Picture this. You’re the owner of a seemingly successful retail clothing store with locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Things are going well for you – in fact, your Chicago location just sold out of a certain grey sweater, and you need to reorder.
You think to yourself, “If that sweater sold well in Chicago, it’ll do well at my other locations too, right?”
So you go ahead and order a massive amount of inventory for all three locations. You think you’re about to make a TON of cash off this grey sweater, but alas! It’s just not selling!
Apparently, grey sweaters aren’t as popular in Los Angeles or Miami as they are in Chicago.
If only you could have known this before you ordered all that inventory, you could have saved yourself a lot of time and money (not to mention a giant headache).
But…what if there was a way to know which products were trending in different markets?
Enter, Google’s Shopping Insight Tool.
If you’re not using it, you should be.
Whether you have an online business or a traditional brick-and-mortar store, Google’s Shopping Insight Tool is definitely something you’ll want to take a closer look at.
Providing insight into online searches for over 5,000 of the most popular products on Google Shopping, the Shopping Insight Tool highlights search trends based on location, time of year and the device used to perform the search (mobile, desktop, etc.).
So, essentially, this tool helps retailers determine which products might sell best in certain cities, based on these trends. For example, if you were interested in the popularity of Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 on Black Friday, you could search to see which was more popular in which cities (In 2014, PlayStation 4’s were more popular in New York, but in Los Angeles, Xbox One’s were much more popular).
If you’re a retailer who sells gaming systems, this sort of information would be extremely valuable, and may even influence your marketing strategy for certain products.
So, how do you use it?
It’s really quite simple. On the Shopping Insight homepage, just type in the name of the item you wish to find information on into the search bar and the tool will generate all the data it has on that particular product.
You can also use it to compare the popularity of different products. Going back to the gaming system example, you could type both “PlayStation 4” and “Xbox One” into the search bar to see the popularity of each system based on location, time and device.
Having access to this sort of technology and insight is extremely valuable for retailers. Here are just a few ways in which it can help:
- Compare Product Demand on a Local Level – If you have stores in various locations, the shopping insights tool would allow you to compare the popularity of products across different markets. Then, given the trends, you would have a better idea of what might sell well in each local market.
- Measure Consumer Interest Across Different Cities – Taking a broader approach, retailers can see what is trending on a national level, but also based on cities – what works in one city might not necessarily sell well in another.
- Inventory Management – Product demand and consumer interest are a good indication of what will sell well in your market. With insight into this data, inventory becomes much more manageable, as you are able to stock only what is expected to sell well in your area.
- Understanding Trends in Popularity – 87% of consumers research online before entering a store, but at least 90% of goods are still sold in stores. When you better understand what customers are researching online, you’ll be able to better understand what they’d like to see in a physical (or online) store.
- Generate Ideas for Local Promotions and Investments – Along the same lines, if you know what products people in your local market are interested in, you can come up with better ideas for promoting those products locally.
So now that you understand what the Shopping Insights Tool is and how to use it, let’s take a closer look at the Google Insights features:
- Heatmap Technology – This allows you to view the popularity of a product based on location over a specified time period using different shades of colors to indicate interest levels. For example, a darker shade of blue would indicate a higher interest level, while a lighter shade would indicate less interest.
- Time Series Graph – This graph shows the popularity of a certain product during various intervals of time – useful for determine what times of year products are most popular among consumers.
- Device Filters – Shows the popularity of products based on the various devices used to perform the search – for example, you could compare searches on smartphones vs. desktop computers to gain further insight into your customers.
- City Filter – Allows you to search the popularity of a product based on any given city.
- Product Comparisons – You can also compare two or more products using any or all of the above features. Extremely valuable for determining the popularity of different products across various markets!
So, if you’re looking for valuable insight into shopping trends across the country, you definitely need to give Google’s Shopping Insight Tool a try. Not only will this help you avoid inventory disasters, but you might just discover your new favorite resource for developing and implementing effective marketing strategies both online and offline.