Rising retail categories.

by Jim May 12, 2020

Restrictions are starting to ease across the country, so there’s a hope for normality at some point. I still think the landscape will change for the foreseeable future, and it’s great timing for the release of a new Google tool. With activity picking up, there’s never been a better time to make sure your site is pulling in every dollar.

What I learned

  • Restrictions are easing; revenue’s rising
  • Take advantage of the COVID uptick
  • How to benefit from Google’s new category tool
  • Make sure mobile transactions are easy


Hey, welcome back Rankers. How you going? Isolation restrictions are getting lifted in Victoria, so we’re pretty excited, not completely, but we’re already seeing more signs of things on the up. Things are still going up, people are still buying more stuff. We had a client just last week who has actually been selling $10,000 items and back in February his dream one day was to be able to sell 50 of these items, $10,000 items, and his goal was, “Wouldn’t it be great to do that by July? That’d be awesome,” so we said, “Okay, that’s a goal for us. That’s a task.” Now we’ve been benefited slightly by COVID for his category, but they’re $10,000 items. Right? And I probably sold a hundred, so he’s pretty happy.

Rising Retail Categories

And the interesting thing was though, even though he’s been helped by COVID, that those numbers based on the analysis we did, is what he should be doing every Christmas, which he hasn’t been doing at all. Right? So it’s a combination of the mystery shopping plus COVID has got him to that point. And one of the things that you can look at to get an idea of why some of these things might be happening to one category rather than another and all those sorts of things, is tools like this from Google. This is a new Google Trends tool or a subset of Google Trends if you like. It’s Rising Retail Categories, and they’ve only brought it out because of what’s happening with COVID and the changes like the one our client is seeing. Now as a standalone tool it’s interesting, but when you use it with Google Trends, it’s enlightening and illuminating.

If you don’t mind, have a look at this. So we have here our categories, right? So I’m looking at Australia and I’m looking at the monthly volume and well, last 30 days. And what it’s telling me here is these are the top categories that are trending in Australia. Makes sense, right? It’s bloody cold. Even though I’m standing here in a short sleeve shirt in an outdoor studio, it is cold. And patio heaters, obviously number one, and then over here, if you select one of these phrases, we get to see the related queries.

So this is the high level category and these are the individual queries that people are typing in to find the information about that category. And so you can look at those sorts of phrases and then you can go, “Okay, well that’s all the information I can get on that.” With this tool, that’s true. But then we can take… So we’ve got fireplace and fireplaces. It’s like, well, fireplace, fireplaces, fire pits. So I can take this now… If I want to find out more information about say what people are searching around for electric fireplace, I can now take this into Google Trends and we can just pump electric fireplace into Google Trends and we can see there over the last seven days. So let’s go further. We’ll go 90 days, or we’ll go 30 days because that’s what Google was looking at. And we’ll see from here, once the internet catches up, we can see this rise here. So that’s why it’s one of these rising related queries. And we can see here electric fireplace heater. Dimplex. So all of a sudden we get a brand, right?

Normality is returning

So we get to see more detail than what this is giving us. Now, prior to this, you had to try to work out what you thought the categories were that might’ve been trending. And already from this… And that’s what we’ve been doing, right? We’ve been going, “Hang on, wait a second. What about a gift delivery or…?” Gift delivery wouldn’t appear in here because it’s not a retail category, right? It’s not a product. It’s an action. It’s a service that people are looking for. Whereas these particular categories, the actual retailers would know, but anybody that was outside those categories that weren’t selling those things isn’t necessarily going to know and see that.

So that’s why we can go, “Oh wow, look at that. That’s trending.” Like we saw one the other day. What was it? Well, even just things like Dutch Ovens. I didn’t expect that to trend, but there you go. And when you click on Dutch Ovens… I shouldn’t laugh. We had a discussion about this in the… I’m so juvenile. I had a discussion about this in the office and I said, “I have no idea what that is. What is that thing?” Then I went, “Oh yeah, that’s on the up too,” and I still don’t know what that is. And I’m sure someone will tell me, but people are looking for them and they were at Myer. So that’s an example of something that I would have had no idea was actually trending but actually is, like China cabinets and hutches. What? Display cabinets, display provincial living, buffet and lunch hutch. What is that? So these are things for improving the home. So, roller skates even. Necklaces, I mean necklaces is trending? Ah, we’ve just had Mother’s Day.

So a lot of these that you’re seeing that will be trending are related to this, but unless you have a tool like this, you don’t get that, “Here’s something interesting that’s trending.” I mean, bicycle helmets, I get. Bathroom vanities. Okay, interesting. Because people have to look at themselves more I guess because they’re not going to the barber. I’ve heard people are getting upset because there’s these things called hairdressers that they can’t go to, but hopefully that’s over now because isolation restrictions are over. So hopefully we’ll see a lot more benefit to business on the uptake. We’re already seeing it. We’re already seeing old clients come back, they had to pause for a little while, and new clients jumped on board. There’s a lot of activity here as you can see, so make sure that your site is working well and it’s getting every dollar that is coming to the site that it’s owed. So don’t let people wander off.

We were just having a look at a site this morning. My wife who’s also a director of the business, she will often throw sites at me. She says, “Another abandoned cart. Just tried to buy off this. Fields don’t work. I’m leaving.” And you know, it was a local business, a local company. So I just reach out to those people and just say, “Hey, your site’s not working. Go and buy something off it.” If you haven’t bought something off your site recently, go and buy something off it and go and buy it on a mobile phone. Hopefully that’s helpful. We’ll see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

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