Selling online potentially opens your business to a global market as well as your local, regional or country specific market. With such a massive increase in potential customers the voracious competition also expands and increases with equal ferocity.
How can you ensure your products reach the largest audience possible?
Submitting your products to Google Base is one of the things online merchants MUST be doing, however you need to be aware of some impenging changes to the format for Google Base submissions.
What is Google Base?
When you perform a search on Google for a product and you click on the “Shopping” link at the top of the Google menu (see Fig. 1) you are viewing results of products uploaded to Google from internet retailers via Google Base.
Google Base (originally Froogle, then Google Products) delivers a global market place for consumers to view, compare and search for the best priced products, the best reviewed business and the nearest shops to you. (fig 2)
It returns results in a similar fashion to Google’s standard web search results however the browser is presented with only products that can be purchased from participating online stores. It is possible to sort by price as well as relevance and you can also identify those stores who have received favourable and not so favourable reviews from previous shoppers.
Do you need to use Google Base?
Yes. It maximises your products exposure, it’s free and it helps generate traffic to your website. If your products are particularly competitively priced then Google Base, like other price comparison sites, can further generate traffic, business and ultimately sales.
If you are not already using Google base then sign up here.
Using Actinic Ecommerce software?
The Actinic ecommerce software comes with a Google Base export utility already built in (from V9 onwards) which allows the merchant to quickly export all the relevant product information into a CSV file for simple upload submission to Google Base.
From 3rd May 2011 Google Base submissions are subject to new requirements. This means that all Actinic Google Base feeds will begin to be rejected as they will not meet the new required format standards set by Google Base.
To address this Actinic are releasing a patch to their version 10 (10.0.4) before the end of April which will contain the new, required additional fields: Brand, ISBN, EAN and UPC. (more information can be read about these fields here)
If you have Actinic V10 already then you should be able to simply update to the latest patch when it is released.
If you have an earlier version of Actinic (V9,V8,V7,V6…..) then you will need to upgrade to V10 to take advantage and be able to upload to Google Base.
You can upgrade through our website – simply click here to upgrade your Actinic version.
Use your Google merchant account to register and associate your Google analytics and Google PPC accounts and you can link the statistics produced by Google Base to your other statistical tracking tools within Google to monitor and check on the traffic generated by Google Base. Price changes for example can lead to a significant increase in traffic from Google Base, however close monitoring can ensure you get the maximum return on investment in your time and effort in using this free online market place.
For more help and advice on Google Base and other issues surrounding online ecommerce marketing and search engine optimisation simply get in touch with the teclan team or visit our website for more information.