Notes from Australia

How Google Shopping has affected my ecommerce site

It’s been more than six months since I started advertising on Google Shopping. It has greatly improved my revenue, as well as traffic to my site.

In this post, I’ll recap the metrics. I’ll review data from Google Analytics for the 12 months from February 2018 through January 2019. I’ve divided the analysis for the six months before Google Shopping ads took effect (February through July 2018) and the six months afterward (August 2018 through January 2019) for my top three traffic channels: organic search, direct, and Google Shopping.

Visitors

The number of visitors to My Event Décor from organic search, direct, and Google Shopping grew from 1,235 visitors in February 2018 to 6,472 in January 2019.

Part of the reason was that I merged my original website, My Wedding Décor, into My Event Décor in July 2018. The growth was not unexpected; it was from a low base.

Since I started receiving sales from Google Shopping in August 2018, visitors from that channel have risen from 390 in August 2018 to 1,816 in January 2018. The visitor count increased markedly in the lead-up to Christmas.

Session duration

Google Shopping may have arrested a decline in the time that visitors spend on my site.

Average time-on-site in February 2018 for organic and direct visitors was 136 seconds. This had halved to an average of 65 seconds in August 2018. However, for January 2019 session duration had increased to an overall average of 80.3 seconds for the three channels.

Google Shopping may have encouraged visitors who clicked on an ad to discover other items and categories. Visitors from Google Shopping ads have steadily increased their average session length from 47 seconds in August 2018 to 57 seconds in January 2019.

Bounce rates

My bounce rates peaked at an average of 75.0 percent in August 2018, which was the month after I merged my two websites and also the first month I began recording sales from Google Shopping. The average bounce rates have dropped to 70.3 percent in January 2019.

I have steadily eliminated and redirected décor and blog posts that were overtly wedding-themed since my focus is now on gifts, décor, and corporate events. This may account for some of the bounces from organic and direct visitors.

In my understanding, it’s common to record higher bounce rates from visitors who click on ads, such as Google Shopping.

Average order value

My average order value dropped by 10.8 percent from February 2018 to January 2019. However, the number of transactions from the three channels grew 425.0 percent in the same period. The number of transactions quadrupled from August to November 2018 as shoppers purchased Christmas décor and gifts.

In November, I alerted my repeat and prospective customers of my annual Christmas holiday closure dates. This propelled sales that month and into December as they had to purchase before I closed for the holiday.

Also, I may have also attracted higher revenue in November 2018 as I repackaged one of my most popular gift lines to be available in sets of six, rather than in the more expensive set of 12. Sales rocketed as a result.

Purchase conversion rates

My Event Décor’s average purchase conversion rate for February 2018 through July 2018 from the organic search channel was a meager 0.15 percent. This improved somewhat to 0.20 percent for the August 2018 through January 2019 period.

The average purchase conversion rate from direct visitors remained constant at 0.87 percent for the first six months and 0.86 percent for the last, peaking at 1.61 and 1.93 percent, respectively, for November 2018 and December 2018.

Purchase conversion rates from Google Shopping ads were 0.51 percent from August 2018 to January 2019. The rates peaked at 0.91 percent for November 2018 but dropped to just 0.46 percent for December. I suspect the latter was caused by visitors who felt less confident about spending money with an unknown retailer — or one not nearby — as Christmas delivery deadlines approached.

While my conversion rates have plenty of room to improve, I am not unduly worried as my overall revenue has increased. And I receive a large percentage of my sales through direct payments from corporate clients. These sales do not occur on my website and, thus, are not captured by Google Analytics.

Revenue

Revenue from organic search increased by 190.8 percent for August 2018 through January 2019 as compared to February through July. For direct visitors, revenue increased by 86.0 percent for the same six-month period.

Google Shopping contributed 27.0 percent of my revenue from August 2018 through January 2019.

I continue to be thrilled with Google Shopping’s impact, providing an average of 482.4 percent of return on investment. In February 2019, I outsourced the management of Google Shopping to my Shopify app developer, ShoppingFeeder. I also slightly increased my daily spend at that time.

My ROI from Google Shopping sales fell to 313.4 percent in February 2019, but as of writing, ROI for March 2019 from Google Shopping has risen to 544.6 percent. I may increase my spend on Google Shopping further.

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