What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a Comparison Shopping Engine or CSE, which is essentially an ad platform that displays information on products. When a user searches for a product on Google, the highest ranked ads appear on the search results page, with more ads available on the “Shopping” tab. The ads show up as thumbnails, with product information such as price and retailer on display. Google Shopping allows shoppers to compare products from all the retailers who use the platform.
Google Shopping has many benefits for both shoppers and retailers alike. It allows shoppers to browse multiple products based on simple searches. When a shopper clicks on a product, it drives the user to the retailer’s website to finalise the purchase, leading to more overall traffic and awareness.
Google Shopping was originally called Froogle when it was first released in 2002. At that time, the service merely indexed product data. Starting in 2012, the platform moved to a paid advertising model where retailers had to pay subscription fees to be featured.
Today, Google Shopping is part of Google Ads. But Google Shopping ads are different from ordinary ads in that they display product data that the retailer chooses, instead of simple text based on keywords.
Why Google Shopping?
The main advantage Google Shopping provides to shoppers is that it allows them to browse similar products from a wide range of retailers on one platform. Instead of having to visit multiple websites, users can compare products and prices from all the different retailers who advertise on the platform at the same time, allowing for a more streamlined shopping experience.
For retailers, the benefits of Google Shopping are manifold. Whether a major retailer or a small business, having products appear at the top of a Google search results page will lead to more traffic to their websites and more sales. If potential customers can find their products on Google, retailers can compete more easily in the online marketplace. Moreover, Google Shopping shows ads based on keyword searches, which means users are already interested in making a purchase. This framework leads to higher conversion rates.
Google Shopping ads are easy enough to manage, once you have a bit of experience. You simply need to input all the relevant product data and Google does most of the work creating the ad. If you want, you can optimise the ads by changing data points like title and description, to see which combinations work best. You can also see how your ads are performing compared to those of your competitors.
What do I need to get started?
To set up a Google Shopping ad, you first need a Google Ads account and a Merchant Center account. The only requirement for a Google Ads account is to have a regular Google account. The Merchant Center account is slightly more complicated to set up, as it requires a lot of information about your business, including name, website, address, primary users, secondary users, etc.
Once you’ve signed into your Google Ads account, you can set up a Shopping campaign by selecting your Merchant Center account and inputting all the details of your shopping campaign, including country of sale, inventory filter, bidding, daily budget, campaign priority (which is only required if one of your products is featured in multiple campaigns), networks, devices, locations, and local inventory ads.
Google Ads allows users to run some test feeds, and recommends that new users do so before publishing their ads, to ensure that everything looks right.
Crucially, retailers need to make sure that their business, products, promotions, and website all comply with Google Shopping’s policies – otherwise, the campaign will not go live. Moreover, retailers must also ensure they input all the necessary product information correctly, or else the product may not appear at all in the campaign.
How do I start?
If you’re a retailer who wants to compete in the digital marketplace, you need to be on Google Shopping. The platform drives traffic to your website and allows for easy sales from interested customers. However, setting up a campaign can be somewhat difficult. The Merchant Center requires a lot of information from your business and Google Ads requires the product data to be input correctly.
Setting up a Google Shopping campaign can be confusing and time consuming, particularly for those who aren’t technically inclined. Move Ahead Media can take all the hassle out of the process. With decades of experience running PPC campaigns, we’ll get your Google Shopping campaign up and running quickly. What’s more, we’ll optimise all the details of your campaign to ensure the highest possible return on investment.
We’ll make sure your Google Shopping campaign is a success by:
- Assessing your keywords and focussing on the most effective ones
- Optimising your product feed so the largest part of your budget goes towards your most profitable products.
- Analysing your data to create better campaigns