Is Google Shopping Effective

Is Google Shopping Effective?

Every merchant wants to target as many high valued customers as possible and most likely you want to attract these customers with zero costs. But once and awhile it’s worth spending a little coin for a bigger return. And today I’m talking about Google Shopping.

Everybody knows the power and dominance of Google, hack it has a global market share of 67.6%, if that doesn’t convince you, than I don’t know what will.

So why not use that to your advantage, Google presents with each search result a dedicated area for paid advertising. If you only look at the area Google uses to present its Shopping ads, it would showcase up to 17% real estate.

Now that is a pie I would like to eat from :), Alongside web search, Google also has a dedicated Shopping channel.

Knowing that Google Shopping uses a real estate of 17%, we need to understand if its effective.

To understand it’s effectiveness you need to understand targeted results, the best method of targeting is to compare it to exact matching in adwords. As you know from your own adwords results is that the exact match keywords have a higher conversion rate than any other type of keyword targeting.

And this is what Google Shopping is all about, if you focus on exact matching  titles and descriptions (on topic text), than you will receive an extremely high conversion rate.

When is it not effective?

It’s all good and well to say how something is effective, a while ago I received an email from founder of RareForm (Alec Avedissian) a startup brand, and asked me if it was a good idea to start listing products on Google Shopping. So after some research on his product and brand I came to the conclusion that in this instance it is not yet effective.

And here is why, the brand awareness is low and the products are all luggage bags. It’s actually an amazing product. What they do is they recycle billboards and turn them into Luggage Bags, check them out.

Luggage bags are a competitive market and in such circumstances making a sale is very limited. Where you do start making sales is when people are targeting specific keywords again the exact match keywords but in this case the brand. If the brand is the soul eCommerce site than selling them on Google Shopping is slightly pointless. If you’re a brand and are redistributing to many retailers, than it’s a good idea. The key focus is brand awareness, and product awareness. If the market is over seeded with similar brands selling the same niche products, than selling items are limited to a selected few. However every niche is completely different, I always recommend doing an experiment with your top selling products. Even with high competition if you have a competitive pricing or free delivery, you can definitely gain sales.


Using my own existing data as an example I can see that the conversion rate for generic keywords are lower than that of exact match keywords.

There are two main categories of visitors, those that know what they want, and those that don’t. Meaning that although I’m trying to focus more on exact match keywords the broad keywords are not necessarily a lost cause. These can be a trigger for future sales.

This is an experiment we need to delve in deeper at another time, we want to be able to make maximum profit and that is where the exact keywords come into place.

There are several factors that come in to play when it comes to ranking in Google Shopping, and I would recommend reading up on Google Merchant Tips and Google Shopping Tips


Don’t stop to quickly

I have found some companies I have worked with stop too quickly. After 3 weeks some decide to stop using Google Shopping due to the high costs, or high expectations. Here is the problem, if you want to be successful in Google Shopping you need to have a good quality data feed, optimized Adwords campaign and an excellent landing page.

If one of these fail, you need to improve it.

But found some merchants are restricted by time or budget. If you think about the time and effort you spend in improving your Google Shopping experience, in the long run it will pay for itself.

Focus on the following

  • Titles
  • First 140 characters of your description
  • High quality images
  • Competitive prices
  • If possible free delivery
  • Excellent landing pages

Google Shopping Pros

  • Excellent for new sales
  • Excellent for brand awareness
  • In some niche businesses allot cheaper cost per conversions than Adwords
  • Once everything is setup correctly, a steady stream of sales will flow

Google Shopping Cons

  • Very complicated Policies
  • Difficult to integrate for some eCommerce Platforms
  • Unexplained violations
  • Requires effort in data quality
  • Requires effort in Adwords
  • Most likely you need a professional for consulting or management.
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