Any keen Google Merchant Center users will have spotted an interesting new report appear this week: the Price competitiveness report, just launched in beta. Once you get it working, it looks like the below and gives us a kind of data on your accounts you’ve never had before.
It looks like Google is using GTIN data from across many merchant centers to estimate an average price for products in your own GMC and tells you how your own range compares. Right off the bat, we can see the merit of bidding more aggressively for products where you know you’ve got one of the best prices on the market, or pulling back slightly where you’re being undercut.
Unfortunately, for many of our clients operating in ecommerce, we’re seeing data like the above, indicating that perhaps Google hasn’t quite got enough data to offer meaningful insight on a large amount of products. Data is only being shown from around October 2019, further limiting usefulness (for now). Are you seeing better results for your business or your clients? Get in touch and let us know.
Accessing the new Price Competitiveness Report
Where is it? If your Merchant Centre account has enough data, you’ll see the new ‘Price competitiveness’ report under Growth in your Google Merchant Centre (see below). You’ll be prompted to join and then a usual Google disclaimer.
Unfortunately the program is opt-in for now, with an obvious note that “Market Insights reports are only available for the internal use of the merchant, or those acting on the merchant’s behalf. Market Insights data cannot be repackaged, resold, advertised, or embedded in any other product or service, or aggregated across merchants. For purposes of the Market Insights program, “merchant” means the business entity owning the domain of the products being sold or selling products on a marketplace.
You must ensure that your use, or any third party’s use, of Market Insights data exported from your Merchant Center account complies with the Market Insights policy. ” It’s clearly useful market data, that to be fair, there are other software packages out there charging a lot of money for. And if Google can help make products cheaper for its customers, isn’t that a good thing?
We expect Google publicly putting this data out to users is a step towards Google offering some sort of price-matching feature within the Merchant Centre. It’s not hard to imagine a suggestion from google along the lines of:
“Gain another +100 clicks this week by lowering the price of [PRODUCT] by £1.17 to match the market price’.
Alternatively, we know Google loves a “give us more money” recommendation; it’s likely they’ll tell us how much more we should be bidding on a product where we’re by far the cheapest. You know, so we get as much visbility as possible.
If you really know what you’re doing with Google Shopping campaigns, there’s a good chance you’ll be using custom labels in the Merchant Center feed to split out your bestsellers, sale items, or anything else you might want to use a different strategy for than your main product selection. Products where your price is particularly better than the average (or worse for that matter) seem like a no-brainer for that approach.
And if you think this data isn’t already being used for all things automated, especially Smart Shopping, we’re not sure we feel the same. Bidding harder to win an auction where our price is the best? Yes please. More expensive competitors sneaking into auctions we aren’t in and stealing our customers? Hmm. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.
- Go to your Merchant Centre and enable the price competitive reporting!
- Check your pricing vs. available competitors and get some high-level insights
- Consider where pricing is poor and can’t be moved. Can these campaigns be scaled back?
- If pricing is strong vs. competitors, can these campaigns be pushed more?