Advanced Strategies to start with Google Shopping for your shop through a partnership

March 29, 2024

Stijn Pieper

In the digital marketing world, not all journeys are straightforward.

Here’s a bit of an embarrassing confession: We learned the hard way that banking solely on ad spend as a marketing agency isn’t the path to true success.

This revelation pushed us away from the traditional agency model and towards a more strategic advisory role, where we help companies navigate the complex digital landscape without wasting thousands on advertising platforms that do not work or for which the money simply isn’t available.

Epic growth

So, there we were, having just pulled off something pretty epic. After a lot of trial and error, not to mention some serious grind, we managed to launch a series of meta ads that, frankly, knocked it out of the park for our client. We're talking a 3x growth in their business, which, between you and me, felt like hitting the jackpot.

But, as with any high, once the dust settled, the big question loomed: What's next? 

We evaluated Google Shopping—known for its effectiveness but also for being a bit of a money pit. What is needed to understand the effectiveness of going on Google shopping? And should you go directly to Google or consider a partnership with larger platforms that can advertise on your behalf with potentially much lower CAC and optimised campaigns and no up-front costs?

Pros of Google Shopping: The Bright Side

  • Immediate Exposure: Products featured on Google Shopping enjoy prime real estate, appearing precisely when potential buyers are searching. This level of immediate visibility is unparalleled, offering brands a direct line to engaged consumers.

  • Targeted Opportunities: Leveraging search queries, Google Shopping ads ensure that your products are displayed to an audience with a demonstrated interest in your offerings. This precision targeting is a boon for conversion rates, connecting products with ready-to-buy users.

Cons: Google Shopping's Challenges

  • Significant Investment: Achieving competitive positioning on Google Shopping requires a substantial financial commitment. The platform's cost dynamics demand not only an initial investment for entry but also ongoing expenditure for campaign optimization.

  • Complex Setup: The intricacies of launching a successful presence on Google Shopping can be formidable. From crafting optimized product feeds to navigating sophisticated bidding strategies, the operational demands are intensive and require a depth of technical knowledge.

Faced with these dynamics, the question arises: How can brands effectively leverage Google Shopping without committing to its full-scale demands and risks?

The Strategic Approach: Testing and Partnerships

Traditionally, diving into Google Shopping involves setting up comprehensive campaigns for a wide array of products. However, for brands looking to tread carefully, a strategic testing approach is advisable.

Minimum Investment for Testing:

  • Select High-Potential Products: Begin by choosing a few of your best-selling items. These products should not only represent your brand well but also have a proven track record of sales success.

  • Define a Budget: Establish what you're willing to spend on this exploratory campaign. This budget should reflect a balance between the desire to test the waters and the need to maintain fiscal responsibility.

Evaluating the Partnership Route

In parallel with direct testing on Google Shopping, consider the potential of partnerships with platforms like Wolf and Badger. Such collaborations can offer a streamlined entry into the ecosystem, providing:

  • Amplified Visibility: Leverage the partner platform's established audience to gain exposure without the direct cost associated with individual Google Shopping campaigns.
  • Expertise and Resources: Benefit from the partner's experience and infrastructure in managing Google Shopping campaigns, reducing the learning curve and operational overhead for your brand.

Mitigating Strategies to Prevent Cannibalization

Understanding the risks, we devised a multi-pronged approach to ensure that our venture into this partnership would amplify rather than cannibalize the client’s direct sales:

1. Curated Product Selection: We decided not to put all our eggs in one basket. Only a curated selection of products would be listed on Wolf and Badger, carefully chosen to attract attention without overshadowing our entire range. This strategy kept our bestsellers and exclusive items as a draw for our direct channels.

2. Exclusive Direct Offers: To incentivize direct purchases, we developed exclusive deals and bundles only available on our client's website. This move was designed to entice customers who discovered the brand through Wolf and Badger to buy directly, offering them something extra that they couldn't get through the partnership platform.

3. Coordinated Marketing Efforts: We worked closely with Wolf and Badger to ensure that our marketing efforts were complementary rather than competitive. This included coordinating launch timings, promotions, and even storytelling elements to create a cohesive brand narrative across channels.

4. Dynamic Pricing Strategy: While maintaining price parity for the products listed on both platforms, we introduced dynamic pricing strategies for exclusive products and time-bound promotions on our direct site. This not only protected our margins but also created a sense of urgency and exclusivity around direct purchases.

5. Data Sharing and Analysis: A key component of our partnership was the agreement on data sharing, allowing us to analyze customer behavior, product performance, and marketing effectiveness across platforms. This data-driven approach enabled us to make informed decisions and adjust our strategies in real time.

Crafting a Business Case: Direct vs. Partnership

To navigate this decision-making process effectively, brands should:

  • Conduct a Pilot Test on Google Shopping: Implement a focused campaign with a select group of products to gather data on performance, cost, and ROI.

  • Explore Partnership Opportunities: Simultaneously, engage in discussions with potential partners like Wolf and Badger to understand the value they can offer, including cost structures, audience reach, and marketing support.

  • Compare Outcomes and Investments: Analyze the results from both approaches to determine which offers the most promising path for scalability, efficiency, and brand alignment.

Navigating the Path to Success

Our journey through the Google Shopping ecosystem underscores the importance of strategic experimentation and informed decision-making. By balancing direct campaigns with the exploration of partnerships, brands can uncover the most effective and sustainable routes to e-commerce success.

In essence, the quest for digital prominence requires more than just choosing the right advertising platform; it's about forging smart, strategic decisions that resonate with your brand's unique story and objectives.

Whether through direct engagement on Google Shopping or leveraging the strengths of a partnership, the goal remains the same: to navigate the digital marketplace with agility, insight, and an unwavering focus on growth.

At Trendt, we're committed to guiding brands through this ever-evolving landscape, combining data-driven strategies, co-founder level engagement, and performance-based solutions to turn digital marketing challenges into opportunities for success. Join us on this journey and discover how your brand can thrive in the digital age.

Book your free strategy call today and start transforming your digital marketing approach with Trendt.


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