Ever wondered how your retail site stacks up against the competition?
Well wonder no more, friend, as Google has a retail site analysis tool called Grow My Store that can tell you how your website performs, with insights and recommendations on what you could be doing better. The tool claims to ‘boost your business with a quick and easy evaluation of your retail website’.
But it’s probably worth mentioning at this point that Google states in the fine print that ‘information and recommendations generated by this tool are intended as guidelines only. Google does not guarantee changes or improvements in your site’s performance’.
So, as with all things Google-related, it’s best taken with a rather large pinch of salt.
Is this snazzy-looking tool actually useful, then? Let’s take a look.
What is Google Grow My Store?
Grow My Store is a Google tool for assessing a retail site’s ‘customer experience’, providing tips on how to improve.
The report it plops out at the end of the analysis is organised based on a range of factors that are important to customers, such as:
- Product information
- Store details
- Frictionless shopping experiences
- Site performance
But how does it decide what customers are looking for in a website, I hear you ask?
Well, Google uses insights from various studies it conducted itself in partnership with global research agencies, Ipsos MORI and Kantar TNS. With this data, it creates a personalised report for each website to see how it stacks up against sites that offer ‘Best in Class’ customer experiences.
How do I use Google Grow My Store?
Visit the dedicated Grow My Store website, enter your site URL, and the report will begin running. It’s literally that easy.
You’ll then be prompted to tell Google a bit about your business. Does it sell online only, in-store only, or both?
Then it’s time to select which industry your business operates in. You can choose as many as you want, with a free field for ‘Other’ if none of them is a good fit.
Click continue, and you’ll be given a cheeky preview of the report. To get the full thing, you’ll need to sign up using the ‘Get my full report’ button up there in the top right. Note that you’re gonna need a Google Account for this step.
Plop in your details, and wait for the full report to run. This might take a while, so you may as well check out the ‘Reach more customers’ section of the site, and stick in your industry categories to see how searches have changed over time, as well as the top five topics associated with the subcategories you’ve added.
Note – this is basically a crap version of Google Trends.
There are also some articles and stuff to read, but honestly, if you’ve got time to kill, it’s probably better spent on doing actual work instead of reading a case study about how a massive brand with a billion quid to spend increased its sales by using Google Ads, supported by its dedicated account management team.
Grow My Store report
Hooray! It is finally ready. Let’s see what could be improved then, shall we?
The website I used to run this report is doing pretty well, but there are areas for improvement.
You can then view each section of the report by clicking the ‘Find out more’ link to view the magical recommendations hidden within.
And… they are fairly underwhelming.
Yeah, there are insights to support why you should be doing it, and it does at least provide a snapshot of what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, with some pretty vague information on how many retailers in your industry ‘pass’ each section of the report. But that’s literally it.
Is it worth running a Grow My Store report?
Bear in mind that this report might have taken a few hours to run. I hope you didn’t get too excited.
Chances are, you’ll already be aware of things like whether or not your website has a live chat option, but you may not have known that your mobile experience could be improved, or that your site isn’t as safe and secure as it could be.
Overall, Grow My Store gets two massive thumbs down while blowing a wet raspberry at it from me, giving it a final score of 1/10. It promises so much, yet delivers so little.
If you think differently about the tool (you’re wrong by the way) or maybe you agree and just want to stroke my ego, you can leave me a lovely message in the comments.