January 16, 2023

Google Messes Up New Items Within A Category

In Category Development, it is common for Google to play a disproportionate role in what sells ... especially for brands with strong search programs.

Let's assume you have two items.

Item #1 has been a best seller for three years.

Item #2 is a new item you introduced here in January.

Which item is Google going to steer customers to? The algorithm will steer customers to the item it knows, it has indexed, and it has history of customers searching about.

Think I'm wrong? See if you can easily find Kevin Hillstrom in an incognito mode search of the term Category Development (click here).

This means your merchandising team and your marketing team have to do some heavy lifting ... the two teams MUST WORK TOGETHER to TEACH THE CUSTOMER why various new items within a category matter ... must inform the customer why these items are important. It's a team effort. Neither side can do the work alone.

In the 1990s your merchants sold via catalogs, so the format, the channel (catalogs) did the heavy lifting. Life was easy.

In 2023, life is hard. Instead of a tepid Instagram post saying "WE LOVE OUR NEW WIDGETS", try teaching your customer why the customer must have new widgets. Who is the merchandising expert who cannot stop talking about widgets? Who is the marketing expert who gets that message out in front of customers? How are these two working together to promote new items within a category? Discuss.

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