2020 Google Shopping Guide

Those of us that are old enough, remember Froogle from back in 2002. Froogle was a popular service that indexed product data for specified keywords, displaying them in the search results. In 2012 Froogle was incorporated into Google AdWords – now known simply as Google Ads. Most online retailers are familiar with Google Ads and it’s extreme popularity as a digital marketing channel. Now here we are in 2020, and Froogle has returned, at least partially.

Free shopping listings have been rolled out worldwide, making this is the ideal time to add Google Shopping to your marketing arsenal. Prices are low and you’ll not need a Google Ads account to get started. Despite there being a lack of clarity regarding whether this rollout will be permanent – there is reason to believe it will be as Google has become increasingly threatened by players such as Amazon in the online marketplace.

Regardless, all businesses who sell products online, should be taking advantage of this right now for as long as it does last to ensure they are optimally positioned to better connect directly with consumers and compete in the ever changing and growing digital landscape.

But let’s back it up for a moment and get some perspective.

We live in a ‘Want it now. Gotta have it now” era. Everything we desire is at our fingertips and people are more digitally savvy than ever. However, the time consuming aspect of online shopping is when it comes to comparing products and services. This can be a frustrating process, flicking between websites and scrolling through categories. Companies like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have addressed this problem by connecting searchers directly and easily to a selection of the exact products they are looking for. This is the space Google Shopping plays in. If you haven’t used Google Shopping or aren’t sure what it is, keep reading to find out the benefits of this strategy!

What is Google Shopping?

Google shopping is not an eCommerce platform like Amazon, eBay and Etsy, but from the customers perspective it serves the same function by providing an easy way to compare products from different retailers based on the keywords being used to search. This process is also known as Comparison shopping.

Let’s say someone is searching in Google for a particular product. This shopper will type in ‘black dress shoes’ (for example). Google then produces relevant shopping ads of multiple businesses that sell black dress shoes. Realistically you have likely already engaged with Google shopping ads at some stage, even if you are not aware of it. These product ad results appear as a thumbnail image of the product, price, and additional information relating to the specific product.

For online stores, this is incredibly valuable. Google shopping provides a way to advertise products in a visually appealing and highly specific and targeted way.

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How Google Shopping Works

Product feeds containing product data (product names, descriptions, images, price, etc) from online stores are processed through Google’s algorithms. This data is then used to match relevant searches and to create product ads. The end user will see Google Shopping ads with images of the exact product they are searching for with price as well as other relevant product information. When the purchaser clicks on the ad, they are directed straight to the product page where they can add it to their cart and proceed with their purchase.

Up until 2020 these Shopping ads have been charged on a Pay Per Click basis. However with Google’s recent rollout of free Shopping ads, the rules of the game have changed and a massive opportunity has opened up for ecommerce stores.

The frustrating and overwhelming experience of searching for a specific product in Google only to be met with thousands of text based ads is the reason why most searches never scroll past page 1 of the search results.

For online retailers Google Shopping stands out. These ads highlight products in a visually appealing format including images, colours and price enticing potential buyers to click through to the website for purchase. As mobile user percentages continue to increase this channel is particularly attractive as Google Ads are featured on screen first.

Another option for shoppers is to click on the shopping tab within Google, and to browse products directly via Google Shopping product ads.

Google Dominates

Google is primarily where people go first and foremost when they are conducting product research or looking to buy. By strategically utilising Google Shopping in marketing plans, businesses can get in front of potential customers in the precise moment they are looking for a product to purchase.

Google Shopping Converts

According to some statistics Google Shopping has been shown to have a 30% higher conversion rate than text based ads. The reason for this may seem obvious. By using Shopping Ads, desired products are viewed directly by those looking for that specific product. The impact of simplicity in the product image and price converts better as it leaves out the less critical information that most time poor consumers do not want to read.

Multiple Sales Opportunities

Did you know you can show up more than once on the first page of Google? Imagine that your SEO is working for you and you are ranking highly organically, you’ve got Google Ads running so your ads are appearing at the top of the search results, and your products are being attractively displayed front and centre as well. Customers see your brand three times straight away, which dramatically increases the likelihood they will buy from you and not your competitor.

Google Wants You to Win Big

Google automatically pulls data from your website to create ads for your products and matches them with relevant keywords and search queries. Once you are set up to run Google Shopping, your products can start appearing straight away for potential buyers. The other factor worth contemplating is that Google makes substantial revenue from advertisers. If you are making sales from your ads, you will keep investing and Google makes more money. A win-win situation.

Leveling the Playing Field

No matter the size of the enterprise, Google Shopping can be used by anyone who sells products online. This levels the playing field in terms of making marketing affordable. It’s the ideal channel to create brand awareness and also to increase leads and sales.

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In Conclusion

For many buyers and sellers, using Google Shopping and other similar marketplaces is not new. It’s probable that you’ve already interacted with Google Shopping and are familiar with shopping platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay. Their popularity is obvious when you look at shopping trends making things easier for users to find and purchase. If you are not currently advertising with Google Shopping for your eCommerce store it’s definitely a channel you should consider.

For shoppers the online buying and shopping experience is littered with text heavy ads. Google Shopping provides a welcomed change with visually appealing ads offering simplicity in product comparison. eCommerce stores can use Google Shopping to boost traffic to their website and bring quality leads and sales that would have otherwise gone to their competitors.

Want to get started with google shopping?

Google shopping strategy has the potential to be a highly profitable long term strategy that brings consistent results. With Google’s rollout of free Google Shopping it should be a no brainer for all businesses that sell products online.

Jump on the bandwagon! Ask us how Lunar can help you get set up with Google Shopping!