The Guide to Google Shopping 2019

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Online shopping is on the rise. There are a few platforms that make online shopping easier with ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy. Although more of an ad platform than a marketplace, Google Shopping provides shoppers with the same opportunity to explore a collection of products based on their search query. Google Shopping gives consumers direct access to retailers and with a simple click can visit their site and complete their purchase transaction.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a Google Ads service that allows consumers to search for, compare and shop for products. Each retailer pays to advertise their products on Google. This is called Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE). For retailers, a CSE is a method of online advertising where they can upload product data feeds. Google Shopping is powered by both Google Ads and Google Merchant Center.

How does Google Shopping work?

Shopping ads use your existing Merchant Center product data to decide how and where to show your ads. The product data you submit through the Merchant Center has details about the products you sell. Google Ads uses these details to match a user’s search to your ads to show the most relevant products.

Why is Google Shopping important?

If you’re an online or ecommerce retailer, you can use Google Shopping to promote your online and local inventory. Google Shopping ads are also great for boosting traffic to your online and local store and find better-qualified customers. This can mean a lot of brand exposure and big revenue growth for your business.

Qualified Customers

Google Shopping gives allows you to attract better-qualified customers based on the product information in your Shopping ads. By including product information like price, description, and shipping, you are directly helping consumers make an informed decision on products.

Giving consumers this information within the ad creates familiarity with your product. When customers arrive on your website they may be less likely to leave. This also gives you a chance to promote other parts of your website for customers to explore. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more engaged they’ll be, leading to a higher chance of a conversion.

Better Performance

Your Shopping Ads can perform better than your text-based ads. Shopping ads show a higher purchase intent from customers as they click through on a product image. Since customers explicitly show their interest in your product, it’s more likely that this will lead to higher conversion rates.

Google Shopping will also produce a better ROI because every dollar you spend is targeted for the right customer. If a customer isn’t looking for your product or something similar, your ad won’t appear, saving your ad spend.

Easy Management

Google Shopping makes it easy to keep track of your campaigns. Shopping ads don’t need to use keywords, instead, they use product attributes that you control and define. You can adjust these attributes in the Merchant Center data feed to have your ads appear on relevant search queries.

Broader Reach

With Google Shopping, your ads have the potential to appear more than once for a single query. Since Google uses keywords to show certain products, you might find that your ad start to show up for related keywords you may not have thought of. Also, if you have an additional text ad, they can both appear at the same time multiplying your reach.

Powerful Data

Google Shopping offers reporting and competitive data that lets you see how your products are performing at any level. You can easily see how many clicks a particular product, brand or category gets. You can use benchmarking data to show insights into your competition to identify opportunities where you can grow.

Types of Shopping Ads

Google Shopping offers 3 types of Shopping ads you can use to advertise your store and your products.

Product Shopping Ads

Product Shopping ads use the information from the product data you input in the Merchant Center. They allow you to use an image, title, price and store name inside the ads. You can also enhance your ads by including product information like Google Customer Reviews, product ratings, and special offers.

A picture of a Product Shopping ad for "adidas shoes" on Google search result.

Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase Shopping ads help consumers discover and research your brand and the products you offer. This ad allow you to advertise multiple products by grouping related products as part of a product ad to introduce your business or brand. These ads help consumers decide what products to buy and from which company when they include more general terms in their search query. When someone clicks on your Showcase Shopping ad, it will expand to show all your products that are most relevant to the search query used.

A Showcase Shopping ad for a search for "shoes".

Showcase Shopping ads come with 3 bidding options: maximum cost-per-engagement (CPE), maximize clicks and target ROAS (return on ad spend). With maximum CPE, it uses the highest amount you’re willing to spend for a single engagement. Google will charge you based on three instances of engagement. You are charged when someone clicks the ‘Visit Merchant’ link on the ad, when the ad is expanded or when someone clicks on a product.

Maximize clicks bidding uses your bid setting to get as many engagements on your ad as possible within your budget.

Target ROAS bidding helps you get more conversion value or revenue at the target return on ad spend you set. Target ROAS bidding is a Smart Bidding strategy which means that it uses machine learning to help accurately predict how bid amounts might affect conversions and customers who are more likely to convert. To be able to use target ROAS, it requires at least 20 conversions in the past 45 days in able for Google’s algorithms to make informed bidding decisions.

Local Catalog Ads

Local catalog ads use feed data provided from local inventory ads to engage users on the Google Display Network. These ads can also be called local inventory ads. They are created to show your products and store information in search results to people near your local store.

Under Display ads, Local catalog ads use a dynamic visual format that consumers can easily browse. The use of product information like prices, product type, and store location can help to drive in-store foot traffic to local stores.

Final Thoughts

Google Shopping is a one-stop online shop for consumers who are looking to find specific products and different brands on one screen. This serves as another stream to advertise to customers who are interested in the products you sell throughout the stages of their purchase cycle.

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