Google Shopping ads have actually been around since before 2012, but they were previously referred to as “product listing ads”.
Since being launched, Google Shopping ads have been consistently growing in popularity by consumers and retailers alike.
Google Shopping goes a step beyond Google Adwords, allowing businesses to promote specific products online – helping users to compare price and stock availability instantly.
The popularity of the service has encouraged advertisers to shift a majority of their ad spend from Google Adwords to Google Shopping campaigns – in fact, according to Adobe’s Digital Index of online advertising, retailers are currently spending 47% more on Google Shopping ads than they did this time last year.
If you are trying to push sales online and you are considering allocating a portion of your Google budget on Shopping, then it’s important you understand what is available through the service and determine whether it’s the most cost-effective decision for your business.
How does Google Shopping work?
The service operates with a cost per click (CPC) or cost per acquisition structure, much like Google Ads.
The main different is that the image based search results and information, are based on the product information alone.
When a user searches for a retail item, Google Shopping will return a list of popular items, along with the following information:
- Item image
- Cost price
- Company name
- Promotional message
The idea is to remove the number of clicks required for users to find the items they are looking for.
On a price comparison front, it also allows consumers to quickly find the best price on desired items, much the same way popular shopping websites like Shopbot and GetPrice display information.
How to set up Google Shopping
Google Shopping is another product, in addition to your current Adwords and Analytics accounts, which will need to be centrally linked.
Shopping ads can be submitted and managed through Google’s Merchant Centre – which you will need to create an account for as well.
You can then create as many Google Shopping campaigns as you want and/or need.
What’s the advantage of Google Shopping?
The big shift towards Google Shopping has a lot to do with the popularity of mobile devices and Google’s need to break that particular market.
Google Shopping provides users with image-based results, which are growing in popularity on the small screen.
The main benefits of using Google Shopping for your business include:
- Customers are ready to purchase – if they’re already searching for a specific item then it’s likely they’re ready to buy if the price is right;
- Lower cost per click due to the payment structure – Google Shopping allows you to optimise your bidding strategy, so you can pay more for some items and less for others;
- Improved click through rate – results have already shown that Google Shopping ads have a higher click through rate than traditional text-based ads;
- Fewer clicks to purchase – perhaps the greatest benefit of Google Shopping ads is that it takes less clicks for a user to find the items they want, compare prices and purchase.
Particularly with the last point, the main reason Google Shopping is so popular is that it satisfies the needs of consumers and retailers alike.
It helps business reach a broader market of users, and users can compare prices without having to visit multiple websites.
How to make the most of Google Shopping ads
The big difference between Google Shopping ads and Google Adwords ads is that a business or retailer cannot link their products to specific keywords.
Instead, Google Shopping pulls this information from the website and matches the products to the relevant search queries.
For this reason, it’s never been more important to ensure your website content and product descriptions are correct and always updated.
Specifically, one method is to add as much information as you can to your product titles, including brand and specifications, which will assist with your relevance to search.
Little things like this can go a long way to improving the user experience, and might be the difference between a customer choosing your business over a competitor.
For more information about setting up a Google Shopping campaign for your business, or if you have any other questions about the service, please feel free to contact the team at Digital Thing.
We’ll take the time to assess your existing digital assets and discuss what you want to achieve online.