Should Your Business Use Google Shopping?

Image by: brionv
By Gordon J. Pruitt

For a long time, retailers were seeing the benefits of having their goods show up in Google Shopping. But back in October, that party was over as Google turned Shopping into a PLA (product listing ad) only model, available only to those who pay the toll collector.

And pay they did. Over 100,000 businesses jumped on board the good ship Google and by all accounts, their gamble paid off handsomely over the holidays.

A recent study from the folks at Marin Software shows that those who decided to plunk down some cabbage on a Shopping campaign made out like bandits over the holiday season. Those who paid for ads in December 2012 versus those who paid for ads back in January 2012 saw a 4.5% increase in click shares.

Ho ho ho.

What does this mean? That Google is where it is at if you are an online retailer. The search giant is the Internet’s gatekeeper, you must pay to play. And that while that reality may bite, there is no end in sight as Google’s search market share is still close to 90%.

The Marin study also showed that Google Shopping ad plaecment is more effective than text ads. That fact alone is a revelation of sorts that may turn some sectors that like to trumpet text ads to as the greatest thing since sliced banana bread.

How can they argue with higher CTR (click-through ratio) and lower CPC (cost per click)? They can’t. And just in case you think Marin is making it all up, there are multiple studies that draw the same conclusions.

We have a winner and the winner is Google Shopping. All aboard!