Recently Google shifted its shopping search to a pay-for-play model by introducing Google Product Listings. Companies that sold products online used to have shopping ads appear for free in search results by simply having a Google Merchant Center account with a product feed. With this new change the listings below in the right hand column are now CPC ads and companies must build out a Google Adwords campaign to show to up in this section.
As you can see below in a search for a sleeper sofa you can see 8 companies have added product listings for this specific sofa to their PPC campaign. Some companies, most notably Amazon, have opted not to pay for these listings, but in my experience the CPC is lower and the ROI has been higher than standard text ads shown here on the left.
Product Listing Highlights
- You must have a merchant center account and Adwords account to run these ads and have them linked together
- The cost per click is fairly low due to lower competition for these ads, but this may change as more companies get on board with running these
- While traffic to these ads are fairly low the conversion rate for the product listing ads is fairly high
As with all new paid search options I always think a test it worth the effort. In my experience these product listings have not increased traffic dramatically but in terms of ROI and driving ecommerce these new listings have performed very well for my clients and are well worth the small expense.