E-Commerce Strategy: Google Shopping Explained

Close up of Google search on mobile phone

What is Google Shopping?

If you don’t use Google Shopping as a key sales channel, you may think it’s still a search listing based on an organic algorithm. This did apply in the past when it was called Google Product Search, but since 2012 Google Shopping has been a paid e-commerce platform. Businesses of any size can pay to have their products listed at the top of search results or on the Google Shopping tab, alongside key information that isn’t shown in the usual text-based listings. 

It’s a mistake to overlook Google Shopping as a lucrative sales channel for retailers – in a recent study, 51% of shoppers said they use Google to research a product before purchasing it. As a result, Google Shopping ads now drive a whopping 76% of retail searches, and win 85% of all clicks. Let’s delve a bit deeper into why the platform is such good news for retailers looking to scale online. 

What are the benefits of Google Shopping for merchants? 

So, aside from its obvious popularity and the clear perks of appearing atop the elusive Google listings, what benefits does Google Shopping offer to business owners and retail marketers? 

  • Customers see key information up front 

Unlike regular Google listings, the product ads featured on the Google Shopping platform display key information – such as price, user reviews and a photo – that allows potential customers to have their main questions answered before they’ve clicked. In some ways, this can increase competition (a retailer selling the same product could be listed alongside yours for a lower price, for example) but it also provides an accessible way to remain competitive and stand out. 

  • Higher value traffic comes through 

When customers click through to your store, they already know key information such as the price point and reviews of your particular product, so they’ve essentially been pre-vetted and are more likely to buy. This means your rate of ad-spend (ROAS) with Google Shopping is much higher when compared against the often scattergun approach of regular PPC. 

  • Marketing budget stretches further

Because you’re laser-targeting customers based on buying mindset, therefore increasing your ROAS, your budget for these ads will stretch a lot further. On average, you can expect to find the cost-per-click around 30% lower than the traditional text ad.

  • Cuts through competition 

With Google Shopping, you can wave goodbye to trying to hack the algorithm with key search terms or phrases. If you have the budget, paying for a place in the Google Shopping product feed negates the long-term slog of climbing the organic search rankings. There’s not even a need to research key phrases in this process, Google does that for you. 

  • It seamlessly integrates with other e-commerce platforms

Whether you use BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress, Magento or another, Google Shopping easily extends to most leading e-commerce sites. So long as your product listings are optimized for high conversion (see below), you can easily sync your inventory with the platform and start earning straight away.

Get the best out of Google Shopping

To ensure your ads stand out against competition and draw more clicks, your products should already be optimized for high conversion. This means:

  • A descriptive title, bullet-pointed features, important details (variants, dimensions), shipping and returns info, and cost should all be listed alongside a high-quality image. 
  • Ensuring your site is mobile friendly, as customers are unlikely to stick around if they can’t gauge the necessary information when browsing by phone.  
  • Checking out the competition – are your products competitively priced? If not, it’s unlikely you’ll yield traffic when displayed alongside a cheaper option. 
  • Monitoring shopping campaigns. Focus on product ads which draw conversion, and switch and change out the products that don’t.

Use a central hub for all sales channels

The fact is, Google Shopping is an increasingly dominant e-commerce platform that could prove a lucrative sales channel for growing your business – but it’s also another channel to keep track of and introduces operational complexity.

To avoid the overwhelm of tracking multiple sales channels, a central source of truth that amalgamates all sources of data into one place can help you stay on top of orders, measure profitability and ultimately, boost sales across your entire business. 

Brightpearl offers a world-class roster of Plug & Play integrations, so you can sync with leading e-commerce platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce, alongside online marketplaces such as Google Shopping, Amazon and eBay. It also allows you to monitor key insights from all channels in one central source of truth – without having to burn time in disparate CSVs or spreadsheets. 

To learn more about how Brightpearl supports multichannel retailers achieve rapid growth, book a demo today.