Bullseye Buzz: eComm Driving Changes for Google Merchant, Pinterest
It’s often been touted that necessity is the mother of invention. And while the invention of eCommerce dates back to the infancy of the Internet, a global pandemic accelerated the growth of eCommerce beyond what was fathomable as entire countries went into lockdown. For most of 2020, people had to shop primarily online. While eMarketer does predict a slow down in eComm growth in 2021, it’s still top-of-mind for social media platforms and search engines who want to make it easier for their users to shop. Their goal is to offer users more reasons to stay on their platforms.
Pinterest Growth and Shopping Investment
Pinterest is unlike most other social media platforms. Yes, people and brands post interesting content. Occasionally people comment and have a dialogue. What sets Pinterest apart is that, similar to a search engine, people use it to search for ideas and ultimately products they’re interested in purchasing. The user’s intent on Pinterest is to first research, and then ultimately to buy, making this platform compelling for eCommerce.
Brands and marketers have noticed the platform’s ability to drive sales. Revenue jumped 67% year over year in Q4. And they continue to invest in shopping as it has become a big part of why people use Pinterest.
Ben Silbermann, chief executive for Pinterest, was quoted during a recent call with investors. “We see shopping as this bridge between the two halves of our mission, inspiration and action. We’ve made progress by expanding the number of surfaces to let them shop.”
And brands have taken note; the number of active online product catalogs increased 60% between Q3 and Q4 2020. For brands with products that generate a high level of searches and have been shown to receive topical interest on Pinterest, it’s a social media platform that should be on your radar.
Google Merchant Price Enforcement
Google is now checking price differences between landing pages and the shopping cart. They’ll even be issuing warnings and take action against those that show a different price at checkout than the one shown through the Google Merchant Center.
Doing so protects consumers from hidden fees (such as an activation fee) being tacked on at the time of purchase. These charges will need to be included in the listed price.
As of April 6, 2021, if Google finds a provided price that’s higher at checkout, the retailer will receive a warning. The retailer then has four weeks to resolve the issue or face account suspension.
eCommerce is a significant driver of revenue, but everyone needs to be on the same playing field. In doing this, it helps ensure that the advertised price is what you’ll be paying.
User-Generated Content Drives Sales
A recent survey of customers in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia has concluded that user-generated content (UGC) is a significant sales driver. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of all surveyed preferred content from existing customers over professionally produced elements on social media and websites. And almost two-thirds (62%) said they’re more likely to purchase if they can view both photos and videos from existing customers. Half of those surveyed wanted to see UGC at least two to three times per week.
User-generated content, including photos and videos, are seen as part of a larger portion of the research/review process before purchasing. One in five judged the value of an online review based on the inclusion of photos and videos as part of it.
We’ve seen the results yielded by brand-generated imagery and user-generated content for our own clients, and UGC often performs better on social media for impressions and engagements. In a cynical world, content created by a customer has a high-trust value. If you’re looking for ideas on how to generate a constant stream of UGC for your product, we’re here to help!