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We are regularly approached by people looking to market homeware businesses with Google Ads, but the advice we have can often surprise people
As a Premier Google Partner rated by Google as being in the top 3% of agencies in the nation, Google Advertising is what we do all day everyday. So yes, we can easily get the rankings, and rank your business prominently within Google Search results, and yes, we can run a world-class campaign. But is that enough?
Why we turn down partnerships with most homeware based businesses
In short, because these sorts of businesses rarely perform well when advertising on Google in such a competitive space.
There are always exceptions, and some homeware businesses do really well online. Having said that, here is why the majority of new homeware businesses struggle to succeed on Google and have great difficulty generating a positive ROI
- Many homeware and nick-nack purchases are impulse buys which often occur in a physical setting. For example, you might walk by a candle popup store in the shopping centre on the way to do your weekly grocery shop and an amazing fragrant candle catches your attention and you end up spending $10-20 that wasn’t planned. And in that context there is just the one candle stand so there is basically no competition so you’ll likely decide to buy it then and there. I mean, why not? This is often very different to what happens in the online world.
- The online world is fiercely competitive in the ecommerce space. With a simple search Google Shopping, eBay and Amazon present an endless list of very similar products with thumbnails and pricing — showing in a split second who is prepared to offer these at the lowest price. The sad reality for retailers is that this can often lead to a race to the bottom on price with lower priced products generally being rewarded with better CTR (click through rates), CPCs (cost per click rates) and conversion rates. For this reason, in the homewares space, cheap imported products coming out of China and other low wage countries are very common.At this very moment, I’m looking at a retailer on eBay offering natural soy wax scented candles in glass jars for $4.95. If someone can buy this in 2 clicks and the space of a few seconds, respectfully, why would they want to buy something from an unknown online store for 2-4X the price for what appears to be a very similar product? Particularly when the checkout process may be more difficult, the presentation possibly not as good, and the fact that they may not have purchased from your store previously (limited trust and less convenient compared with big players like eBay, Amazon, Kogan etc). It can unfortunately often just be a really ‘hard sell’.
So what does it take to succeed in the homewares and e-commerce space on Google?
Again, we can easily get the rankings on Google, and run a world-class campaign, it’s what we do. But that is only half of the story.
Even with a world-class campaign and amazing exposure on Google, in order to succeed in generating signifiant sales and a positive ROI you must:
- Offer the best product at the best price. Put simply, if a competitor is offering a better price on the same/similar product they will more than likely be the one to win most of the sales, even if you are investing huge amounts on clicks and exposure via Google Ads. This means if you want to succeed you need to offer a very compelling product at a very competitive price when compared both with smaller online stores and also the bigger players like eBay, Amazon, Kogan etc.
- Present your brand and your products in a compelling and irresistible way that is at least as good as what your best competitors are doing. This includes your product descriptions, photography, videos, as well as the way you introduce your brand, build trust and credibility, do your promotions, your checkout experience, upsells, reviews, guarantees, returns and so on. You may find our recent write-up helpful on why it’s so important to have a compelling landing page.
If you are able to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer, look at the competitive landscape and can honestly say that you are able to deliver on ALL of the above, then that’s when Google Advertising for homeware and e-commerce based businesses can be very successful and worth seriously considering.
There is huge opportunity for success online, with the right strategy. This write-up is not at all intended to get you down. But instead to be brutally honest based on our $80M managed spend and years of experience on what we know does and doesn’t work. It’s advice that you won’t hear from many others, but we’d much prefer to be honest and upfront with you, as opposed to promising you the world and taking your money, only to have you be disappointed with the results in the months following. That’s just not how we operate.
We hope you found this to be a helpful read. If so, we’d love it if you left us a thumbs up or comment below!