We’ve helped our furniture clients make over $6m in revenue from digital advertising, and we’ve worked with furniture brands Design Public and Danish Design Store. Over that time, we’ve come up with a list of best practices for furniture & home goods sites to maximize their revenue from Google Ads and Google Shopping.
Areas for Best Practices
Our digital marketing practice focuses on Google Shopping and Google Ads, so we will speak to that channel. However, many of these practices apply to Facebook / Instagram ads as well. We find that there are three general areas to focus on for furniture / home goods digital marketing: your site, your shopping feed, and your ads setup. We’ll give you tips for each category.
Here’s our list of tips:
Email Capture Popup
Make sure you have a popup email capture form on your site. Having a visitor’s email means that you don’t lose that visitor that you paid for if he decides to leave your site. With his email, you will have several more chances to connect with him. This becomes even more valuable if you can remarket to him based on products he’s viewed or added to his cart. To capture an email, the standard offer is now to give users a percentage discount for signing up. If you don’t want to give a discount, you might create a home decorating guide or other valuable content to offer that the consumer might want.
There are different schools of thought about when the popup should show up. You can have it show up immediately, or you can choose to have it pop up when the visitor is about to leave your site (this is called “Exit intent”). Some retailers even block all of their content until a visitor gives an email address.
This form should also be good-looking and functional on mobile – make sure to test it on your phone before rolling it out.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Related to the email capture form, one of the most powerful tools you can setup on your site is a cart abandonment email. These are usually provided by the same service that offers the email capture popup. The cart abandonment email is an email that gets sent to a customer when they add items to their cart but don’t check out. The emails shows them the contents of their cart, and asks them to come back to the site to finish their transaction. Cart abandonment emails have a very high conversion rate (3-5%), and a very clear ROI. Most vendors who provide this service will allow you to see how much revenue you’re recovering from your abandoned cart emails.
Here’s an example of an abandoned cart email. I’ve highlighted the subject line and some key elements.
Offering alternatives is a vital tool for the ecommerce merchant. The most effective tactic we’ve seen for this is an alternatives block that sits below the main product page. Here’s an example:
Since only 1-2% of your visitors will purchase, it’s safe to say that most of the time, a customer on a product page isn’t seeing exactly what she’s looking for. In our experience, offering alternatives can nearly double the conversion rate, since it’s more likely that your customer will see a variation of the item that she likes. Having alternatives increases your conversion rate.
Another important conversion tool is a Cross-Sell Block. This block has items that bundle well with the current offering, for example, a product page for a bed might offer nightstands and bureaus as complements. Having cross-sells can increase your total cart value (AOV – average order value). Offering several items as pre-bundled is a good tactic to try.
Of these two approaches, alternatives are more important than cross-sells—more conversions will net you more revenue than higher AOV, in general. But it’s helpful to provide both if you can.
Multiple Checkout Options
To increase the likelihood of conversion, it’s best if the consumer has many different ways to pay. Beyond credit cards, some important options to consider are PayPal, Amazon, Apple Pay, Shopify and Google Pay. These are particularly important for mobile, as the less typing that is required, the higher your conversion rate will be. In our experience, PayPal has been the smoothest option, since it doesn’t require the customer to enter any information if they are already logged into PayPal. Affirm is another good choice to experiment with, as it gives the customer the option to pay over time.
Google Shopping Feed
Over the past few years, Google Shopping has begun to dominate over Google text ads in ecommerce. Google gives shopping higher placement in the search results pages. As a result, understanding how to optimize you Google Shopping Feed and Ad Campaigns is very important.
Google gives you the option of updating a manual feed with a G sheet, or uploading a feed to them using a plugin. We recommend using a plugin to your ecommerce store that automatically creates a feed and uploads it to Google. An automated plugin has several advantages: it eliminates manual data entry errors, it ensures that your shopping ads will be up to date with your inventory, and it ensures that all of your products are listed on Google Shopping. With manual feeds, some products are usually left out.
SEO on Titles & Descriptions
Unlike Google Ads, Google Shopping doesn’t use written ads. Instead, Google matches the user’s searches to your product titles and descriptions. Because of this, optimizing your titles and descriptions is the most important change you can make to ensure that your products come up for as many searches as possible. Google Shopping offers “Feed Rules” which allow you to change the values of your feed.
A good move here is to replace the title with additional information such as brand, color, size and other details, so that “office chair” becomes “Vitra Office Chair in Green”. The type of material (wood vs metal) might also be relevant.
For descriptions, it helps to consider synonyms (sofa vs couch, etc.), and also different use cases (office vs home office).
Product Categories to feeds
Google has an extensive product taxonomy, listing categories for every possible product. Make sure that you have the correct product category for each item on your feed, as it is then more likely to surface for relevant searches.
There are a number of fields in the shopping specification. A few that will help your SEO and conversion rate:
Condition: Make sure this is filled out as “New” for new items
Color: Many people shop by color
This field is important because it helps you segment your campaigns to see how you’re doing. Here’s a few examples:
Sell by Product Category and Brand
Our biggest tip for maximizing your sales is to make sure you have a campaign for every product type. and for every brand that you sell. A good way to do this is to check your sites header. You should have campaigns for each category you see:
Each of the categories above should map to a campaign or to an ad group within a campaign.
Essentially your campaign structure should mimic your site structure.
Use Image Extensions
Image extensions are a newer feature that Google is testing. They allow you to add small images to your text ads. They can dramatically increase your clickthrough rate.
Below are the format requirements:
Match Ad Text to Landing Page
Your users want to know that they are in the right place when they click on your ad. An important way to increase your conversion rate is to make sure that your ad matches your landing page. As a best practice, try to use the same copy in your ad that you do on your landing page.
Retargeting is a tactic that allows you to show display ads to customers that have already been to your website. It is available as part of the Google Display Network, and in Smart Shopping Ads. While it doesn’t always work, when it does, retargeting can have significantly higher conversion and lower cost per action (CPA) than regular ads. It’s something you should definitely test.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have further questions about Google Ads strategy for furniture and ecommerce, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org .