E-commerce companies can do more with search ads. Source: Shutterstock

E-commerce companies can do more with search ads. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s how e-commerce companies could sell more on search

INTENSE competition in the world of e-commerce is making it difficult for companies to gain an edge.

The Asian Development Bank believes that Asia is the fastest-growing region in the global e-commerce marketplace, accounting for the largest share of the world’s business-to-consumer e-commerce market. According to Fitch, e-commerce in the APAC is expected to grow at 14.2 percent this year and touch US$1.2 trillion in size.

However, despite the incredible new opportunities, margins are thinning and e-commerce giants are looking for new and innovative ways to attract customers.

One that many e-commerce companies are currently talking about is the use of Google Shopping. While it was launched in 2017, the feature has only recently become more pronounced on Google’s search engine, exciting customers and businesses everywhere.

Recently, Tech Wire Asia caught up with Google’s Head of Industry Jia Wen Chuah who explained more about the feature and how it benefits users:

“Google Shopping is a product discovery experience. The goal is to make it easy for consumers to be able to research products and then connect with retailers or merchants to make their purchase.

“Currently, shopping ads can show either on the top ad placement or the top right-hand side of the results page of Search and on Google Shopping. Shopping ads also show on the AdSense for Shopping network.”

More clearly illustrated, Google Shopping allows e-commerce businesses to showcase products as a shopping ad when customers search for them. Looking for ‘polka-dotted double-lined notebooks’? Google Shopping can help.

The shopping tab on the Google search engine’s results page is where these results line up, but they’re also featured as top results on the main page, along with prices, merchant platform name (Lazada, Shoppee, etc), and might even mention “free delivery” if offered.

Using the shopping tab on Google, however, does have its own advantages for customers: “It helps consumers browse with smart filters, provides personalized recommendations and enables them to find and compare products, plus discover the best price and place to buy the things they need.”

User behavior experts say customers usually fire up their browser when they’re looking for something to buy but don’t know where exactly to go.

This makes Google Shopping the perfect place to advertise when it comes to products that aren’t part of categories such as fashion or gadgets which have trusted e-commerce platforms in most markets.

According to Chuah, advertising on Google Shopping is essentially the same as advertising on Google Ads.

“To get started, businesses need to set up a Shopping Campaign. First, they create a Google Merchant Center account and then link it to their Google Ads account. Just like Search ads, prices are determined by an auction. There is no minimum spend and advertisers control how much they spend.”

What’s most exciting for e-commerce businesses in the APAC is that Google Shopping ads are available in over 40 countries globally including Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines — this means cross-border sales is now easier and more accessible.

The Asian Development Bank believes that e-commerce enables SMEs to reach global markets and compete on an international scale, improving economic efficiency and creating many new jobs in the bargain.

As the region continues to make progress, e-commerce companies must explore every available option to grow their business and take it to new highs. With the right technology, the possibilities are endless.