Digital Marketing GuidesE-commerceGoogle Ads

Guide to Google Shopping Ads for E-commerce


Launched first as a paid channel in 2012, Google Shopping Ads have charmed both online shoppers and advertisers. Google offered its service of Shopping Ads to retailers which reliably delivered one of the highest returns on ad spend (ROAS) of any paid channels and has been reported for over 60% of their paid clicks.

Google Shopping Ads and Where to See Them

Product Listing Ads (PLA), also known as Shopping Ads, are the product ads that appear in results when you search in Google.

Digital 38 | Google Shopping Ads
Photo source: Shopify

You can also see these ads on the shopping tab, search partner websites, shopping service apps, YouTube, and Google Display Network.

Digital 38 | Google Shopping Ads
Photo source: Shopify

Shopping Ads appear under the Shopping Tab in Google

Digital 38 | Google Shopping Ads
Photo credit: Shopify

Shopping Ads appear in Goole Shopping Application

Digital 38 | Google Shopping Ads
Photo credit: Shopify

Shopping Ads appear in Youtube and GDN

What are Google Ads and Google Merchant Center?

Google Ads and Google Merchant Center are the two platforms used in shopping ad campaigns. With Google Ads, you can set up your ad campaigns, set budget, manage bids, increase insights, and optimise. While on Google Merchant Center, you can update your product feed with details about shipping and sales tax.

Setting up your product feed is similar to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) because Google is using your feeds, site, and other search inquiries that trigger your ads.

Success with Google Shopping comes down to three things:

  1. Creating the top and most relevant ads through an optimised product feed
  2. Developing a campaign design that fits within your desired level of control while getting the best from Google
  3. Obtaining strong reporting data that you can make sound optimisation and growth decisions

It is important that you know your goals for you to set an effective strategy in promoting your products using Shopping Ads. Knowing your target ROAS and deciding whether you want to develop a customer relationship or generate sales are essential in building a lasting online business.

What is the difference between free and paid ad listings?

Many e-commerce entrepreneurs get to use the shopping listings for free when Google first made the announcement of making all products listed for free. But if you’re looking for the most leading position and an increase in volume with your shopping efforts, you need to do a paid approach.

Benefits of Paid Shopping Ads

All the results that appear on the main Google search results page are still 100% paid and are being prioritised. Paid placements give a comprehensive guide as to what potential buyers search for and will give listings the majority of clicks for any search products.

Photo source: Shopify

What are Free Product Listings on Google?

Free listings were introduced in April 2020 and have seen a 70% increase in clicks and a 130% increase in impressions across free listings and ads on the Shopping tab in the US. These free placements are seen on the shopping tab, Google Lens, Google Image results, and more.

However, the traffic from free listings alone is limited for most e-commerce sellers since the most prominent listings are still paid. The free listings always come below the sponsored listings.

Photo source: Shopify

While free product listings won’t totally convert your business, still, it will be a great way of knowing your potential for paid ads. You can check your performance for your free listings inside the Merchant Center under the “Reporting for surfaces” section.

Digital 38 | Google Shopping Ads
Photo source: Shopify

Promote your e-commerce products on Google with Shopping Ads. Contact us today to get started.

About D38 Ecommerce Agency

D38 is a South East Asia-focused ecommerce agency that provides end-to-end Ecommerce solutions to grow your business on the digital space and generate ongoing monthly revenue. Our e-commerce solutions range from website development, store management, logistics, CRM, customer loyalty programs, automated email marketing, SEO, marketing tools, product press-release (PR) to reputation management – helping international companies simplify e-commerce management across ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Our team consists of certified Shopify eCommerce experts, designers, developers, content creators and strategists working together to support and provide a seamless online shopping experience for our clients’ eCommerce websites.

We also have a market-specific digital channels team focusing on providing support for LINE Thailand and Japan, Naver for Korea, and ZhaoVN for global Chinese readers for social news and updates.

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D38 is a member of Digital 38 Group.