There's no doubt that you can find infinite businesses online, and each new business has to put in extra effort to get its products discovered. Also, the demand for online purchases drastically increased during the pandemic in 2020, which clearly impacted e-commerce sales.
But, when businesses want their products to get noticed by their target audiences, they turn to popular marketplaces. However, spending on these platforms is another way of losing money, and it can't be a viable option for most business owners. This is where Google Shopping can make all the difference, and this write-up will cover everything you need to know, from its features to benefits and advantages to disadvantages.
So, to start with what Google Shopping is and how it works, let's take a look at the basics first.
What Is Google Shopping
Google Shopping is a platform provided by Google where various merchants can display their products in an easily searchable manner. Also, it can be a sales channel that enables retailers to showcase their products in Google search results and reach potential customers looking for those products online.
Hence, Google Shopping is an excellent option for users to find the right item from the right seller at the right price just by comparing all these parameters when they search for a particular product.
Features of Google Shopping
You'll find several essential features on Google Shopping, and it occasionally adds new ones. However, some of the main features of Google Shopping are:
1. Filterable Consumer Information
Google Shopping provides you with relevant search results only. It analyzes your search query and advertising habits before showing any product or service at your convenience. Google Shopping also allows users to add filters to the search results to enhance the chances of finding a product they've been looking for. If you're using Google Shopping, you'll find a column at the left that allows you to filter the search results by brand, price, shipping cost, and more.
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2. Product Information
Companies complying with all Google Shopping policies would sell every product you'll find on the search result page. It gives you the surety that companies only sell the items they can sell with all information provided to Google beforehand.
3. Product Reviews
You can find useful product reviews given by volunteers, advertisers, sellers, and third-party review providers to understand more about the product. The reviews can be positive or negative but can surely help you decide if you want to purchase them.
4. Comparative Shopping
When browsing products on Google Shopping, you can access important cost information, including applicable taxes in your state. The product's page also provides a useful range of typical prices across various websites, helping you make an informed decision. Also, if you feel the price is pretty high, you can switch the notifications on the price drop.
5. Ad Campaigns
Businesses can create ad campaigns to promote their products on Google, with bidding options and targeting parameters to reach the right audience.
Benefits of Google Shopping
Google Shopping is becoming popular among retailers as it provides numerous benefits for showcasing products. With that being said, let's take a look at some of the benefits:
1. Enhances Attention
First of all, it enhances the attention a product can get, as Google Shopping ads are alluring for sure. An image, product title, price, and the seller's name accompany the ads. So, a precise format with imagery easily grabs the users' attention, and they also get all valuable information at a glance.
2. Better Qualified Leads
Google Shopping's product listing ads (PLAs) display product information such as price, availability, and shipping options. This information is enough for customers to make informed decisions before clicking on an ad. In addition, it leads to higher click-through rates and better-qualified leads, resulting in increased conversion rates.
3. Improves Product Visibility
Enhancing the visibility of a product is essential for online businesses to generate more leads and sales. With Google Shopping, retailers can achieve this goal by displaying their products on the top search engine results page (SERP). Furthermore, Google Shopping offers retailers the advantage of displaying their products on multiple devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. As a result, businesses can maximise their reach and increase their chances of attracting potential customers.
4. Increases Conversion Ratios
Google Shopping ads are much better than traditional search ads, and one reason would be their better conversion rate. According to WordStream, 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they need to buy something.
5. Targets the Right Audience
Google Shopping allows businesses to target specific audiences based on search queries, geographic location, and devices. With a targeted approach, businesses can reach potential customers who are more likely to convert. So, we can say that retailers can get more value from their advertising budget by showcasing their products on Google Shopping.
A business owner selling items online must know what Google Shopping is and how it works. If you're a business owner new to Google Shopping, read the points below to understand how it works.
Google Merchant Center
Google Merchant Center is an online tool through which you can upload and update relevant information about the products. So, you must set up your account by providing your basic information and agreeing to Google's policies.
All of the product details would be formatted by Google and easy to access for online shoppers. Google Shopping is unlike other online marketplaces as it does not sell products directly but promotes the products online retailers offer through ads. First, you need to add your products, and if you're on any e-commerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you just need to add your shop. You can add a whole spreadsheet of products enlisted or add the products one by one. Then, your products will appear on all Google websites and apps for free.
Creating a Product Feed
After creating an account, businesses need to create a product feed. A product feed is a file that contains relevant information about the products offered. It can include product titles, descriptions, images, prices, availability, and shipping options. After creating this feed, you must upload it to the Google Merchant Center, where Google uses it to create product listings.
Setting up a Google Ads Campaign
Businesses need to set up a Google Ads campaign to display their products on Google. This involves selecting the target audience, location, and devices to display the ads. Additionally, businesses need to set a budget for their campaign.
Bidding and Targeting
Once the campaign is set up, businesses must bid on the products they want to advertise. Bidding involves setting the maximum amount a business will pay for each click on its ads. The bidding process is competitive, and the highest bidder gets their ads displayed first.
Google Shopping ads come in different formats, such as product listing ads (PLAs), local inventory ads, and showcase shopping ads. PLAs are the most common ad format and are displayed on Google's search engine results page. These ads include an image, product title, price, and the seller's name.
A business owner must know the pros and cons of using any advertising tool, so let's take a look at some advantages of Google Shopping so that you can make a decision.
First of all, Google Shopping provides increased visibility for your products. As a business owner, you can list your products and reach a more comprehensive set of audience than you could via traditional methods. Google Shopping allows businesses to show up multiple times on the search results, increasing visibility.
Google Shopping only shows relevant products to the ones looking for them. Google ads can only be delivered to a specific set of users based on their location, device, or search query. The ads will be shown only to the targeted audience, so they will surely reach your target customers.
Higher Conversion Rate
Another reason business owners prefer Google Shopping is the high conversion rate of the ads. Google Shopping ads are several times better than text-only ads as they easily grab the user's attention. Apart from the right photograph of the product, users also receive enough information to identify whether they need to buy the product. In addition, the ads come with a star rating which also helps users to decide on their purchase.
Easy Tracking and Reporting
Google Shopping provides accessible insights that help you track your audience and obtain ad reports. You can get these reports every week or month, and they contain relevant information like product trends and categories to help your business grow.
Google Shopping could be an excellent online marketplace but it has disadvantages too.
First, Google Shopping is highly popular, so you can imagine the number of merchants using it. Hence, it makes the online marketplace pretty competitive, and business owners may find it challenging to stand out and get noticed.
Another disadvantage business owners may face while using Google Shopping is its limited customization. As it allows users to create custom product feeds and set bid adjustments, there's no option to modify the appearance of the product listings.
As an extremely competitive marketplace, business owners have to bid on highly competitive keywords at a higher price. Hence, it makes other online marketplaces cheaper than Google Shopping.
It could be a bit challenging to use the platform effectively as the process is complex. You must focus on multiple factors while setting up your campaigns and others when managing them. It would possibly be difficult for businesses that have limited marketing resources if they need to start with Google Shopping.
You must know a few tips for optimizing your Google Shopping campaign to increase your sales and invest your money correctly. Some of the most effective tips would be:
Optimize Your Product Feed
First, you must optimize your product feed to improve the campaign. For this, you must provide all relevant data about your products to Google so that it can show these products to the right audience. Several attributes need your attention, and once you work on them, you can see your campaigns doing well.
Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are relevant as they save you time and money while running a campaign. These keywords help you avoid showing your products to people who aren't interested in buying them.
For example, if you only sell sports shoes, a person looking for formal shoes probably will not buy your products, but there's a high possibility that they may lock your ad. Hence, to avoid such instances, you can add 'formal' as a negative keyword, as it will not only show your ad to those looking for formal shoes.
Focus on Your Target Audience
Understanding the target audience to make any marketing campaign successful is extremely important. When it comes to Google Shopping, this means understanding the specific search terms and queries your target audience uses to find products like yours.
To optimize your Google Shopping campaign, focus on targeting the right audience with the right products. You can use the right keywords and add them to the product titles and descriptions.
Test and Analyze Your Campaign Regularly
Another important aspect of optimizing your Google Shopping campaign is regularly testing and analyzing your results. All you need to do is keep an eye on the performance metrics of your campaign. You can use A/B testing to test different ad formats, product images, and landing pages to see which ones perform best. In addition, you must analyze your campaign data to identify areas where you can improve your targeting, bidding, and product listing optimization.
In conclusion, Google Shopping offers a great opportunity for online retailers to showcase their products and reach potential customers who are searching for those products. With useful features and effective ways of optimizing ad campaigns, you can gain all possible benefits from it.
However, like any other online marketing platform, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. But, once you know all the relevant tips to optimize a campaign, you can simultaneously leverage this platform and save time and money.