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Google Shopmarketing

The Merchant Center will be more complex and unclear. Who can find the way around in terms like Product Search, Product Listing Ad, Plusbox, Product Extensions, Google Shopping, Google Base, Google Checkout?

Product listing ads used to be free. Google charges for the so called Product Listing Ads as they do for the teyt advertisements now. Pay Per Click marketing has reached product listing ads. 

Therefore there are new obstacles and opportunities for Shopmarketing- Who can assess that? Who can calculate profitability when costs are rising? Does the income also increase or will Google use its position of power for the disadvantage of the merchant?

That may look like a huge mess but at least you come to one conclusion: Google is engaging in Shopmarketing.

There is a product database with all product offers. The merchants, who upload data records, feed that database. Google presents this product data with pictures and prices and sorts it by relevance or price. AdWords-Advertisements are also shown there.

The product database is grouped together under “Shopping” on the upper navigation bar of Google Search. The product database is part of Google Shopping, which used to be called the Google Merchant Center.

The pictures and prices of that database are integrated with AdWords and shown to the purchaser in different versions.

On the one hand there is the Plusbox, which can be opened by the customer via the plus-symbol underneath the advertisement and which shows further offers with pictures. That is what Google calls Product Extension. The Product Extensions belong to the advertisement and are not chosen regardless by Google. Note: Google has ceased showing Product Extensions since 20th May 2013.

Different from that is the actual Product Listing Ad, which is picked by Google based on the users search term. Therefore it is important to upload optimized product databases. We are pleased to assist you in the process. The Product Listing Ads are independent of the Google text display and both can be shown at the same time:

In my article about the integration of Merchant Center in AdWords I compared the different Performance of both advertising types. You see that Product Ads are much more efficient and profitable in this example. Wouldn´t it be better to just place Product Ads?

It is too early to draw this conclusion, because there are counterexamples in which text adverts perform better; same applies for display, video or mobile adverts. Depending on the marketing goal they are more successful that Product Ads.

The varying performance shows that the different types of advertisements are more efficient and better tailored to certain products or offers than to others.

With text adverts Google built its web-business and today the small and standardized advertisements are still the main business and make almost all profit. But with the new ad extensions and the Product Ads Google moves from text advertisements to the integration of Shopmarketing into the real world of shopping.

From the external view, of course, you can only speculate, which strategies does Google pursue and who sets the direction with his/ her ideas. From my experience with Google I can see the following scenario: In the course of time the former stepchild of the Froogle-database became a source of product-data, -prices, -pictures and –conditions. As the database matures the system became a large profit-source, because Google could place profitable AdWords in the results of Product Search.

In addition Google tested the other direction, namely showing the product-pictures and –prices in the results of Product Search. That seems to develop pretty positively.

But Amazon could take the spot away from Google when it comes to Product Search. In the meantime more surfers search products at amazon than at Google Search and Search Partners. This led to various strategic tests, which are combined for a competition with Amazon.

How shall such a combination be transposed? Google indexes billions of websites as information-base and saves hundreds of millions of product data in the marketplace, but has presently no chance against Amazon. After latest news the sectors “search results” and “product information” shall not be integrated, but set up separately.

In the next chapter we talk about the look of the shopping-sector and about the modules that have to be combined for a shopping-platform. So we will see, which possibilities and challenges the “merchant”, who wants use the Google-potential for his marketing, has to face.


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