Ok, so here’s iProspect telling you about a new and different ad product from Google… again. It sounds about as exciting as salad for lunch, right?

Well for retail advertisers, Google Shopping is like eating a healthy salad: it improves the overall health of account performance, reducing CPCs and increasing revenues for generic campaigns.

If you’re struggling to see increases across highly optimised search text ad campaigns, this is an excellent area to grow revenue – especially for ecommerce advertisers.

What exactly is Google Shopping?

You may have noticed image-based ad cards that can appear at the top of search results, or on their own tab in the search results. This is Google Shopping.

Results are drawn from a feed of advertisers’ available products. The functionality is great too – product availability and pricing can be pushed automatically into the feed so companies are only advertising up-to-date stock.

This technology is being used extensively by big retail sites like eBay and Amazon, fashion aggregators like ASOS, David Jones and The Iconic, as well as brands with their own ecommerce sites such as Country Road, Forever New and Dan Murphy’s.

For those companies without an ecommerce site but do sell products from a retail site, there is the option of running Local Inventory Ads. These ad units look very similar to Google Shopping but only show a product image, the price, and the nearest location the product can be picked up from.

This is similarly important to retailers with ecommerce sites as people often trial products in-store before deciding to buy the product there and then or later online; Local Inventory Ads have been shown to drive an additional 80% in incremental store visits.**

Why Google Shopping matters

Google Shopping is a golden opportunity to deliver more traffic (and conversions off the back of it) for those advertisers who don’t have this set up yet.

Also known as Product Listing Ads or PLAs, Google Shopping has been a key driver of recent growth in search performance. Clicks on these ads increased 32% YoY in Q1 2017, while clicks for text ads only increased 12% over the same time period.

Google Shopping accounted for 51% of Google UK search ad clicks for retailers in Q2 2017, up from 40% a year earlier.* We would expect a similar trend to occur in the Australian market as Amazon enters the market, product searches are likely to grow with further price-competitive search, meaning more impressions available and chance to sell products competitively.


The Amazon version…

With so many big online advertisers seeing value and results from this product, we also expect Amazon to embark on Shopping in Australia when it launches (as it already does in other markets).

For those companies that already have solid Google Shopping setups, Amazon’s impending arrival could bring with it even more opportunities, in the form of their own Sponsored Products ad format. This is very similar to the Google product, allowing advertisers to get top spot for product searches within Amazon. This is worth considering to get the jump on competitors for 2018 and beyond if companies are willing to list on Amazon’s site.

For more information on Google Shopping and how you could roll this out, please get in touch with your iProspect contact.

*Merkle Digital Marketing Reports Q1 &Q2 2017, “Quarterly Benchmarks for Your Digital Marketing Program”

**Search Engine Land, “Google announces new online-to-offline features on the cusp of holiday shopping season”

Cameron McMaster

Cameron McMaster is a Digital Director at iProspect Melbourne. He is passionate about digital advertising and using data to inform campaign decision making and improvement. He has 6 years’ experience in digital marketing across all channels in Australia.