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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

The Science Behind Google's Shopping Ads

Posted by Andrea McFarling on December 5, 2017

Your Shopping program is live and optimized, but you may be wondering what else you can do to increase your likelihood of capturing the shopper's click. Beyond your basic product feed data, there are additional elements in your control. Your product photos, description, pricing, and ad extensions are all elements you can adjust, but which should you prioritize?

We tested four ads on 500 US consumers to get a greater understanding of what moves the needle. Here’s what we found out.

  1. Brand Name Does Matter

When we stacked Macy’s against four unknown retailers, nearly two in three respondents said they’d select the Macy's ad over the others, with all other variables kept the same.

  1. Free Shipping is the Most Popular Extension, Barely

We put five extensions up against each other—reviews, offer, local inventory, free shipping, and price drop. Free shipping earned the most votes with 40% of respondents saying they’d choose an ad that offers the service, while reviews fell just behind with 38%. In reality, the performance of each extension depends on the intent of the person searching for the product. If they are just starting to research product options, reviews is often the preferred choice. If they’re ready to buy, free shipping or a local inventory ad (LIA) is often your best bet. Advertisers should always align query intent with extensions.

  1. Price Is Still #1

Price is the most important factor in determining which ad gets the click. We put one unknown retailer against four household brands and gave them the lowest price. Nearly half (45%) of respondents said they’d choose the ad that advertised the lowest price. Interestingly, Amazon was the second choice with 25%. We can infer that Prime Members will often select an ad by Amazon to take advantage of free shipping.

  1. Don’t Use Stock Imagery

The best way to differentiate your products from other retailers who also sell them is to avoid using manufacturer photos and instead, invest in new imagery. Nearly half (48%) of the respondents said they preferred the ad that included multiple angles of the product they were looking for. Thirty-two percent said they liked the ad that shows the product in use. Dead last was the standard manufacturer photo that shows a single photo of the product.

Click here to save a copy of the full infographic

What do you think? Do these results align with how you shop? Do you have any Shopping insights to share?


Topics: Brand, Conversion Rate, Featured Post, free shipping, Google, google shopping, PLAs, plas, product ads, product listing ads


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