The online retail industry has faced more turbulence and challenges in 2020 than at any time in the past. And that’s led to a much faster rate of change and evolution as eCommerce and shopping platforms, affiliate networks, CSS partners, agencies and in-house teams needed to adjust to a different environment for eCommerce.

It’s harder than ever for anyone working in online retail to keep up with all of the latest news and developments, which is why we’ve introduced our RedBrain Online Retail RoundUp to help you stay informed about the most important announcements affecting your work.

Adsense for Search To Include Product Listing Ads

Product Listing Ads might be primarily associated with the Shopping section of search results pages. But they’ve been available to be displayed by publishers monetising websites via Adsense for Shopping since 2014.

This has now been expanded with Adsense for Search. This service allows website owners to monetise their site search results. And if you use the service already, you’ll be automatically enrolled to include Product Listing Ads unless you opt-out by August 20th 2020.

The benefit for website owners is potentially increasing site engagement and advertising RPM by displaying relevant product listings when users may be searching for information about these items on their site. And it could also help retailers by providing another route to potential customers already interested in specific products. 

Amazon Restricts UK FBA Ahead Of Brexit

The Fulfilled By Amazon program will be split between the UK and the EU from January 1st 2021. The change comes ahead of Brexit, and means that UK inventory will no longer be distributed across the European Fulfillment Network, and vice versa.

The result will be added complications for retailers as wherever you are based (including sellers outside Europe), it requires you to split your stock between Amazon warehouses in the UK and Europe to be able to offer fulfilment in both territories.

It will hit UK retailers slightly harder as the available customer base drops from 446 million EU consumers to the 66 million in Britain as you lose access to both the Amazon EFN and Pan-European FBA options unless you send inventory to both a UK, and at least one European, Amazon warehouse. And this may require you to ship products across any new UK-EU customers border, with whatever costs and regulations that will involve.

Google Tests Displaying More Product Feed Attributes

It’s always been essential to have a great product feed for Shopping Ads on Google. We’ve seen a substantial positive impact from applying our optimisation and best practices to a wide range of data from partners. And it could become even more crucial in the future.

Attributes have always been included in product feed data, but are only required in some circumstances (e.g. size for clothing and shoes). In other cases, these may have been optional, which means retailers might have skipped, including the data. But Google is now testing displaying attributes to users, starting with clothing advertisements displaying the Material attribute.

Obviously this is just a test at present, but if it increases engagement with consumers, you can expect to see Google display relevant attribute information more prominently across all Shopping Ads on Google categories. So it’s a good idea to update your knowledge on what makes a great product feed, and what attributes are available. Or to work with a CSS partner capable of offering product data feed optimisation at scale.

Retailers warn against an Online Sales Tax

Groups including the British Retail Consortium have warned against proposals by chancellor Rishi Sunak for a 2% levy on all online sales, with a further charge for deliveries.

Criticism of the plan includes an additional burden on an overtaxed industry leading to higher prices for consumers, and that the large number of elderly and people shielding due to coronavirus will be particularly affected by the tax.

It comes after reports that online retail sales continued to surge in June despite non-essential shops reopening in the UK. And around 25% of the UK population are estimated to switch to online shopping permanently following changes in their buying habits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our July online retail round-up should mean you’re informed about the most important news and events in the industry. But if you’re still finding it difficult to keep on top of everything, why not work with a Google Premium CSS Partner to deliver successful Shopping Ads on Google campaigns?

Working with RedBrain doesn’t require a retainer, or cost you a percentage of your spend or CPC. As a partner to some of the world’s biggest e-commerce retailers, we only make money from sales commissions. 

The result is that the RedBrain AI Shopping Platform can deliver the incremental sales across Shopping Ads on Google and Bing Shopping with no risk to you. 

For over 10 years we have uncovered the white space, the non-obvious, the under-priced and the underutilised across search engines and digital shopping to drive incremental sales and compliment your current activity. We are the marketing strategy with the lowest risk and highest return. We are RedBrain.

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