by Louise


Google Ads, Google Analytics, Online Advertising

Getting Black Friday-Ready Across Google Shopping

A record-breaking £1.4bn was spent on online sales in the UK on Black Friday last year, up some 11.4% on 2016. Whether you think it’s bonkers or brilliant, it’s now more important than ever for brands to up their Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) game.

So, after months of planning, tweaking and finalising the offering, now is the time to put everything into action to capitalize on this shopping mayhem.

In our experience…

We tend to find that whilst most brands are focusing on the offer and strategy to use across the search landscape, the shopping campaigns can often be an afterthought.

With so many users coming to Google with a ‘buy’ mindset, it’s crucial for brands to prepare their shopping campaigns and take advantage of all available shopping features to maximise their exposure during this peak period.

Strategy 1 – Audiences

Think about the potential customers that have recently visited your site but haven’t converted. To put this into context, if your current conversion rate is 5%, the remaining 95% of users have already shown an interest in your brand. Your BFCM offer could be just the thing they need to give them that final bit of encouragement to make a purchase.

Equally, if you have users who have already converted, are they likely to purchase again? Could you secure that second order? Perhaps a gift purchase?

We would suggest adding the following audiences with increased bid modifiers:

  • All visitors
  • Basket abandoners
  • Converters
  • Similar audiences

The above can also work particularly well when segmented further. For example, by the number of days since their last visit. Are users more likely to convert if they visited the site just a few days ago? Or would users who converted during the same period last year, be likely to purchase a second time?

Performance will differ across sectors. A user purchasing a hamper, may come back to purchase a second in a short space of time, whereas a user purchasing a car is a lot less likely to do so!

Strategy 2 – Merchant Promotions

There isn’t a huge amount of customisation available within the Google Shopping results, however, the use of Merchant Promotions can work well to help brands stand out against the competition.

Whether the offer requires a promo code or not, the ‘Special offer’ tag can help capture the user’s attention and reinforces the idea that they’re getting a good deal.

Click here for more information and the steps required to implement Merchant Promotions.

Strategy 3 – Campaign Priority

During the BFCM period you may have a few key products that you are leading with or want to push. You may also have specific budgets to support the event. Either way, using campaign priority can give you the control you need over which campaigns and bids are used.

Custom labels can be used to split products into key themes. For example, ‘best-sellers’ vs ‘everything else’, or ‘products on promotion’ vs ‘other products’. Once these labels have been applied to the relevant products within the shopping feed, campaigns can be built around each theme and a campaign priority can be assigned, like so:

  • High priority
    Products on promotion – including the new campaign created specifically for BFCM, with all key products to be promoted during the peak period.
  • Medium priority
    Other products – including the existing campaigns within the account, usually organised into key themes.
  • Low priority
    Everything else – including any products that haven’t been assigned to a specific campaign based on their theme, acting as a ‘catch all’ in case any products are missed, or new products are added to the site.

High priority shopping campaigns can be assigned a dedicated budget and take advantage of the seasonal peak. Whilst the medium and low priority campaigns can pick up all other products that still drive revenue but aren’t a key focus during that period.

For more information on campaign priority, click here.


Once you’re happy everything has been set up successfully, it’s important to continue to monitor the performance and adjust as necessary.

Check your budgets on an ongoing basis to achieve maximum exposure. Frequent bid management is also essential to keep pushing those top performing products and capitalise on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Get in touch to discuss how your brand can maximise ROI during peak seasonal periods.


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