Google introduces new Merchant Center updates ahead of the holiday season kick-off

Last week, Google introduced several new updates to simplify the process of updating product information for merchants ahead of the seasonal shopping push, great news for ecommerce businesses and fast-paced stock changes! Here are the update highlights:

  • Automated feeds now rolled out globally. You select the option of “website crawl” within the feed input within the Merchant Center and this will crawl the retail website for schema structured product data.
  • Multi-country feeds now available in 95 territories – the same feed can be used in any country sharing the language of the feed. Perfect for global campaigns.
  • Automatic image improvements, such as removing text from images, to ensure ads are not disapproved. Obviously manual quality checks are still recommended as no machine will have the perfect creative eye.

Featured snippets display 13% more often on desktop than mobile

According to a recent study, on any given day, publishers are more likely to land a featured snippet on desktop than mobile. Only 70% of the time did the URL within the featured snippet display across devices.

This is an important point to consider from a user experience perspective when planning content.

Smart Shopping campaigns now with new filters available

Smart Shopping campaigns are not new, but Google has updated these in time for the holiday season with the ability to target not just by country, but down to a postcode level for a much more granular approach. This also means that no budget is wasted on geographical exclusions.

A guide to Instagram Stories

For brands that are still yet to nail their Instagram Stories content approach, Instagram has released a series of helpful tips in the lead up to Christmas.

The top 5 ways to nail user engagement are:

  1. Give an insider’s view with unfiltered moments. Be authentic and show in real-time throughout the day
  2. Add text to add detail and give you a voice – through mixing or matching text colour, block text, stacked text, or text on a plain background
  3. Add playful stickers that give you personality
  4. Add interactivity – either go live and let people write in to engage with you, host a Q&A session, set up a poll or use a countdown sticker
  5. Add advanced creative features to the story to help it stand out – add animations, or pin floating stickers, for example
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