Updated: May 27, 2019
Google Shopping has been a ‘game changer’ – increasing turnover and reducing marketing costs per conversion.
Google Shopping – or Product Listing Ads, PLA – is the ads Google searchers can see for products with price, image and link.
PLA launched in the US as a test in November 2009 and to all advertisers one year later in 2010. Denmark, Norway and Sweden had to wait until the end of 2013 after a few test month testing. By now we have the possibility of reviewing a little more than a half years worth of Google Shopping/PLA advertising.
How and when does it work? Google Shopping ads only works when advertisers send in data feeds with all required product data. Google then shows ads when users perform product related searches with purchase intent.
This means, that most likely there will be no Google Shopping ads when searching for ‘running shoes, but almost always when search for “Asics Kayano 20 dame”. The Google search results are almost comparable to price comparison websites, which helps the user getting an overview of the possible product, variations and suppliers.
What does the advertisers say? Did this new marketing possibility generate new sales?
The quick answer – looking at the large number of our customers using Google Shopping – is: Yes! Almost all advertisers have increased their AdWords-conversions with the use of Google Shopping. Even more interesting, most of the advertisers had a 20-30% reduction in marketing cost per order.
The numbers clearly states that it is a good idea to use Google Shopping and most of our customers asks us to spend more – of course! However, the demand (specific Google product searches) has its limits and in most cases our customers campaigns already cover a large percentage of these searches. At the same time, more and more competitors join in, reducing the visibility and increasing the average cost per click.
What’s next? At the moment you are not required to supply categories in your product feed. This will for sure be added sometime in the future, like in fx the US and UK. The addition of categories makes it a lot easier for Google to show the most relevant products to relevant searches and they will also need this information for the creation of local version of their online market place www.google.com/shopping.
Besides this, there are a number of optimization possibilities for your Shopping campaigns, for example optimizing automatically based on whether your product has high or low profit.
Google Shopping has been one of the most ‘game changing’ things from AdWords in many years. I have no doubt that significant percentages of sales has been ‘moved away’ from the advertiser who haven’t joined Google Shopping yet. So we can highly recommend to get started as soon as possible!
We wish you a great summer!