What is Google Shopping?

13 Mar 2018 6 min read

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Google first appeared in our online world? It’s actually hard to imagine a day without Google now. We’re at school with our kids via Google Classroom, we’re being told where to go (literally) through the Google Maps app and of course, there’s an answer to almost every question via Google search – it’s probably even your default web browser and home page.

Google Home Page
Google Homepage

As an online retailer, you’ve no doubt invested many hours and dollars into optimising your website’s search engine ranking through fresh, quality and up-to-date content. Now, are you ready to take the next step into Google Shopping?

We’ve spoken extensively in our blog about the benefits of diversifying your sales channels and expanding into online marketplaces, and whilst Google Shopping isn’t technically a marketplace, it does offer an option that provides similar exposure and benefits to your business.

| Related Reading: The Explosion of Online Marketplaces in Australia

And with two out of three shoppers conducting research before purchasing a product (source: TNS Path to Purchase studies 2017) and over 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day, it just makes sense to get your brand in front of these potential customers with Google Shopping.

So, What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a comparison shopping engine or shopping feed, which is actually a form of online advertising, managed through a Google Merchant Centre and your Google Adwords account. It’s generally accessed by consumers through the shopping tab on Google but can occasionally be served up in the main window if the search terms are specific enough or under the images tab if the consumer is browsing more than buying.

Google Image Search
Google image search

Before You Start, Let’s Think About Strategy.

What are your goals? Obviously making a profit is the first thought that springs to mind but with a comparison shopping engine like this, there is another option. Google Shopping provides a great way to gain new customers even though you might break even on the sale. By selecting a high performing, low price product to advertise, you attract new customers and once they buy, they’re yours to keep. You can now retarget your customers through ongoing email marketing campaigns, and that’s when you’ll start to turn a profit.

What’s So Good About Google Shopping?

1. Visual rich advertising

Google shopping ads are visually attractive and feature everything your customer needs to know. It displays a photo, a description, your price and an offer if you currently have one in place. Viewers can even see your review rating.

What is Google Shopping

2. Multiple devices

With 88% of all Australians now owning a smartphone and over 40% of us actually shopping via mobile, Google Shopping let’s you get in front of potential customers no matter where they are and what device they’re using. Ads are served up across all devices and as we mentioned before, it’s visual so it’s easy to view on the go. Many consumers will research via their mobile whenever they have a moment, but may actually purchase from a desktop computer when they’ve got more available time later on.

Google Shopping Mobile
Google Shopping on mobile

3. Entice shoppers

Google Shopping allows you to entice shoppers with a price drop, discount or special offer. And if your strategy is simply to gain new customers, this is the perfect approach.

4. Pay only for results

Because Google Shopping is an advertising platform, you pay per click which means you’re only paying for actual visits to your website and actual results. And out of all the paid shopping engines around, Google is surprisingly one of the cheapest; due to a higher percentage of click through rates on Google Shopping, you’ll enjoy a lower than average Cost Per Click than a traditional Pay Per Click campaign. And in the context of other comparison shopping engines, research indicates that it’s the lowest cost per sale at 14.27%.

5. Easy to use

For ecommerce websites, Google Shopping is a great way to start selling, because quite simply, most of your product details are already set to go. All you need is an XML product feed from your ecommerce platform. If you’re already using Neto, then this step is super easy to set up. Just be sure that barcodes are included in your feed or you’ll run into all sorts of trouble. Google Shopping is also less complicated than normal AdWords because your product descriptors determine the keywords.

Don’t Just Set and Forget

The Google Shopping Dashboard provides the means to track, tweak and measure results. And this is exactly what you need to do on an ongoing basis to optimise your results. While you can do it yourself, you might also engage a professional to do it for you especially if you’d like to extend to the more complicated YouTube and local inventory ads.

Here’s The Clincher

No other platform is as good at capturing consumers, where and when they intend to buy. In fact, Google Shopping is the number one comparison shopping engine, driving the most traffic and more importantly, the most revenue of all.

Want to know a little more? Watch our Google Shopping Webinar below

Or find out about some of the other sales channels options available to you with our free Sell Everywhere guide.