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Retail Promotions on Google Properties

October 24, 2012

google-store-checkOnline retailers know that shoppers are always looking for a stellar deal. The 2012 holiday season is no different. With the lines of offline and online blurring, the undiscerning consumer is using all methods to compare prices and find a bargain. As online shoppers flock to Google looking for money saving deals on their holiday shopping lists, Google is introducing a new way for retailers to incorporate trackable promotional codes in ads across various Google properties - Google Shopping, Google Maps, and the Google Offers app.

Using their Google Merchant Center, retailers in this program can upload a list of promotions. The promotions will then be eligible to show in their Product Listing Ads in Google Shopping. Furthermore, retailers can choose to distribute their retail promotions across Google Maps and the Google Offers app. The system supports user-specific redemption codes, so online stores can build promotions around a specific product, brand, or one-time use codes. Google tracks each code and the associated reporting is available to accurately measure the performance of each promotion.

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Retail merchants pay for promotions on a cost-per-click basis in Google Shopping. Google Maps and Google Offers will not charge for clicks this holiday season. However, they do plan to move to a paid model for all clicks next year.

Twenty-five recognizable brands are currently using this new feature including 1-800-Flowers, OfficeMax, Tommy Hilfiger, Express, Chico's, Overstock, Guitar Center, and Wayfair. Google is now accepting applications from interested retailers looking to add promotions to their Product Listing Ads and other Google properties. If you are interested, fill out the form. Google will review your submission and contact you if your business is a good fit.

To take advantage of this new feature, retailers must use a shopping cart or platform that integrates with Google and allows for promotions at checkout. Google specifically wants high quality offers and to avoid 'spammy' promotions. On the form, they inquire about how often merchants run promotions applied at check out and whether they distribute promotion codes for online use as well as for in-store use. To get more information about Google's announcement visit the Google Commerce blog.

Going into the Q4 season, retailers should be using all the tools available to gain an extra edge over their competitors. As Google continues to change the playing field, this and other features are allowing online retailers to stand out from the crowd, attract interested buyers, and gain more sales during the busy holiday season. Over time we will be able to gauge the overall impact of these new features. For now, they are new. They are timely. And they are one more way to be noticed by fervent buyers.

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