From PLAs to Google Shopping

Launched in 2012, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have been a major influence on consumer search and shopping. Based on data from digital marketing agency RKG, around 50% of clicks for non-branded retail come from these same PLAs. Furthermore, data from IgnitionOne showed that PLAs emerged 380% more frequently in the final quarter of 2013 and provided more than 300% additional clicks.

With these statistics the value of PLAs cannot be disputed. What’s more, as they garner further attention from e-commerce companies, a bidding war has emerged, driving up the costs by a staggering 618%.

Just as things seemed to be easy for merchants, Google has thrown a twist into its offerings with Google Shopping (GS). Each advertiser will now have to shift their advertising efforts to GS (“Google’s comparison search engine for products”) by the end of August 2014.

Each account is required to set up a feed with GS that in turn will offer greater performance for each campaign. What’s more, by using this platform, users will get a better feel for product categories, feeds and worthwhile analytics than ever before. These statistics will boil down to specific products and characteristics in AdWords, allowing campaigns to be targeted more accurately.

While it’s getting increasingly easier to reach consumers and create an exchange, it occurs at a price. It is invaluable for a marketer to have their products on selling platforms, and more specifically anything Google. Moreover, by not getting in on the new era of online shopping, merchants could be missing out on the way of the future and earning power. The numbers don’t lie: Google is delivering all the information and stats needed to succeed in e-commerce, however being successful will cost you a pretty penny.