Google Shopping: three updates to be familiar with this holiday season

In anticipation of the peak holiday shopping season, Google has made several enhancements to Shopping Campaigns and Product Listing Ads (PLA) over the past few months to help streamline the experience.

Here are a few of the improvements that Google Shopping users need to be familiar with:

Shopping Assortment Report 

This new report’s purpose is to help you identify popular products that may be missing from your feed or those you do not sell.

Essentially, this report will allow you to discover where there’s a high consumer demand that you might be able to tap into across a list of the top 100 items. 

assortment-report

By filtering the report by category, you can see what products make the most sense for your business. For added insight, the report provides product price points so you can stay competitive.

With a look back window of 14 days, retailers can track changing holiday activity and shopping habit through the season.

RIP Promotional Text

At the end of September, Google retired the promotional line of text that was found in Product Listing Ads. This optional message was typically used by retailers to call out offers such as sale pricing or free shipping and will now be replaced with an automated extension that will be pulled via the Merchant Center and the feed.

plas-promotext

Beyond this, additional shopping extensions can be used for other callouts including: merchant promotions to share discounts, product ratings to highlight ratings and review, and trusted stores to show your store’s certification. 

This change means less manual customization but emphasizes a greater importance on feed optimization.

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 brick-and-mortar locations and boost sales.

For searches with local intent (think: the use of ‘near me, Google is prioritizing these local inventory ads so shoppers get a more tailored ad delivered at the most opportune time.

On the desktop, retailers have the option to display ‘store-only’ products. This could come in handy particularly during the holidays if stock runs out online or if shipping dates pass and last minute shoppers need gifts.

store-only-ads

On mobile, a new enhancement creates an expanded product detail view when you swipe over the ad to reveal inventory and other information.

With limited mobile space, this feature ensures shoppers can still get all the relevant information to make their purchase, whether that happens online or in store.

With Google Shopping likely to be a continued strong drive of advertising spend and consumer engagement this holiday, advertisers must keep pace with the latest updates to make the most of this format.

PLAs, like any other ad type, can’t be treated in a ‘set it and forget it’ manner, especially during the Christmas season. Increased traffic and more competition mean that marketers must constant assess the opportunities and optimize their programs across Google Shopping and more.

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