An Introduction to Shopping Ads

Table of Contents

Share This Post

A shopping ad is a type of ad that displays detailed information about specific products that are being sold. Shopping ads can refer to product listing ads, which shows one product at a time from different retailers, or showcase ads, which shows a brand’s range of products.

Product listing ads work on a cost-per-click (CPC) method and appear on search engines at the top and right side of results pages. Product listing ads also appear on social media platforms in the form of native ads within a feed.

Shopping Ads Platforms

Product listing ads are growing and becoming available on more platforms. Traditionally shown on search engines like Google and Bing, businesses are advertising their products on social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.


Google’s shopping ads are based on search queries matching keywords that are associated with the product. Google has three types of product ads: Product Shopping ads, Showcase Shopping ads and local catalog ads.

A shopping ad on the right side Google search results page for "jordan sneakers"

Product Shopping ads include an image of the product, a product title, the price and the name of the retailer. Showcase ads allow retailers to group a selection of related products. Local catalog ads work with nearby shoppers to show your products and store information and help to drive in-store traffic.

Related Content: What is Google Ads? How Does it Work?


Bing’s product ads work on the same basis as Google’s product ads as they show based on the relevant searches from users. Bing product ads use rich visual media to help catch a user’s interest. This includes images of the product plus pricing and retailer details. Bing utilizes Bing Merchant and Microsoft Advertising together to create a product ad.

Bing search results page for "kids halloween costume" showing pictures of costumes.


As of 2019, Pinterest has over 291 million monthly users worldwide making it a strong social media network to advertise on. Shopping ads on Pinterest help you engage with potential customers while users are browsing.

Pinterest uses Catalogs to feed information about the business selling products on their website. It also uses product groups to group similar products by product type and brand. Once you create your Catalog, you can use this information to create Shopping Ads to show for Pinterest users.

Shopping Ad: Pinterest Promoted Pin post with a man wearing a watch for sale.

Pinterest is unlike other social media platforms. Many people don’t use it to post content but use it to save ideas and products. This is the perfect opportunity for users to see your product and save it to make a purchase later.

Pinterest uses product data to show relevant products to interested users with Promoted Pins. Users can save Promoted Pins and they can appear for other people in their feeds creating increased impressions and engagement.


Product ads offer businesses several ways to highlight different products on Facebook. By uploading a catalog, or product data, advertisers can create campaigns that target certain products to specific audiences. Product ads on Facebook shows in a single or multi-product ad units. With dynamic ads, advertisers can automatically reach people who visited their website or app or reach people based on specific interests or locations.

Shopping Ad: A Facebook sponsored post for Toys R Us Canada displaying a young child playing with Star Wars toys.


Instagram shopping ads gives businesses a virtual storefront for people to explore products. As a business, you can share featured products through posts and Stories. With these two posting options, you can tag your products. When someone taps a product tag, it directs them to a product description page. Instagram ads show up in a feed in two ways. One, they can show as a sponsored post. They can also appear as a regular post if you already follow the company.

Benefits of Shopping Ads

You can also use Shopping Ads if you have an e-commerce business or a physical store location. If you own an e-commerce business this can put you right where your customers are at the right place and the exact moment they’re looking for your product. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can use shopping ads to attract customers who are nearby.


If you own an e-commerce business, it is important that you use product listing ads to promote your products. They can help to build awareness for your brand and also help customers make an informed purchase. Shopping ads address the needs of people who are at different stages in the marketing funnel.

People who are at the beginning of the funnel can use your shopping ads to learn more about the product or your business. Shopping ads make it easier for those with higher purchase intent to purchase because they are shown exactly what they’re looking for. Shopping ads will put your products and brand in the spotlight for potential customers to see.

In-Store Traffic

People use search engines to look for products or services and be shown results that are close by. Many people also include “near me” in their searches which help to show retailers that are close who sell the product, which can lead to more foot traffic. With shopping ads, you can show your store location including the address, hours of operation and your phone number in an effort to encourage more traffic to your store. On social media, you can even target your audience based on specific locations.

Final Thoughts

It is important for retailers to understand their audience and present themselves where their customers are shopping and spending their time. Product listing ads are great in building a strong online presence to seize the prime opportunity to win customers during their product search and social media time. Using shopping ads, you can create product ads that better promote your product compared to traditional text ads. Shopping ads offer a creative way to showcase your products and attract potential customers to learn more about your products or make a purchase.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Do You Want To Boost Your Business?

drop us a line and keep in touch