Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer one-day events. Facing a shorter holiday season, retailers rolled out deals earlier than ever this year, and shoppers followed suit. In fact, people were searching for Cyber Monday deals as early as Thanksgiving Day when Cyber Monday was a top trending search on Google. What else does our data show? Not only did consumers start early, but they also hunted for deals all weekend long, often on mobile devices. Tech gifts dominated and vloggers shared their finds in “haul videos” on YouTube. Savvy advertisers are tracking these trends to inform and improve their efforts all season long.

Click here to read the full article on Google Think Insights.

Posted by The Google Retail Team

(cross-posted from the Inside AdWords Blog)

The holiday season is about giving.  And, of course, buying.  You know this, and your holiday paid search plan is almost definitely in place by now - but is there anything that could have slipped through the cracks?  We want to help you get every drop of retail goodness out of the busy weeks ahead, so we put together this checklist to ensure that your plan accounts for everything it should.
Download the Essential Paid Search Holiday Checklist
Does your plan account for all of those little things that may get overlooked?
  • Efficient communication with your team
  • Driving performance with the right strategies and messaging
  • Contingency plans if things don’t go as you imagined they would
Regardless of what your account and account team looks like, it’s never a bad idea to double check that the pieces to your master plan are all in place.

With every day during the holiday season being critically important, decisions can get magnified.  So make the right decisions and amplify your success.  Download the Essential Paid Search Holiday Checklist today.  Your team (and your account) can thank you once things settle down after the Last Day to Ship Before Christmas has come and gone.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

Cross-posted from the Google Inside AdWords Blog

The holiday season is a time of the year when many of us spend hours finding the perfect gifts. It’s also a time when knowing that an online retailer is trustworthy is more important than ever. That’s where Google Trusted Stores comes in - we’re spreading holiday cheer by helping people find the best online stores and shop with confidence.

Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program to highlight retailers that offer a consistently great shopping experience. Qualifying merchants display a badge on their website, and Google stands behind these stores by offering $1,000 of free purchase protection. Since we introduced the program last year, we’ve been working hard to expand it, including launching a new integration with seller ratings on AdWords, updating the badge with more helpful information for shoppers, and broadening store participation around the world.

Shopper feedback powering seller ratings

Google Trusted Stores now helps to power seller ratings, which show on AdWords text ads as well as Product Listing Ads on Google Shopping. This integration provides shoppers with valuable information, while giving participating retailers a free and easy way to earn the ratings they deserve. Advertisers who display seller ratings on their ads typically see a boost in AdWords click-through rates, with higher ratings generally resulting in higher click-through rates.

Providing helpful information at shoppers’ fingertips

In the US, Google Trusted Stores now provides shoppers with an upgraded store performance summary that appears when they hover over the badge on a merchant’s website. The summary includes helpful returns, delivery, and customer support responsiveness metrics provided by StellaService, a company that objectively measures the customer service experience by shopping anonymously at online stores.

More confident shoppers fueling global expansion
Millions of people now see the Google Trusted Stores badge on retailer sites and in Google ads every day. In fact, we’ve more than tripled US store participation in the last year. Because shoppers value the badge, many of these stores are seeing sales growth. For instance, OnlineShoes measured a 4.2% sales increase from the Google Trusted Stores badge, and AutoAnything saw an increase of 5.2%.

Given the great shopper and retailer response in the US, we’ve started to expand Google Trusted Stores around the world. We recently introduced pilot programs in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, each with a collection of excellent merchants such as Schuh (UK), (France), PEARL (Germany), and Kogan (Australia). (Note - only shoppers located in a particular country will see the badge for that country.)

Learn more 
To learn more about the program, please visit our website. If you’re a US retailer, you can apply to become a Google Trusted Store. If you are a retailer outside the US, please let us know you’re interested here: UK, France, Germany, Australia.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Posted by Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping 

Can online search ads impact offline store sales? The connection seems counterintuitive, but the answer is a firm "yes." A milestone meta-analysis of experiments with 13 top U.S. retailers, conducted by Applied Predictive Technologies, proves that search ads drive incremental offline sales. Results vary by industry and advertiser, but the research offers guidance for multi-channel retailers: Create a seamless connection between your channels and use digital to efficiently drive sales across the board.

 To read the full article visit Google Think Insights.

 Posted by Nina Thatcher, The Google Technology Team

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and if you’re like us, you still have loads of stuff to buy on your expanding holiday gift list. If you can’t imagine braving the crowds to get everything picked and purchased, don’t worry: our elves have made some improvements to Google Shopping in time for the holidays.

Find the hottest toys and get inspired with our holiday shortlists
We’ve curated holiday shortlists for top gift categories including Hot Toys, Electronics, Google & Android Gadgets, Gifts for the Home, Gifts for Her and Gifts for Him. For those of you looking for something to delight the kids in your life, here are some of the top trending toy searches on Google Shopping this month:

And for those of us wanting to relive our childhoods, we’re also seeing many nostalgic toys making a comeback this year:

Browse more quickly and easily
A new shopping experience on desktop, tablet and mobile makes it easier than ever to browse and hone in on items you want to buy, whether it’s a camera, a ski jacket or an ice cream maker. Click on a product to preview details like sizes, colors and description, and find out if it’s available at a nearby local store. If you see an item that’s almost perfect but not quite, click to view “visually similar” items.

Make your shortlist and check it twice
Shortlists help you keep track of products that catch your eye, compare them at a glance, and share ideas with friends and family. Your shortlist now also stays with you at the top of each page while you browse Google Shopping, so you can keep track of items as you go.

Check out the product from all angles
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what an item actually looks like from the online picture. Now, for many items on Google Shopping, you can see a 360° view of the products. These interactive images bring you the in-store feeling of holding and touching a product.
Once you’ve got something for everyone on your shopping list, we encourage you to buy something for yourself. You’ve earned it.

(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search Blog)

Running top-notch digital campaigns for the holidays can be a lot of work, and your to-do list can seem never-ending. On top of the festivities of the season, you’re juggling fleeting promotions, revising stale ads, and trying to balance your budget -- all in hopes of reaching holiday shoppers at the moment they’re looking to buy. So how do you succeed online during one of the busiest times of the year, and reach the right people with the right message, at the drop of a (Santa) hat?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared some best practices to whip your campaigns into shape, just in time for the holidays. Today, we wanted to recap a few of our favorite search marketing “stocking stuffers” to put the cheer back in your holiday and help you go faster, smarter, and better than ever before. With tools to scale and streamline your seasonal campaigns, find some extra time to sit back and enjoy your toasty apple cider -- while we take care of the rest.

Deliver just the right gift with inventory-aware campaigns.
Admit it: Manually managing your product inventory to stay on top of changing products, new promotions and seasonal search trends can leave you feeling like a Grinch. To lighten your load this holiday season, inventory-aware campaigns let you use your existing Google Merchant Center Feeds to automatically update your search campaigns -- showing the right product to the right customer, when they’re looking to buy. To get started with inventory-aware campaigns, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: ATG Stores. Search advertising is the primary driver of traffic to ATG’s website and is key to helping ATG scale their online marketing across a breadth of products -- spanning four million SKUs from 3,500 different manufacturers. Using inventory-aware campaigns, ATG Stores expanded their reach with 160 new campaigns containing over 6 million new long-tail keywords -- resulting in 3x higher ROAS for their business. “Inventory-aware campaigns help our customers by showing them how many units we have in stock, and at what price. It’s going to be a much more compelling experience for our shoppers,” says Tom Heffernan, Search Marketing Manager for ATG.

Do the work of a team of elves with automated rules.
Stay up 'til midnight waiting for Santa -- not your campaign updates -- with a little help from automated rules. Schedule changes to specific ads and keywords, based on criteria you specify, to ensure that your holiday campaigns are in tip-top shape (which means you can spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time setting up those reindeer traps!). To get started with automated rules, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: Media Experts. As Chris Sylvestre, Manager of Search Marketing at Media Experts puts it, “USing automated rules this season, I’ll be more focused on what ingredients to put in my eggnog than I’ll be about our campaigns launching on time!” Maurice Revah, Senior search Marketing Analyst, continues: “Automated rules allow us to activate and pause time sensitive promotions for our clients, regardless of the time of day. This enables us to operate outside of regular business hours, increasing productivity beyond measurement.”

Solve the cross-channel puzzle with display remarketing from search ads.
It’s not a miracle on 34th Street: you can get your search and display campaigns connected and performing this holiday season, and beyond. Display remarketing from search ads will help you close the loop on those last-minute shoppers who searched for your product or service but didn't convert. With this feature, re-engage your audience with display ads across exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across Google Display Network -- and do it all with an easy, tagless workflow. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here.

Race to the top of the search page with real-time bid optimization.
Looking for a solution that’ll help you go as fast as Rudolph? Put your best bid forward with our Performance Bidding Suite, designed to drive campaign performance through speedy, data-driven bid optimization. DoubleClick Search uses instant conversion data to update bids in near real-time, to more closely track to your seasonal goals, and help you get the ROI the size of a holiday feast. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here,

Get a full view of your online advertising with more data integrations.
To capture sales that occur after the inevitable rush to the malls, our Conversions API allows you to upload and edit conversions automatically so you can factor in purchases that started with your search ads, but resulted in transactions outside of your website. With this feature, you can upload new conversions to account for in-store transactions, or edit existing conversions to account for discounts and exchanges (...let’s face it -- we knew you didn’t need another pair of snowman pajamas).

On our “nice” list: ymarketing. With the DoubleClick Search Conversions API, ymarketing easily and automatically integrated their call tracking information (as well as data from other outside data sources) into DoubleClick Search. Steven Hellbusch, Performance Media Supervisor at ymarketing, says: “With the Conversions API, we can attribute calls to the specific keyword by search engine in almost real time. The ability to then optimize off of both online and offline conversions has allowed us to better meet our clients’ goals. With all of our data in one place, we have a more accurate picture of what’s happening from a user experience, and more importantly, we have ability to unearth new opportunities for our client.”

Do you have a DoubleClick tip or trick that gets you through the busy holiday season?
Email it to us at with your name and title. We’ll feature the best tips here on the blog!

Recently the Google Shopping team introduced Shopping Campaigns, to better utilize Product Listing Ads (PLA). These campaigns allow you to streamline how you manage and bid on your products, report your performance, and find opportunities to grow your traffic from Google. Learn how to put this new campaign type to work for you in this week's Learn with Google webinar. We'll walk through campaign how-to's, best practices, and optimizing your PLAs.

This webinar will feature a live question and answer session with Nicole Premo, a Google Shopping partner manager. Be sure to register and have your questions answered. We'll kick things off on November 20, 2013 at 10am PT / 1pm ET and the webinar will run for about an hour. Click here to register.

Posted by Matt Ludwig, The Learn With Google Team

Holiday shopping is already in full swing, and people are increasingly turning to the internet to get advice on what’s hot, who they should buy from and where they should purchase their gifts. In our study conducted with Millward Brown Digital, we found that searchers are 1.5x more likely to buy than those who don’t use search, making them a particularly valuable audience for marketers.

Find out what you need to know about the search habits of 2013’s holiday shoppers on Google Think Insights.

Posted by Nina Thatcher, The Google Technology Team

Last year, we introduced Google Trusted Stores in the US to help consumers shop online with confidence while creating new opportunities for businesses to build trust and loyalty with their customers. Since then, we’ve been working hard to bring the program to more countries around the world. Last week, we launched Google Trusted Stores pilot programs in the UK (Google Certified Shops) and France (Google Marchands de confiance). And today, we’re introducing a pilot of Google Trusted Stores in Australia.

Google Trusted Stores is a program that helps shoppers identify online stores that offer a great shopping experience. For retailers, it creates an opportunity to differentiate their business, attract new customers, and increase sales by displaying a Trusted Stores badge, awarded to merchants that demonstrate a strong track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When a shopper hovers over the badge on the merchant’s site, they’ll see helpful performance metrics, plus information about free purchase protection from Google. Here’s what the badge looks like in Australia:

Our goal with Google Trusted Stores is to give shoppers the reassurance they need to shop confidently online at a broad set of stores. And we also aim to help excellent merchants expand their e-commerce businesses. Based on the success stories that we’ve seen in the US, we expect that participating in Google Trusted Stores will drive meaningful increases in online sales in other countries as well.

For the international pilot programs, we’re proud to be working with a great set of retailers in each country (please note - you’ll only see the badge for a particular country if you are located in that country):




Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and merchants. If you’re an international retailer and interested in the program, please let us know here: AU, UK, FR. US retailers can apply here.

Posted by Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping

This is the year the store window goes digital. According to our new research, conducted with Ipsos, more people are researching and purchasing holiday gifts online than ever before. They’re also shopping across screens and channels, looking for great deals, and starting earlier than before. So, with the holiday season already underway, we take a look at these and more trends marketers should know for 2013, including the hottest products on Google. Head on over to Google Think Insights to read a summary of the research and download the top stats.

Brands are engaging their audiences on YouTube by creating powerful stories that integrate with their digital advertising campaigns. This issue of YouTube Insights sets out to help brands build strong connections with their fans in the most effective way. We showcase learnings from such brand stories, along with data and stats on audiences, and reveal the results of advertising on YouTube and other Google properties.

Join us for the YouTube Insights Hangout on 11/7 at 1pm EST moderated by Tara Levy, Managing Director, Google Ads Marketing. She will facilitate a discussion around the YouTube audience and methods for leveraging YouTube to successfully engage active viewers, including highlights from the You Insights Report.

Panelists include experts:
  • Mike Henry, CEO, Outrigger Media 
  • Ann Greene, Millward Brown 
  • Rob Davis, Executive Director, Ogilvy Content Practice 
  • Gun Johnson, Advertising Research Director, Google 

To RSVP and find out more information, please click here.

Posted by Linda Tao, The Google Think Insights Team

(cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog)

In a couple of days, it will be November and the holiday rush will be in full swing. With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year, retailers must make the condensed holiday shopping period count. Here are our top tips for using Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to your advantage this holiday.

Sway undecided shoppers with timely promotions. Gift givers are often in the market for things they don’t normally buy, and according to our recent research, price is the main reason they decide to shop somewhere new. We saw this in action last year, as one in four holiday shoppers purchased from a retailer they had never shopped with before. Including promotional text like free shipping, price discounts, coupons, and purchase incentives in your PLA campaign can help close the deal with shoppers still trying to make up their minds. In fact, one in five say free shipping will be the deciding factor on purchases this year, so make sure your shipping settings in Merchant Center accurately reflect free shipping if you offer it.

Fill in the gaps in your data feed. Great product data powers the most effective PLAs. It helps you win the trust and confidence of active shoppers by letting them know you have exactly what they’re looking for. One of the most worthwhile things you can do is to take a close look at your data feeds and make sure you’re including all the key information that would draw the attention of a potential customer.

Here’s an example of filling in the gaps in your data feed:

Short Sleeve Solid Dress
NY Collection Short Sleeve Solid Green Dress
Short sleeve solid dress…
The NY Collection short sleeve knee length dress…
Google Product Category
Clothing > Sales
Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Dresses > Cocktail Dresses

NY Collection



Keep your data feeds fresh. The holidays are a time for high inventory turnover and price changes, so don’t disappoint potential customers with stale and inaccurate information. Keep your data feed content up-to-date and upload your feed as frequently as needed (up to 4 times per day) to ensure your products have accurate stock statuses, prices, and promotional information. Remember to account a few hours for data feed processing and approvals. 

Build a campaign structure you can maintain through the holiday hustle. Create product targets and bid more aggressively on products with good performance and high demand during the holiday season, such as seasonal items, best sellers, or products with high margins. You should also ensure there is only one All products target with the lowest bid of all your product targets to capture consumer interest in your low priority products.

Maximize your exposure to constantly-connected consumers. People will shop at all hours, across devices this holiday. For example, 84% of shoppers with smartphones actively browse the web while in a store, looking for comparable deals online. At minimum, aim to maximize your visibility on product search results by running both text ads and PLAs. Then focus on incremental gains: ensure your PLAs are showing on mobile devices and increase bids when a consumer is in or near your store, or even while they’re browsing nearby competitors’ offerings. Capitalize on recent improvements in mobile PLAs to increase mobile traffic, and point people to your physical stores with local availability for Product Listing Ads

Posted by Erica Sievert, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

(cross-posted from the Google Inside AdWords Blog)

Everyday, people search on Google for the best products from retailers large and small. With Product Listing Ads (PLA) on Google Shopping, people can browse a wide selection of products, finding high-quality imagery and relevant product information like brand and price.

To make it easier for you to connect with these consumers and promote your products on Google, we’re introducing Shopping campaigns, a new campaign type for PLAs. Shopping campaigns streamline how you manage and bid on your products, report on your performance, and find opportunities to grow your traffic from Google.
Key benefits

1. Retail-centric way to manage your products

Shopping campaigns allow you to browse your product inventory directly in AdWords and create product groups for the items you want to bid on. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you’ll see what types of shoes are in your data feed and how many boots you can promote. You use the product attributes derived from your data feed such as Google product category, product type, brand, condition, item id and custom labels to organize your inventory into product groups. Custom labels are a new, structured way to tag your products in your data feed with attributes that matter to you, such as ‘margin’ to separate your high- and low-margin products. To see all the items you can bid on, the Products tab will show you a full list of your approved products and their product attributes.
2. Advanced reporting to measure product performance

Regardless of how you choose to structure your product groups, Shopping campaigns offer the unprecedented ability to view your performance data by product or product attribute. Since performance metrics are associated with the item and not the product group, you can filter and segment data by your product attributes. This includes Google product category, product type, brand, condition, item id and custom labels. For example, you’ll see which Apparel & Accessories categories drive the most clicks, without having to break out your clothing category into a separate product group.
3. Competitive data to size your opportunity

To help you optimize and scale your PLAs, Shopping campaigns provide insights into your competitive landscape. In the Product Groups tab, you can add benchmark columns to see the estimated average CTR and Max CPC for other advertisers with similar products. The competitive performance data you see is aggregated and averaged, so all performance data is anonymous. Coming soon, you’ll have impression share columns to help you understand the opportunity lost due to insufficient bids and budgets, and a bid simulator will help you estimate the amount of impressions you’ll receive as you adjust your bids.
How to get started

Shopping campaigns are currently available to a limited number of advertisers. It will be rolling out gradually in the US, with full global availability by early next year. API support will come in 2014 as well.

You can learn more about Shopping campaigns at some upcoming events. Join us at our Learn With Google webinar for Shopping campaigns on November 20, 2013, and find us at Search Engine Strategies in Chicago on November 6, 2013.

We've built Shopping campaigns with retailers in mind, and if you'd like to be an early adopter to share your feedback, you can express your interest here. We'd love to hear from you!

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Google Shopping

(cross-posted on the DoubleClick Search Blog)

A few months ago, we announced improvements to our inventory-aware campaigns feature, which automatically creates and optimizes a retailer’s search campaigns, based on updates made to their Google Merchant Center product feed. Since then, we’ve seen some impressive results across the board, showing that inventory-managed keywords more than doubled return on ad spend for heavy users(1).

Today, we wanted to highlight one of our success stories around this feature. The following story comes from Piston -- a bicoastal digital agency in the US, who helped their retail client maintain a “stylish profile” by keeping their campaigns relevant using inventory-aware campaigns.

After working around the clock to keep up with ever-changing product descriptions, prices, and landing pages during a busy holiday season, Piston turned to inventory-aware campaigns to scale their campaign management across their retail client’s 8,000+ products.

“When we’re looking for a solution, the key questions we ask are: can this save us time, can this save us money, and does it have features that can really help us impact our bottom line? And with DoubleClick inventory-aware campaigns, the answer was always ‘Yes’.” says Jennifer Johnstone, Senior Performance Marketing Strategist at Piston. “Inventory-aware campaigns allow us to save time from manually managing product inventory, enable us to spend our dollars on more efficient product level keywords, and help us drive more revenue than manual campaign builds.”

One quarter after adopting inventory-aware campaigns, Piston saw a 51% rise in ROAS, a 26% jump in CTR, and a 50% boost in conversion rate, compared to manually-managed campaigns. Additionally, inventory-aware campaigns allowed them to expand keyword coverage on both products and SKUs by 49% -- all while saving an estimated 38 hours over one quarter since implementation.

To get the full scoop on Piston’s success with inventory-aware campaigns, download the full customer story here. Stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog and Google+ page for even more customer success stories.

1. Google internal data, 2013

(cross posted from the Inside AdWords Blog)

People are increasingly turning to their mobile devices as shopping assistants at home, in stores, and on the go, and constant connectivity is helping shoppers find the products they want, whenever they want. Google Shopping connects people looking for products with the best places to buy both online and in local stores, and there are big opportunities for retailers to connect with mobile shoppers using mobile Product Listing Ads (PLA), particularly as we head into the holiday retail season.

Expanded Google Shopping results on mobile devices
As part of our efforts to help retailers promote their products to people across devices, we’re updating the look of the mobile PLA unit on to help shoppers more easily browse and discover products on their mobile device. Users can now swipe to quickly see more products in the mobile PLA unit without having to leave the search results page. The unit will also feature larger product images and product titles. This update gives more retailers the opportunity to appear on the mobile PLA unit, and early tests show that it drives more traffic to retailers.

Retailer success stories with mobile PLAs
Many advertisers have already positioned themselves for success by leveraging mobile PLAs ahead of the holidays. Below are just a couple of examples.

  • understands that their customers are very mobile-savvy, so they increased their focus on optimizing their mobile PLA campaign. Within a few months, they grew their mobile PLA campaign clicks by 371%, their conversions climbed 537%, and their mobile return on ad spend (ROAS) increased by 77%. Learn more.
  • implemented mobile PLAs for their entire product line after seeing major lifts in their online advertising efforts via desktop PLA campaigns. Mobile PLAs are now a major driver of their overall mobile growth, delivering a 31% lift in overall mobile conversions. In addition, they focused heavily on converting new mobile traffic by redesigning their mobile site to increase the speed and overall usability of product pages and navigation. Learn more.

Show your Product Listing Ads to smartphone shoppers

If your PLA campaigns aren’t already opted into mobile, there’s still time to apply mobile bid adjustments to help you capture valuable real estate on mobile shopping search results with over a month left before Thanksgiving.

If you need help getting started, please join our webinar on Wednesday, October 23 at 10 am Pacific Time to hear tips and best practices for creating and optimizing a mobile PLA campaign.

Posted by Jennifer Liu, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping

(cross-posted from the Google Inside AdWords Blog)

We’re excited to share our fall series of Learn with Google webinars. These web events will demonstrate how to use digital marketing to build brand awareness and give you the tools you need to drive sales. This season we’re focusing on Search and Display, two fundamental building blocks for digital marketing. We will be introducing new tools, as well as providing tips for existing ones. Every webinar is led by Google product experts and includes time for live Q&A. Sign up to start becoming a smarter digital marketer today.

Upcoming webinars:

17 [Wallet] Maximize mobile conversions with Google Wallet Instant Buy
22 [Search] Automate your AdWords bids to achieve your Target ROAS (return on ad spend) Goal
23 [Shopping] Google Shopping - Mobile/Local
29 [Mobile] Driving More Revenue from App Installs 

7 [Display] A Creative Approach to Engage with Your Customers Online
13 [Search] Measuring Conversions Across Devices 
14 [Display] Three Strategies to Increase Customer Engagement with Your Brand 
19 [Mobile] Building Multi-Screen Websites
21 [Search] Increase Relevancy with New Ad Formats and Extensions 

3 [Search] Using Your Cross-Device Conversion Data 
11 [Search] Improving Search Ad Relevance with Creative Optimizations 

Webinars are held Tuesdays through Thursdays at 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern 

Visit our webinar site to register for any of the live sessions and to access our large library of recorded content. You can also stay up-to-date on the schedule by adding our Learn with Google calendar to your own Google calendar to automatically see upcoming webinars.

Learn with Google is a program to help businesses succeed through winning moments that matter, enabling better decisions and constantly innovating. We hope that you’ll use these best practices and how-to’s to maximize the impact of digital and grow your business. We’re looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming session!

 Posted by Matt Ludwig, Marketing Coordinator, Learn with Google

Shoppers are already on the lookout for this year’s trendiest Halloween costumes, and if Google Shopping trends are any indication you’ll be seeing a lot of Minions, Walter Whites, and Foxes at your Halloween party this year.

We took a look at the top trending searches on Google Shopping, and found that Minions took the #1 spot on top trending searches, with people searching for both adult and kids costumes that sport the Despicable Me franchise character. On the heels of the Breaking Bad series finale, searches for “Breaking Bad costumes” are nearly 3x higher this year compared to last. And rounding out the top three are Fox costumes, likely spurred by Ylvis’s What Does the Fox Say video on YouTube which broke into the Billboard Hot 100 list this September and generated more than 100M views and counting.

Top trending costume searches on Google Shopping: 

Other costume trends: 
  • Searches for “Duck Dynasty costume” are 3x higher this year than last, trending highest in the state of Texas. 
  • “Gatsby dress costumes” are trending highest in New York and California. 
  • Batman continues to be a perennial favorite, with searches trending up 36% from last year. 
  • Following their latest album release, searches for “Daft Punk costume” are the highest they’ve ever been in the history of the band. 

Costume shopping across screens 
Increasingly, people are using multiple devices to shop for costumes - in fact, last year Google searches for costumes on mobile devices grew 67% compared to the year before. BuySeasons, an online retailer for costumes, has seen that their mobile website traffic increases dramatically during commute hours and on the weekend, as people browse for costume ideas while they’re on the go. However, most shoppers will use a laptop or desktop to complete their purchase. To reach shoppers across all screens, BuySeasons launched mobile Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google Shopping this year, in addition to desktop PLAs, and created mobile-optimized web pages to make navigating their website much easier for mobile shoppers.
(Screenshot of product listing ad for a Duck Dynasty costume - one of their hot selling products for this Halloween) 

Shoppers complete their look on YouTube 
Searches for “Makeup Tutorial” videos on YouTube spike every October as people look for the right makeup to complete their costume.

This year, M•A•C Cosmetics launched a series of videos on YouTube to promote the new MAC + Rick Baker collection, creating a playlist of how-to videos which feature makeup artist and special effect visionary Rick Baker and show users ways to create Monster's Bride and Day of Dead looks with the line. M•A•C will also use TrueView in-search ads to help generate awareness for their videos when people search for “halloween makeup” on YouTube.

On average, 1 in 5 Halloween shoppers last year bought from a retailer they hadn’t shopped with before, showing that the holiday can be a great opportunity to introduce your brand to new customers (Google Consumer Surveys, Q3 2013). revamped their YouTube strategy this year to build brand awareness for their site, using TrueView video ad as an effective way to generate awareness with new customers. To help shoppers find the costume that’s the right fit for them, created a series of videos on YouTube to point viewers to their fit finder tool on their site. They also created a video showcasing their couple suggestion tool which recommends costume ideas for groups, along with a series of makeup tutorial videos on YouTube to help shoppers complete their outfit.

Whether you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or Miley Cyrus, there’s something for everyone this Halloween. Happy hunting!

Posted by Stephen Arthur, Head of Industry, Retail, Google