Reach and popularity of Google Shopping Ads (aka Product Listing Ads) in retail search has skyrocketed. PLAs in Q1 of 2018 were driving:

  • 76% of retail ad spend in the US
  • 82% of retail ad spend in the UK

Google Shopping has become the most popular ad format for ecommerce advertisers, with ad spend now far in excess of that in Google Text Ads in ALL retail categories:

graph showing ad spend for google shopping ads vs traditional text ads by category in the US

“The bigger picture here is the shift in how audiences are consuming new ad formats. As retailers move ad spend into Google Shopping, those who innovate will shape consumers’ future ad experiences” Ashley Fletcher – VP Marketing, Adthena

Google Shopping Ads are arguably one of the best and proven advertising formats in driving revenue & consumer clicks to ecommerce stores. Companies see a double or triple increase in click-through rates (CTR) when using Google Shopping Ads to market products rather than using regular text ads – such as keyword research based Text Ads.

Why are Google Shopping Ads performing so well?

google shopping ad for soccer cleats

Google Shopping ad formats have dramatically increased the depth & breadth of the traditional product listing ads that consumers are being served in their search-based purchase journeys. When consumers search and are shown a carousel of products with respective prices, consumers simply get a better “PICTURE” of what they want, “HOW MUCH” they should or want to pay. Not only this, but “WHERE”, from which websites, they can directly order from. In summary, Google Shopping pushes consumers further down the sales funnel, closer to conversion.

For ecommerce marketers, there is still opportunity to grow Google Shopping campaigns across the board as Google Shopping ads receive a greater number of proportionate clicks – relative to their ad spend.

graph showing share of clicks from google shopping ads vs traditional text ads by category in the US

There is no wonder, then why ecommerce merchants invest a greater proportion of ad spend into Google Shopping ads than into any other ad format.

Next Generation Retail Ads – Smart Campaigns

Google search on mobile device with blue shoes in a carosel from Google Shopping and product listing ads

Google advances retail advertising yet again by harnessing the power of automation and data-driven machine learning to maximize conversion value. Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) apply machine learning for search term categorisation and for building a comprehensive understanding of consumer search behavior.

Remember – the data Google has on its users is expansive; from where you have been and how long it takes you to get to every location, to your interests and personal search history. This contributes to Google’s collective knowledge of consumers, what they want, what they look for, how they search and when.

Moreover, Smart Shopping Campaigns represent a new campaign type that bring together Google Shopping & Display Remarketing. Together, they increase sales impact & expand reach across ALL relevant Google platforms:

  • Google Search including Shopping
  • The Google Search Network
  • The Google Display Network
  • YouTube & Gmail

Smart Shopping Campaigns not only interpret purchase intent & search context, but also optimize across search queries, seasonality, devices, location or placements. Most interestingly, SSC combine product data feeds & user signals to fuel optimisations.

In summary, SSCs use more signals for every auction than any other bidding solution to make an informed and more accurate optimisation decisions. SSCs set bids for each individual auction – not just routinely a few times per day.

Early Adopter with Promising Results – in Retail Advertising

Brazil-based Newlentes offers high-quality contact lenses at affordable prices with recognized reliability. As a pioneer in technology, they were excited to incorporate more automation and machine learning to drive better results. They launched the new Shopping campaign type, which resulted in

  • 57% more revenue at a
  • 61% higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

Turkey-based is an e-commerce platform that offers a wide range of apparel, electronics, and houseware products. Since they saw positive results with Google Shopping, they were excited to use the new USCs Shopping campaign type to improve performance. As a result, saw

  • 23% more revenue at a
  • 9% higher return on ad spend (ROAS)

Bottom Line – Lessons for Ecommerce Merchants

Marketers in the ecommerce space will need to be especially agile in their advertising practices to stay ahead of the game. Google Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) will leverage a retailer’s product data to optimize advertising across audience lists, brands, sales, price and basket size, product category, site visitation signals, and more.

Ecommerce must take advantage of Google’s reach & universal insight to connect with a wide audience. Google Shopping Ads remain a priority when marketing products. And as for the newly Universal Shopping Campaigns – an early adopter gains access early.

Available for app major shopping systems such as Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento & PrestaShop. emarketing’s technology automatically feeds a retailer’s live inventory data, budget, creative assets, conversion tracking as well as remarketing tags. eMarketing will programmatically set a target ROAS which will optimize towards the maximum conversion value within the specified target ROAS.

*Adthena defines ‘retail search’ as search data categorized in the following Adwords taxonomies: apparel, beauty and personal care, health, home & garden, occasions & gifts and sports & fitness. Benchmark performance across 40m ads.

Interested in creating a Google Shopping Campaign? Visit emarketing to get started today.

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