direct access and the integration into the Ecwid store itself. We actually take all the inventory information out, generate the product description and defeats for the campaign, for the merchant center, use the images from the store directly for the ads and so forth. It’s really really easy. It’s just sort of steps, I think our average customer completes campaign in less than 10 minutes. It’s really really straightforward. And then from that point forward, we automate their maintenance and optimization in the sense that, for example, if you add new products for that category you’re advertising, our platform picks it up and generates ads for the product. Same thing if you actually run out of inventory. Let’s say you’re in a category. You have a couple of really successful items and you run out of inventory. We actually stop the ads for those products so far, so you’d actually completely automate the management once a company launches.

Jesse:: Yeah, that’s perfect I think. And even that last part there about running. If you run out of inventory and a product, the ads automatically stop. That’s a huge bonus for people. In e-commerce a lot of times you’re not logging into your Google Ads account every single day. And so yeah, a product was successful, you keep budding, bidding and then you look: “Oh man, I’ve been out of stock on that product for like a month and I just wasted two hundred bucks on Google.” I think that’s like a little hidden gem there for anybody.

Richard:: That’s great. The last thing you want to do is be driving ads towards something that’s not there. And then you’re even going to get customers that are gonna be upset. “Why did you drive me to an ad and it’s out of stock?”

Jesse:: That’s great I think. We could almost do the mike drop on the podcast right now. “Okay, hey guys, automated Google Shopping.” It takes just 10 minutes and somebody else is managing this all for you, super easy. And I think we’ve mentioned on other podcasts and other videos about the importance of naming your products and doing really good descriptions, and this is why. Because all that information is basically used by Klicken and Google to generate all these ads and basically sell your products for yourself. Anyway, a reminder to everybody: do good product names and good product descriptions, good product pictures because that feeds all this stuff.

Ricardo:: Actually, that’s so important. The right product descriptions even for categorization of the products that drive much cheaper cost per click. That’s a great point. Jesse, I think that it’s definitely something that the podcast listeners should definitely pay attention to. Because you’d receive an immediate benefit not only from getting a better click, the rates, and better traffic, your auctions because they’re higher quality and they’re better matched. You tend to pay less per cost per click. So the better the descriptions on the store, the better the marketing.

Jesse:: Yep. I’m going to keep driving that home on all the videos and emails.

Richard:: Yeah, and do the customers actually log in to the site with Kliken, or do they log in to their store to see what’s going on, or to get a report, how exactly they know what’s happening?

Ricardo:: Yeah…

Richard:: Go ahead.

Ricardo:: Sorry for interrupting. I was going to say we are directly embedded into Ecwid. So when you are in the Control Panel of your Ecwid store, if you go to marketing and then Google ads, you click through and then you actually do all the campaign management, all the reports, everything else is there. There’s no need to go anywhere else. Everything is within your Ecwid experience.

Richard:: That’s awesome.

Jesse:: Awesome. That’s what’s already there today. And the reason we brought you on today is that there’s something new that’s coming. Depending on when you listen to this, for listeners, this might already be available or it might be in testing and coming in the next couple days, so please look for it. But Ricardo, why don’t you give us an outline of the new announcement the new product updates?

Ricardo:: Sure. We actually are releasing a new generation of Google Shopping campaigns called Smart Shopping campaigns and they’re a wonderful addition to the toolsets that Google provides to store owners. And basically, they are like the name says — Smart Shopping campaigns. They actually provide a lot of A.I. and a lot of actually really machine learning based intent for the ads. And to try to explain a little bit more on a surface level, basically, the ads instead of just being displayed during searches, they also use retargeting for displaying the ads that have been put, for example, in the shopping cart, things of that nature. And so the marketing is much more effective. It doesn’t drive only new customers to your store but as they put products into the shopping cart and say they leave and things of that nature, they actually get to see them also on Google properties. And then they can click back and complete the purchase. So the engine is really really smart, did actually use this intent on the user level. The engine knows, for example, what users are more likely to buy, at what point in time and uses that to actually serve the marketing. It’s all integrated into this one solution, you don’t have to worry about building their retargeting ads. They’re actually built directly from the product feeds, or even doing any type of integration, as far as like when to target customers and things of that nature. It all happens automatically, and it provides a much deeper breadth of reach to customers than Google search alone, because you’re actually doing a Google search and retargeting through all the Google platforms including Gmail and everything else.

Jesse:: I think there’s a couple of things I want to point out there. You mentioned all Google properties and so for people out there listening, it’s not just when you google stuff. It’s not just going into Google.com. Google owns YouTube, so these products can be shown on YouTube, and they can be shown on Gmail, and they can be shown on pretty much any website out there. You’re going to see all the ads. Not all of them are generated by Google but a pretty good percentage of them. This basically means that you have the Google Shopping covered. If people are looking for your products on search, they’ll definitely see your products and they’ll see the picture and the price. But then once they go to your website or Google thinks that they intend to purchase this, they’re going to start seeing your products all over the place. They’re going to immediately think you’re a very big company because they’re going to be like “Man, this advertiser, this merchant has figured out how to advertise on YouTube and on Gmail and all these other websites. And by the way that’s the product I was looking at like three days ago.” Wow, it’s pretty amazing.

Richard:: And you were mentioning there all Google properties. I have a quick question. Does it actually work? Say there’s a blog out there that’s covering a product that you might sell. You sell fishing lures and it’s a fishing blog. If they have Google AdSense on there, could it show up on that property as well?

Ricardo:: Yes. It depends on the exact parameters of the last, I mean the blog, for example. So Google is really good at only showing ads in high-quality blogs. So the answer to that is yes. If the blog itself is a high-quality rated blog by Google and it’s related to their theme of the ads, the ads will actually show there. And that would show again in theme, other properties like Gmail. If you’re actually themed by whatever the ads are and so forth. So the answer is yes. It is a really great combination of maximum reach and high quality because I think that’s really important for Google and for us. Do those ads show up in relevant places? So once your blog is qualified as a good source of information for whatever industry you’re in, then you will qualify for these types of parts also.

Richard:: Well, that’s great.

Jesse:: By the way I’ve I’ve already played with this before so I’m on the beta list here. It is pretty amazing how your ads will populate throughout and so this program will actually take… If you’re familiar with Google Shopping ads already, that’s the picture of the product and it’s the price and it’s listed on the top of the Google search. But this Google Smart Shopping campaign takes all those product photos and all the prices and then mixes and matches it in a variety of different places. Depending on the size of the ad it might have one product and it might borrow a bit of the description, it might have little… we’ll call it stickers on it that make it stand out a little bit more. And by the way, you don’t have to do any of this. In a not too distant past, it would have been very painful to set up Gmail and YouTube ads and display ads using the product. There’s a lot of things you have to put together. So this is definitely the easy button for marketing basically. So, Ricardo, what does this cost? What does it cost to get started with something like this?

Ricardo:: Our platform starts at one hundred and fifty dollars per month and including ad spending. It’s actually very priced for both new advertisers and those who have been around for a long time. For example, one hundred fifty dollar package includes already one hundred twenty dollars worth of Google Ad spend and then you can go up all the way to thousands of dollars per month depending on your return on investment and how your store is performing. We’ve had customers on a good start from one hundred and fifty dollars and end up spending over six thousand a month and actually be a super successful and making a really high return investment across the board. But it’s priced for the entry level being a hundred and fifty dollars to get started. And again you can find the right approach. I mean your right budget based on where you are with the store. So for stores that have been around for a long time and they already have a pretty big customer base. We tend to see larger bugets but you can start as long as 150 per month.

Richard:: Yeah, to Ricardo’s point there. Anyone who’s listening, don’t get scared when he says to thousands of dollars a month because you’re gonna be moving up and spending more when you’re making more money. It’s not like you’re just arbitrarily starting to spend a lot more money. I’ve done this a little bit but if you’ve spent 10 dollars and you could sell it, make twenty dollars. How many times would you spend ten dollars? Many times you can’t. I know there’s margin question in this and that but you will up your ad spend as you see success with the campaign. Don’t worry that 150 sounds like a great deal, that actually you said includes one hundred and twenty dollars in ad spend, I hear that right?

Ricardo:: That’s right. Most of our money goes to Google. A funny story, the story of a customer, one of actually our earlier customers in Ecwid, sold products that were in the two thousand dollar range and for hundred fifty dollars he sold something like seven thousand dollars a month worth of product and that went for like 300 bucks next month and sold like 20,000. So yeah, there’s roughly an upgrade path when you see that you’re putting a couple of hundred bucks in or through others and selling thousands, for sure.

Jesse:: Yeah, I think that it gets back to advertising. You might think of it as an expense but it’s how you grow usually. There’s a lot of ways to get traffic and get sales but spending money when you can track the results so easily and in a nice dashboard, it’s pretty amazing when you can say “OK, I spent 150.” You can figure out how many sales you got and then how much profit you made. And then you can decide from there. Did that work for me? Do I want to spend more or do I want to keep spending the same? That’s basically pay-per-click marketing one to one there. I think it’s a great introduction for people to check that out. We talked a little bit about tips earlier on like using good product descriptions, good images and such. What other tips would you have, Ricardo, for people setting up? Because I know you’ve seen probably hundreds of customers doing this, so you might have seen some common things that help people out.

Ricardo:: Sure. I think the most important thing is to to make sure that you have the store ready for marketing before you start marketing. By that I mean get the store up and running and then at least get like 10 or 20 organic sales just to make sure that the actual checkout process works correctly, that you’re not missing any configuration things. For example, some people might not configure checkout completely and then you definitely don’t want to drive traffic to a store that cannot buy. Right. But once you actually set up your store completely, there are a couple of things that actually are really critical to the success. One is to agree with the pictures. Have high-quality pictures, have high-quality descriptions and pricing and then also make sure that the structure of the store makes sense. By that I mean when you set up your categories, set them up even though it takes a little bit more time to set up a store in a way that actually would categorize something. Let’s say how Amazon categorizes their products. I highly recommend that because once you actually categorize the store correctly, let’s say you have apparel and then you do t-shirts and then you even want to break it down into long sleeve and short sleeve and things of that nature. What we do is we actually take that structure from the store to form the feeds. So the feeds come much better once your store is categorized correctly. I would say definitely prep this store, get the store up and running, structure everything correctly, put the right categories, put the right subcategories, write product descriptions and then make sure that you have all the major pieces to do e-commerce on Google in place. Terms of service, your privacy policy, your shipping rates, taxation, all this stuff. Once you have all that done, then for us it’s a homerun. It’s like it’s almost guaranteed that if you have everything set up correctly we’ll drive traffic that will convert.

Jesse:: Ok. And then now you mentioned that categorization. Does that mean organizing them into a category on your own store or does that mean… I know there are spreadsheets and such that come from Google and Facebook and Amazon. Where does that categorization fit in?

Ricardo:: We actually automate the categorization for Google, that we take care of. It means more than the categorization of the store itself.

Jesse:: Ok. So you’re saying that if you organize it in categories on your store, it’s going to make your job not just easier, but make that next step better.

Jesse:: Exactly, makes that next up much better. What we saw in some instances where there were very flat stores like maybe one category and a bunch of products that that should have been broken up into smaller categories. For example, we’re talking about fishing. Like fishing rods. That’s actually a great example. You could get a store, let’s say with 100 products and all of them are fishing rods right. But if you actually break them down into the different categories into fly fishing rods, offshore fishing rods, inshore fishing rods, all the different categories. And then even those categories, break them down into fiberglass or carbon or wood or whatever they are. And then put the right products underneath. It’s going to help you tremendously for many reasons. It is going to help you to form much better feeds, categorize the products better for Google and Facebook later on. But even for your store itself, for this coverability, once you have it set up like that, our ads drive traffic directly into the product. So if somebody saw a fly fishing rod and they go into your store to that one fly fishing rod and they want to see more, or they just need to click this up category here and you see all the other ones. It makes both the targeting experience and the learning experience much better.

Jesse:: Yeah, that’s great. I think that’s good advice for your store in general, whether you want to do advertising but it really helps out when you are doing advertising because it is driven by these feeds that you mentioned which… Everybody, don’t freak out, you don’t have to worry about the feeds necessarily because you guys set it up for them but they are underlying. That is what drives things in that, they need to fit into the right category. I think that’s actually really good tips for people to think about. Ricardo, again you’ve seen so many of these stores, you have seen a bunch of success stores. What is the average return that people get on this if they spend let’s just say a hundred bucks? What kind of average which I’m sure is all over the map but what’s the average on that?

Ricardo:: Yeah, it’s all over the map on average and we’re seeing at least three times. If you put a hundred, you get three hundred on that.

Jesse:: That’s good. A good number, a good benchmark for people to think about. That’s okay. That makes sense. There is a promotion now, sometimes these do change everybody so if you listen to this later, it might be a different promotion. But what’s the current deal we have, Ricardo?

Ricardo:: The current deal we have which we worked together both Ecwid and Klicken and Google to provide for Ecwid customers is a buy a hundred and fifty dollars and get a hundred and fifty dollars the second month. Basically, buy a month, get a month free. That’s available for all new advertisers starting to advertise on Google Ads. Basically, pay one hundred and fifty dollars and get the second month for free.

Jesse:: Awesome, removing all the barriers here for people to try it out. We didn’t talk about this before the call here but I have a little breaking news announcement. Previously all the advertising options used to be… you had to be on a paid plan in order to use that. So by the time you listen to this, we are going to enable this for free users as well, with the idea that we want our users to be successful. A lot of times if you’re on a free plan, you might need to advertise first in order to be successful. Anyway, just an announcement to everybody out there. If you’re on a free plan with Ecwid, this is now being moved into the free plan. Don’t panic if you don’t see that, we’re rolling it out, there’s always some testing in things like that. Actually, super excited about that for all of our users to be able to access this. Richard, any last questions here for Ricardo?

Richard:: No, it’s fantastic, makes me even want to start another store up and actually get this going. Quick question for people who are already using Klicken, will they have to do anything new when this new stuff rolls out? Again depending upon when they’re listening to this. Do they have to reach out to you and change any settings? How are they going to know that now they can take advantage of the Smart Shopping?

Ricardo:: For all new accounts it’s going to be available and then for existing accounts that are already running on shopping campaigns, we can upgrade one by one. Basically, there’s no such thing as a switch for Google Shopping, you can’t start changing your campaigns. So for existing customers we have our way to just basically take the old campaign and make it Smart Shopping but it would definitely require a stop of the old campaign and the start of a new one.

Jesse:: Ok, these are not supposed to be run, for a Smart Shopping campaign you’re supposed to stop other campaigns that are Google Shopping and remarketing, is that correct?

Ricardo:: Exactly, you don’t want to overlap campaigns. Actually, reformatting behind-the-scenes structure for Google Shopping campaigns is different than for Google Smart Shopping. Basically, to move one to the other you actually have to change structures. Think about it as almost an import drawn from Google Shopping campaigns into Smart Shopping campaigns.

Jesse:: Got it. I’m excited for all of our users in the past to be able to test this and all for the new users. People that are on a free plan to be able to get going and launch, push the easy button for marketing. So excited about that. Ricardo, really appreciate being on the podcast again. Richard, another great show.

Richard:: Yeah, let’s get this going, get this started.

Jesse:: Good afternoon. Thanks, Ricardo.

Ricardo:: Thank you.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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