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Google Shopping: 2016 Roadmap…

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If you haven’t already noticed, we are huge advocates of Google Shopping here at PPC hubbub. All retailers should be using them as an integral part to your Paid Search strategy. If you’re not, then you’ll be missing out this year as the roadmap for this product looks bright.

The continued success of this Google product via Mobile means that Google are investing heavily into this product in 2016, and rightly so; Retailers spent +47% more on Google Shopping last year, as a result spending -6% less on text ads (Forbes, 2015).

What’s in the 2016 Google Shopping Roadmap?

We asked Mystic Meg (Google sources) what the roadmap for Google Shopping looks like this year. We also explore what this means for you…

More expansive Ad Formats

Since Google’s recent announcement on the GTIN Update, we have seen that the Product Card ad formats now seem to be the standard for specific product searches e.g iPhone 6s…PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Product Cards

We believe that from May 16th, these will be the standard for such search queries across Desktop, Tablet and Mobile, giving users rich product information and advanced filtering options.

We also believe that there will be more expansive ad format testing on Desktop now that the Text Ads from the right-hand side of the Google SERP have been removed. Google has already started testing this in 2 formats…


PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Expanded Ad


PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Carousel

(Search Partners) – Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will be available in Image Search

According to sources at Google, 15% of Image Search queries are related to products. So it makes sense that we should be able to advertise products in this space;

PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Search Partners - Image Search

The test has only been seen on Desktop so far, but we are certain to see more of this in the near future. You have to ensure that your shopping campaigns are opted into Search Partners for them to show. We can expect to see Google expand product listing ad visibility across more of it’s products this year, including YouTube…

(Search Partners) – More Shopping Product Ads on YouTube

Yes, we have been able to do TrueView for shopping since 2015 but we can expect to see Shopping on YouTube expand this year as Google looks to continue the growth rate for this product. From testing, we know that enabling Search Partners via your Shopping campaigns ensures that you have the opportunity to show your products on YouTube in the following format;

PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Search Partners - YouTube

Again, the GTIN requirement update will play a large part here in determining which product is shown; placing greater importance in getting this sorted before the deadline! You can expect to see these ads on Desktop & eventually Mobile.

‘Top Rated on Google’ Product Listing Ads

You will see ads ranked by product ratings in the SERP this year for search queries such as ‘best coffee machine’ across all Devices;

PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Product Ratings

You’ll need to make sure that you are linked up to review aggregators such as Trustpilot to ensure your product ads are showing shopping merchant reviews (find out more here). Of course, Bidding still comes into play here. Google have clarified that for these search query types, they will select the best rated products first, and then the bidding auction resumes as normal on this group of products.

Improved results for generic search queries

Google says that 40% of product searches are on broad terms such as ‘furniture’ or ‘bikes’, they therefore want to make it easier for customers to find the products that they want; meaning more opportunity for users to click on a PLA.

PPC hubbub - Google Shopping - Droids

These ads were announced in 2015, but this year we will be seeing even more of this across all Devices, not just Mobile.

Conversational Shopping

With AI and Machine Learning delivering us results that we really want (even before we finish talking or typing), conversational shopping and Voice Search is something that we will see Google push at the end of 2016. Product Cards via Google Now will play a big role here too.

Conversational shopping will then continue to pave the way for Google to show you results, even before you talk or type anything through the Internet of Things and Smart Objects. Judging by Alphabet’s recent acquisitions and Google X’s projects, this is definitely a space they are looking to tap into.

What do you need to do?

So, as you can see, the future is Google Shopping for retail advertisers. If you are going to remember anything from reading this, then it should be these 4 things;

  1. Get your GTINs in order to avoid missing out!
  2. Test Search Partners on your Shopping Campaigns.
  3. Explore Product Ratings
  4. Ensure you are utilising Mobile Bid Adjustments and that your Mobile Site is fully optimised!
Dan Roberts
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