Now that the 2019 retail holiday season has come to a close, we’ve uncovered which of the strategies and tools we put into play during the Cyber 5 retail holiday days made the most impact for our clients. One of the most interesting insights we uncovered was the major role showcase shopping ads played in some of our clients’ overall success.
While historically, showcase ads have been used for more top-of-funnel branding purposes, during the 2019 retail holiday season, the Adlucent team saw an opportunity for clients, including one fashion retailer, for instance, to expand their showcase ads strategy, and we exceeded their expectations on a strict ROAS goal using a limited budget. The client was thrilled with the results over the week, and the ads helped the overall efficiency of their holiday marketing program.
Adlucent Client Cyber 5 Performance
So, What Are Google Showcase Shopping Ads?
Google showcase ads give you the ability to show several of your products to your customers at once. These ads only show for broad and non-branded searches done by customers that have not made a final purchasing decision. After a potential buyer does a general product search on Google, like “kitchenware,” for example, showcase ads can be delivered from multiple retailers in the form of a scrollable catalog like the one for Target below.
Target Google Showcase Ads
You have the ability to manage and group a selection of related products to make it easier to show for broad search queries. The scrollable catalog is delivered above paid search ads at the top of the SERP. Since showcase ads are the first thing a potential buyer sees, it’s crucial to make sure you highlight your product category with a display image, description, and URL. It’s also important to your store rating percentage, delivery, and return time frames for online orders. Accurately filling out this information helps customers make a quick buying decision from the showcase ads without having to click through to your website to find it. Over the holiday Cyber 5 days, we saw these ads convert at a higher-than-expected rate.
Google Showcase Ads Best Practices
- Scroll-Stopping Header: Use a high-quality image of your products to capture customers’ attention. Ensure that all of your product photography is cohesive and on-brand. Exclude watermarks, obvious stock images, and borders on your images that would distract from the products you’re selling.
- Persuasive Ad Copy: Describe what you’re offering in the headline text that will show at the top of the catalog. Also, include useful information within each of your product descriptions to drive customers to your landing page.
- Organized Ad Groups: Create multiple ad groups at the category (bedroom furniture) and sub-category (bedroom dresser) level. Avoid mixing unrelated products under one ad group.
Tip: You should only use showcase ads if you’re a brand that has multiple products to offer. Otherwise, shopping ads are the way to go.
Adlucent’s Experience with Holiday Google Showcase Shopping Ads
The fashion client’s showcase ads showed strong performance over the Cyber 5 days, attracting new customers and keeping up a brand defense for generic terms. These ads also:
- Drove an incremental 6.8 million impressions from queries we otherwise would have missed
- Averaged a $.48 CPC vs. the account average of $1.07
- Averaged 70% impression share for these campaigns, 98% of which came from new customers
Overall, across the holiday marketing program, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, we were able to grow revenue 72% YoY on only 18% more ad spend with the help of showcase shopping ads. This resulted in a 32% improvement in ROI, and we were able to drive 53% more clicks with 23% lower CPCs YoY.
Adlucent Client Cyber 5 Performance
Taking advantage of showcase ads’ ability to maintain brand awareness, Adlucent Account Managers captured online audiences at the critical beginning stage in the customer journey. And, how do the ads drive engagement? Images. They are visually appealing and display an array of your products, providing the user with more opportunities to understand your brand value and consider purchasing your products.
Google Showcase Shopping Ads Lessons for A New Decade
Cyber Five 2019 was one for the books. One of our main takeaways is that retailers and brands should test out Showcase Shopping Ads in their paid search strategy for 2020 both for top-of-funnel and conversion tactics. They increase brand visibility and allow you to capture the attention of consumers early in their buyer journey, and they show promise for converting efficiently, too. How much better can it get? We hope our holiday findings help your marketing strategy as we move forward into the new year and decade.
Is your company looking for an agency to partner with to help you get started with Google showcase ads? Our paid search experts are here to help! Reach out to us or view our paid search solutions to learn more.