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Google launches Shopping Ads on GDN: What’s the Opportunity?

Google are currently running a pilot which will see Google Shopping ads appearing on premium fashion and home sites which are part of the Google Display Network. With the feature to be enabled by default on 29th May for all accounts in the pilot, Croud takes a look at what future opportunities it might provide for advertisers.

What are Google Testing?

Google are considering expanding the highly effective Shopping ad format. Traditionally Google Shopping ads appeared only on  Google’s search results page, but pairing Shopping ads with the Google Display Network could add much more scale of inventory for advertisers to showcase their products.

At the end of May, Google will begin to roll out this feature for those advertisers selected for the pilot. Eligible advertisers will have the new feature as an option available on Campaign setup, which Google is calling  ‘Retail Shopping on Display’.

Google focusing more on Shopping ads should come as no surprise given that retailers often invest more on Shopping than text ads. Retailers that Croud work with often see their Google Shopping account for up to 65% of their total Google AdWords spend.

 

What could this mean for advertisers?

 

Assuming that the pilot is successful, there could be a significant impact for retail advertisers, including:

  • Opportunity to impact consumers higher up the funnelAdvertisers could potentially impact the consideration or research phase of the consumer purchase journey. Retailers can present their product(s) to the consumer before they go on to search, where they are presented with a wider range of organic and paid results and choices. This is likely to be a really good match for fashion and retail industries; users might be more likely to engage with ads for home furnishing on a beautifully curated interior decoration blog than a SERP.
  • The continued importance of feed optimizationIt’s unclear exactly how Retail Shopping on Display will work; presumably, Google will match the content of the website to the products listed in the feed which enables Shopping ads. Ensuring the feed is set up correctly allows Google to most effectively match retailer’s products to the content of a site, which will be key in this instance.
  • Free up more budget for Shopping – Should Retail Shopping on Display provide a similar ROI that advertisers now get with Shopping, advertisers may move more investment into Shopping ad formats. Google reportedly has over 2 million websites on the Google Display Network. The scope of the pilot is limited to a small range of fashion and home decor websites, but the opportunity to scale Shopping ads is significant.

As we await further details, advertisers and marketers will be keen to understand more about brand safety (which spans a much wider range of issues on the GDN) and the targeting and bidding options.

Retail Shopping on Display could represent a good opportunity for retailers to test if they have found success with Shopping ads and perhaps maxed out impression share. Equally, advertisers who have considered Shopping ads to be a cost-inefficient option may benefit from having their products alongside contextually relevant content and could record different results.