Analytics tip – Google’s Shopping Insights

Retailers turn to industry trends and customer data to shape decision making, whether they’re deciding which product lines to reorder or how to budget marketing spend. Understanding how customers purchase in the past helps allocate resources, save money, and cut waste.

Google’s Shopping Insights tool, now in Beta, intends to help retailers make merchandising and marketing decisions by giving them access to product search trends across the U.S.

Search speaks to customers intent to buy, and therefore, indicates product popularity. Since 87% of consumers research online before entering a store (according to Forrester), these insights are a powerful part of retailer planning.

What is Google’s Shopping Insights?

Google’s Shopping Insights aggregates data for 5,000 of the most popular product searches on and in the U.S. market between April 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.

The data is displayed as a heat map and can be filtered by city or region and device (desktop vs. mobile). Darker shades mean higher interest.

Retailers can search by product or brand name, and also compare products side by side (Xbox One vs. PS4 is one of Google’s “featured story” examples). Results can be shared on Facebook, G+, Twitter, or as a link, but cannot be exported at this time.

Below is one of Google’s Featured Stories, displaying search results for the term “backpacks” nationwide:

Google's Shopping Insights

Keep in mind, the data is based on consumer search, not purchase behavior. Combining search with regional data, helps retailers visualize trends and figure out cities where products are more or less popular.

How Retailers can use Google’s Shopping Insights

Retailers can compare searches for their products by region or city to estimate which product lines to carry in their brick and mortar stores. By best allocating product lines to certain stores, retailers better clear products and won’t waste money on shelf space for products less likely to sell.

Aggregated search data is especially useful for marketers. Etailers and wholesalers can target offers by region on their website and in email. For paid search, marketers can compare keywords consumers are searching in certain regions and by device, so they can better estimate their ad spend by city or identify devices to target.

Selecting dates on the timeline can help marketers decide time frames that ads are more likely to be successful. Retailers can compare search information for Black Friday versus Cyber Monday, for example, and plan their paid search strategy accordingly.

See Google Shopping Insights In Action

Check out Google’s Shopping Insights Demo: