Google Merchant Center’s Assortment Report
Assortment. Typically a word associated with delicious chocolate boxes (or at least, in my case it is). Very fitting for this time of year as I start to make plans for the Christmas holiday, some of which I intend to spend sitting slumped on my sofa with a big old box of Quality Street watching Love Actually. Perfect.
Is it a coincidence then, that Google chose October to release the new Assortment Report? Actually, no. But not because the report’s name has anything to do with chocolate boxes (and yes, I spend way too much time thinking about chocolate).
In fact, the timing couldn’t have been better, with retailers braced to ramp up their Google Shopping activity in anticipation of record-breaking online sales in the run-up to Christmas.
At a recent Google Shopping event, we heard that £21.6b was spent online during the Christmas season in 2014 – an increase of 13% YoY. Also, 25% more online transactions were made on Christmas day than the previous year, and 156m visits were made to retail sites on Boxing Day – an increase of 20% YoY.
With even further growth in online spend forecasted this Christmas season, retailers have an unprecedented opportunity to reach consumers via Google Shopping Ads.
So what exactly is the Assortment Report, and how can advertisers use it to benefit their Google Shopping activity?
Aptly dubbed by Search Engine Land as the “ultimate FOMO report for retailers advertising on Google Shopping”, the Assortment Report aims to help advertisers reach more shoppers online by providing insight into demand for popular products they don’t already stock.
Based on data from the last 14 days, the report shows the top 100 products on Google Shopping that aren’t already offered in an advertiser’s Merchant Center product feed, helping retailers identify potential brands and items to be added to their assortment. Product popularity is calculated using clicks and ‘other factors’ (presumably search queries for one).
Advertisers are able to filter the information by product category in order to view data for products that are most relevant to them – though only categories that currently receive impressions will be shown.
Information found on the report includes item rank by order of popularity, the manufacturer brand, product image, and product title, description and category. Benchmark pricing is also shown for up to 5 brands appearing for a particular product.
A potential drawback of the report is that popular products tend to be super competitive, so retailers hoping to use the information to identify new product opportunities will need to consider aggressive pricing strategies in order to win those all-important Shopping clicks.
Nonetheless, lots of useful insights to be gained for sure – and a different association to the word ‘assortment’ for this chocoholic!
To view the report, navigate to the Assortment section within Google Merchant Center.
Find out more on Google’s Help Center article.