Why Google Shopping Is The Secret Weapon You’ve Been Missing

Last updated on June 17th, 2019

Google shopping is a rising trend in retail marketing that is hard to ignore.

In fact, in 2018, Shopping ads made up 76.4% of all retail search ad spend in the U.S.

Google Shopping + Match2One
Display your products at the top of the search results with Google Shopping

These ads generate 65% of online retail clicks

On average, shopping ads generate 18% higher revenue per click than text ads on desktop.

With these numbers in hand, it’s clear that Google shopping is a marketing channel to count on. But why, exactly, is it so effective?

To figure this out, we’ll have to take a closer look at what exactly Google shopping is:

What is Google Shopping?

Google explains shopping ads like this:

Shopping ads are more than just a text ad – they show users a photo of your product, plus a title, price, store name, and more.

Ok, but what does this actually mean?

Let’s have a look at a search for Nike Air Max sneakers:

google search for nike air max

As you can see, shopping ads let you display your products at the very top of the search results – above the normal text ads.

They also let you display your products with an image and price – right at the search results page.

As a retailer, this is a great opportunity to reach relevant customers who are looking for what you’re offering.

After all, why would you click a product ad if you weren’t actually looking for that specific product?

Basically, Google shopping lets you reach those bottom-funnel customers that already know what they’re looking for – and gives them an easy way to find your products right in the search results.

This bottom-funnel, high-converting traffic is exactly why Amazon currently owns 51% of the Google shopping impression share in the Home Goods category:

The numbers are clear: as an online retailer in 2019, you need to use shopping ads.

But how does it work?

Read on to find out.

How does Google shopping work?

Basically, there are three parts to a shopping ad:

  • Product image
  • Product title
  • Price
google shopping ad for blue dress
The anatomy of a Shopping ad

All these parts are pulled from something called a product feed.

This is a sheet you set up with information about your products.

The feed looks like this:

Sample product data feed

To access the product feed you’ll have to create a Google Merchant Center account.

This is the central hub where you manage all the information about your store and your products.

Once you’ve added all your products to the product feed, you need to link your Merchant Center account with your Google Ads account. Once this is done, you’re pretty much good to go!

What about adding keywords?

If you’ve ever set up a Google Search campaign, you know a lot of work goes into finding and testing suitable keywords for your products.

None of this is needed with Google shopping.

Once your feed is properly uploaded, Google automatically finds the most relevant search terms to display your ads for, based on the information in your feed.

The only way to manually add more keywords is to expand your product feed with these terms.

You can, however, add negative keywords to your campaign. These are search terms that Google thinks are relevant to your product listing – but might not be at all.

Say, for instance, you’re selling a dress with a banana print on it. Now, your product feed might say something like “banana print dress”, but Google shows your ads for the search term banana print shoes.

google search for banana print dress
If you sell Banana Print Dresses, you’d want to show up here…

People searching for banana print shoes are probably not looking for dresses, so this would be something you might want to add to your negative keywords.

google search for banana print shoes
… But not necessarily here.

If you show up here but you’re selling a banana print dress, you might want to start looking at adding some negative keywords!

Where does Google shopping fit in my marketing funnel?

The main advantage of Google shopping is being able to attract customers who’ve already expressed purchase intent.

Looking at the well familiar marketing funnel, this means people who’re at the bottom steps of the funnel:

where does google shopping fit in the marketing funnel
Shopping ads are a bottom-funnel marketing channel.

In other words, Google shopping is a conversion driving marketing channel.

Generally, the more specific a search is, the closer people are to buying a product. Someone searching for “Nike air max 720 sneakers size 10” is likely to be closer to a purchase than someone who’s just searching for “Nike sneakers”.

These specific search terms are also where marketers usually see the most success with their shopping ads.

What Google shopping isn’t

In short, Google shopping isn’t a branding channel.

Let’s have a look at a search for “blue dress”:

google search for blue dress
Google shopping isn’t a branding channel.

What are the most prominent features of these ads?

  • The product image
  • The price

Yes, you can see who the seller is, but it isn’t where the main focus lies.

You’ll see that a couple of the dresses sell for $66, while the most expensive dress is $597. Now, if you weren’t already familiar with the brand Saks Fifth Avenue, you probably wouldn’t click an ad to buy a dress for $597 when there’s one right next to it for $66.

Let’s have a look at another example:

google search for basketball shorts

Now, if you weren’t familiar with Nike as a brand – why would you pay $32.97 for a pair of basketball shorts rather than the $5 shorts right next to them?

In conclusion, Google shopping works great to showcase your products – but if you aren’t a well-known brand you might need to complement your shopping campaigns with brand building efforts.

Lucky for you, Match2One can help you with both 🙂

We’ve seen excellent results when combining Google shopping campaigns and programmatic prospecting campaigns.

The prospecting campaigns help build awareness about your brand in those upper-funnel stages, and shopping campaigns help customers easily find your products when they’re looking for them.

Conclusion

Google shopping is one of the biggest growth opportunities for retailers in 2019.

Most major brands are already on the bandwagon, with ad spend surpassing traditional search ads.

As a conversion channel, it’s hard to find anything more effective than Google shopping.  

With a shopping campaign, you’ll be able to reach people who’re actively looking for what you have to offer – and take them straight to your product page for an easy purchase.

That said, Google shopping works even better when paired with a prospecting campaign, increasing awareness of your brand and your products.

This becomes especially important if you’re in a competitive niche with lots of similar product offerings.

With Match2One, you can quickly and efficiently set up both Google shopping campaigns and prospecting campaigns, allowing you to engage potential buyers at all steps of the funnel.

If you want to learn more about how Match2One can help you with your Google shopping campaigns, just follow this link.

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Ola Rask

Ola Rask

Digital Marketing Expert at Match2One - with a passion for engaging and well-designed content.

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