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How does Google Shopping work? Explanations

How Google Shopping works

Google Shopping is one of the tools SEA the most efficient. In fact, for several years now, it has accounted for an essential part of advertisers' budgets. Behind this conversion machine, however, there is a very sophisticated user experience price comparator. In order to succeed on the platform, convert and become better known as a brand, it is therefore essential to understand how Google Shopping works. The notions of customer experience, product flow and cost-per-click (CPC) bidding are at the heart of how it works, and therefore of advertisers' success.

Google Shopping, a price comparison tool for consumers

As a price comparator, Google Shopping works like a product catalogue. Each advertisement has its reserved space, which includes the image of the product and all the data relating to its technical sheet. The advertiser actually specifies the name of the product, its brand, its price and all its characteristics.

Google Shopping sponsored links also appear in Google's SERPs (""). Search Engine Result Page« or results page) than in the Shopping tab. Recently, they are also found in the "Images" tab.

How Google Shopping works in search engine results

Google Shopping appears in three ways on Google: in the SERP, in the "Images" tab and in the "Shopping" tab. The latter usually shows the product name and brand, its characteristics, price, seller and any current promotions. The consumer can also access customer product reviews.

For Google Shopping to work as a price comparison, the Shopping tab is nevertheless more suitable. Here the consumer can filter the results of his query according to the following criteria :

  • geographical proximity to its location ;
  • price;
  • product technical data ;
  • new or used condition ;
  • shipping method ;
  • e-merchant.

Google thus presents the display of the Shopping tab, i.e. this "price comparison" mode, like the one that allows the most conversions compared to other types of campaigns. The Athena 2018 study, The rise of Google ShoppingGoogle Shopping Campaigns, claims that Google Shopping campaigns mobilize 74% of the advertising spending of American and British companies. The study also shows that the vast majority of commercial sectors favour Google Shopping over other online advertising.

How does Google Shopping work at the cataloguing and budget level?

For an advertiser to launch a paid listing strategy via this price comparator, it must first create a product flow. This transaction is done through his Google Merchant account, which is set up in association with the Google Ads account. To learn more about this preconfiguration, you can read the article Google Shopping, the essential tool for e-commerce.

The product flow, essential for high-performance ads

To add products to Google Shopping you must first generate a product feed. The "product feeds" exist for all merchant sites that present themselves as catalogues. They are generally built in XML format and detail all the characteristics of each product. Google's requirements for product data are particularly precise. For more information, we recommend the article How do I use Google Shopping properly?

Google Shopping instructions on the product feed
Google's instructions on product data, in particular on images to upload to the Google Merchant Centerare very detailed ©Google

Once this product feed has been sent to the Google Merchant Center and validated by Google, you can finally create your ads and broadcast them on the SEA platform. Google then cross-references user queries with product data. referenced in your product flow. Your ads appear if they are relevant to the consumer.

Cost per click bidding to make Google Shopping work

For a Google Shopping campaign to work, you need to have a dedicated budget. This budget is intended for auctions, which concern each click on your ads. This is known as "cost per click", or "CPC". Staenk offers a whole article on the cost of Google Shopping campaignsfor more information. At this point, it should be noted that you can set the amount of your bids yourself or opt for automatic auctions.

Bidding thus partly determines the performance of your Google Shopping ads. However, their effectiveness also depends on the user experience provided by your ads and the match between them and your destination website. The geographical area of sale also plays an increasingly important role in the positioning of Google Shopping ads.

How to create a product flow?

In order to be able to send your product feed to Google Shopping on Google Merchant Center, there are several criteria to meet. Our article on How do I add products to Google shopping? provides a lot of advice in this area. Most product feeds are in XML format. A good tip to help you is to use Google Sheets. There you can download add-ons that give a good example of what is expected. In any case, remember to provide product attributes in English.

à propos de l'auteur.e : Julie MICHEL

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