Christmas season is approaching and Google has made several changes to Shopping Campaigns and Product Listing Ads (PLA) over the last few months to help benefit the experience. Here are a few of the changes that Google Shoppers need to be familiar with:
Shopping Assortment Report
The purpose of this new report is to guide you in identifying popular products that may be missing from your feed, or those you do not sell. This report will allow you to locate where there is a high consumer demand that you may be able to tap into across a list of the top 100 items.
The assortment report shows you the most popular items on Google Shopping within your target country for the last 14 days (it only includes products you didn’t get impressions for in the last 14 days!). Firstly, you need to filter the report by category to look at the products that make the most sense for your business. You’ll then get information such as the rank/popularity of the item, an image, brand, title and more. With a look back of 2 weeks, retailers can track the change in holiday activity and shopping habit through the Christmas season.
Changes to Promotional Text
As of September 2015, Google retired the promotional line of text that was located in Product Listing Ads. This optional message was typically used by retailers to promote offers such as a price or free shipping. This will now be replaced with an automated extension that is produced through the Merchant Centre and the feed.
If you want to highlight other offers aside from free shipping and sale prices, there are additional shopping extensions which can be used for callouts:
– Merchant Promotions to share discounts
– Product Ratings to display aggregated star ratings and links to customer reviews
– Trusted Stores certification to show the world you’re trusted by Google as a great place to shop
This means less manual customisation, but emphasises a greater importance on feed optimisation.
Drive to Stores with Local Inventory
Local inventory ads highlight store and product details including availability, price, and shop information to nearby customers to draw them to locations and boost sales. For searches with local intent (highly beneficial for the use of ‘near me’) Google is prioritizing these local inventory ads so that shoppers get a more tailored ad delivered at the most appropriate time.
Retailers have the option to display ‘store-only’ products on the desktop. This could come in handy, particularly during the run up to Christmas if stock runs out online or if shipping dates pass and last minute shoppers need gifts.
On mobile, a new enhancement has created an extended product detail view when you swipe over the ad to reveal inventory and other info. This feature ensures shoppers can still get all the relevant information to make their purchase, whether that happens online or in store.
The Christmas season will make this feature hugely beneficial for consumer engagement and advertising spend. Advertisers must keep up-to-date with the latest changes to make the most of this format.