Digital Bytes: Google Shopping takes centre stage

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Google Shopping becomes a priority, YouTube launches a channel on FreeSat and online-only financial services dominate…

Retailers ‘must embrace Google Shopping’

Retailers must embrace Google Shopping or risk losing out, e-commerce company Summit has warned. The search engine has recently unveiled paid listings (called Product Listing Ads, or PLAs), but Summit warns that the long-term impact of such ads is worth the money spent and that the cost should not put retailers off. “The percentage of retail sales that are made through online search continues to grow exponentially,” said Summitt’s CEO Hedley Aylott. “While many retailers may focus on the cost of paid for listings, the opportunities for boosting sales are huge as Google adds new features such as catalogues, offers and shortlists. Customers using search in-store for price comparison will be the next challenge for retailers to tackle.”

YouTube to launch FreeSat channel

YouTube will launch a channel on free-to-air television in March as its bid to compete with traditional TV networks continues. The channel, which has been built in HTML5, will be available on Freesat and provide a “TV-optimised” experience for the viewer. “We’re happy to be working with Freesat so that Freesat users can now access YouTube from the platform,” said YouTube’s product marketing manager Peter Sherman. “Our creator community is developing quality content that will delight and inspire viewers and we’re pleased to be able to bring it to people in new ways.” Viewers will be able to access YouTube’s vast range of user-generated content through the channel, as well videos provided by its 60 original channels.

Online-only businesses lead the way

A new study has found that the online-only businesses and are the most visible finance brands on Google. Money Super Market is the most visible in paid search, while Money Saving Expert dominates the organic results, according to Epiphany’s Financial Services Sector Report 2013: The Science of Marketing. “The more traditional high-street brands listed in the top 20 are those that established a strong presence relatively early during the shift in consumer research and purchase behaviour from offline to online,” said Epiphany’s Andy Heaps. “But many of the newer online-only entrants have risen to the top. And of course, sites that are more visible in search stand a greater chance of attracting sales from consumers who are now driving millions of financial services related search queries in the UK every week.”

Apple working on cheaprer iPhone

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company are exploring ways of driving down the cost of an iPhone. He has explained that while it’s unlikely they will be able to make the iPhone itself cheaper, there’s a good chance they will create a new product that features much of the same functionality, but at a lower cost. “We are making moves to make things more affordable,” Cook says. “When we came out with iPod it was $399, today you can buy an iPod Shuffle for $49. Instead of saying how can we cheapen this iPod to get it lower, we said how can we do a great product, and we were able to do that. The same thing, but in a different concept, in some ways.”

Amazon is ‘most reputable’ company in US

Amazon is regarded America’s most reputable company, according to a new study by Harris Interactive. The company surveyed 14,000 members of the public and asked them to rank businesses based on six key points: social responsibility, emotional appeal, products and services, workplace environment, financial performance, and vision and leadership. Amazon toped the emotional appeal and products and services categories, and were in the top five of three other categories. The company secured an overall score of 82.62 out of 100, with Apple in second on 82.54 and Disney taking third on 82.12. Google came fourth and Johnson and Johnson finished fifth. Amazon’s vistory represents a significant shift from last year, when they were ranked fourth.