If you’re like many Canadians in the past year, you’ve turned to retail therapy as a way to deal with all the uncertainty in the world or as a way to bring back some fun into your life.

Guilty as charged, your honour.

With all the change around us, so too has our shopping behaviour.

As many studies have shown, online shopping has seen tremendous growth and so will digital window-shopping.

What is the best way for e-commerce retailers to capitalize on people swiping left and right on product images?

Google Shopping.


What is Google Shopping?

Google shopping allows companies with great products to gain visibility by allowing consumers to search, compare and shop for products across different retailers.

Google shopping results are shown separately from the normal organic and search ads results. Shopping ads may appear next to Google search results, in the Shopping tab, display network, Gmail, and on Youtube.

A shopping ad includes an image, the product title, the price, retailer name, and other retailer-specific information. These ads are triggered by pulling data from the website store and matching it with the relevant search queries.

Google shopping has evolved and updates have allowed the platform to focus on advertiser goals, and enhance the shopping experience for the user.

Below are examples of where Shopping ads appear and what they look like.



                                                       Google Shopping Search Results



                                                          Google Shopping Tab Results


Why use Google Shopping?

Google Shopping can help increase product exposure and the quality of leads. A merchant can get their product featured in front of shoppers and help them make informed purchase decisions.  Even before clicking on the ad, the user has already seen images of the product and how much it costs. This helps put them further down the purchasing funnel compared to the average user.

For advertisers who are already running search ads, Google Shopping allows their ads to appear multiple times in search results. Ads can appear as an organic result, text ad result, and as a Google shopping result. This enables Google to give shoppers access to the full variety of products that match their search.


How does Google Shopping work?

We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of setting up a Google Shopping campaign, we’ll save that for another blog post in the future.

Setting up a Google Shopping campaign involves having both a Google Merchant Centre account and a Google Ads account.

A Google Merchant Account is essentially the home base for the products: a product feed for the merchant’s inventory which contains the SKU, product name, title, price, description and image is created here.

This data in the feed is key and is what triggers the ads. When a search query matches the products being offered on the website, Google pulls the pertinent information from the feed and creates the shopping ads you see.

Google Shopping is ideal for e-commerce sites with a good website structure. Keyword-rich product titles and descriptions will help build optimal product feeds.

Since Google Shopping is a highly visual experience, high-quality product images are essential as it plays a key role in a shopper’s decision to purchase.

Merchants with a clear knowledge of their margins and target return on ad spend will ensure that they don’t spend more on ads than an actual sale is worth to them.

Google Shopping is great because it works.

With no signs of lockdowns, travel bans, and retail store closures ending anytime soon, there’s no better time for e-commerce businesses to take advantage of what may be a permanent shift from in-store to online purchasing.