Google Shopping Network: Tips for Success in 2023

Google Shopping Network: Tips for Success in 2023

Just how big is Google Shopping? More than 75% of all google ads spend occurs on the Google Shopping network. That’s 168 billion spent on the shopping network just last year. Greater than 85% of all Google ads clicks come through the shopping network. If you’ve run ads for an ecommerce brand, then you know the value of this channel. Like many other aspects of digital marketing, the Google shopping experience is always changing. Here are some useful tips on how to maximize your shopping performance in light of some industry trends and recent updates from Google. 

Focus on Price:

Price is the most important factor for consumers when shopping online. Google Shopping makes it easy to compare products based on price across various online retailers. Recently, Google released a beta test in the United States, Japan, and India, that allows users to click on any image in the shopping feed to launch the price comparison tool. As its name suggests, this tool allows users to find and compare similar products across retailers easier than ever before. 

Another update available in the United States is the Price Insights feature. This tool shows consumers how similar products are typically priced.

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Both of these updates have one goal: increased transparency. Consumers want to be intentional with their buying decisions online and that means you should be intentional as well, when it comes to your pricing strategy. 

Start by researching your competitors’ prices. Go to the Google Shopping network and see how your products stack up using the Price Insights Tool. Click on your product images and see what comparisons pop up. It can be helpful to put yourself in the mind of the consumer. What did you find? It’s possible that you don’t need to change anything about your pricing strategy. Or, maybe there’s a lot you want to change. Google Shopping is becoming more and more transparent when it comes to comparison shopping and pricing, so we as marketers need to make sure our pricing strategy is on point. 

Focus on Your Campaign Mix: 

Performance Max launched in Q4 of 2021. Midway through 2022, it replaced Smart Shopping and local campaigns. Today, marketers have two options for running shopping ads: standard shopping campaigns, and Performance Max campaigns.

There are many benefits to running a standard shopping campaign. You have total control over the various aspects of your campaign, you get great insights into performance, and you can get as granular as you want. Perhaps most important of all, you know that 100% of your ad spend is funneling into the shopping network.

Performance Max offers a bunch of other benefits as well. Along with being easier to set up, Performance Max optimizes your ad spend across many channels, so if another network such as search or display could drive more revenue than shopping on a given day, it can automatically make that strategic decision to shift budget for you. 

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The one thing I always recommend with Performance Max is this: Just test it. You’ll never know whether it works until you give it a go. We’ve seen largely positive results over the past 18+ months using Performance Max, but results can vary for every business.

Here’s one thing you should know when considering a Performance Max versus a standard shopping test. Performance Max takes precedence over standard shopping campaigns. So if you are running these two campaign types in tandem, Performance Max will always serve a shopping ad, rather than your standard shopping campaign. For this reason, we recommend testing Performance Max for a set period of time, and comparing your total account ROAS and revenue pre-test and post-test (not just the results of the individual campaign).       

Focus on Information:

As Google is always working to improve the information they give to consumers in the shopping network, we as marketers should be trying our best to give them all the information they need. Your shopping feed is the lifeblood of your shopping campaign. The source code. The way, the truth, and the life of your shopping campaign. Google gives you many fields to fill out when developing your feed, such as size of the product, weight, color, gender the product is made for if applicable, price, availability, and others. These are the fields Google uses to pair searches with relevant shopping results. If one or more of these fields are missing, you’ll come across a big red notice in your shopping or Performance Max campaign, telling you that your products may not serve much due to these issues. Work with a shopping feed professional who can get your feed health back in order.

Information is going to get only more crucial when it comes to the Google Shopping network. Google recently launched an AI-powered initiative, which makes an impact on Google Shopping, called the Search Generative Experience. One part of this experience is an AI-generated research tool that essentially calls on information from its database of 35 billion product listings, as well as information from the web, to provide consumers a rundown of important factors to consider when making a purchase. 

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The goal is to help consumers learn about these important factors, to compare them across retailers, and finally to make the best purchase decision. In the highly competitive landscape of Google Shopping, it’s crucial that your feed information is up to date on all these relevant data points so that your products are called upon and appear favorably against your competitors.

Google Shopping is a crucial channel to master if you have an ecommerce business. The online shopping space is more crowded than ever, and Google's recent updates all point towards increasing the consumer’s ability to compare products across retailers and make an informed buying decision. Transparency is king, and it’s cause for digital marketers to get more intentional about the strategies they deploy. 

Ready to learn more about how to deploy the right Google Shopping strategies for the most efficient and effective ad spend? Contact Eight Oh Two Marketing today for an expert assessment of your campaigns.

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