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Apr 16, 2013

Google Shopping Outperforms Google Product Search

Recently we compared US Google Shopping March 2013 numbers against Google Product Search results from March 2012.  We looked across our clients for which we are tracking their Google Shopping campaigns and found that their revenue soared, averaging 3X more revenue with Google Shopping in 2013 versus with Google Product Search in 2012. 

ChannelAdvisor calculates these trends based on the gross merchandise value (GMV) processed through the ChannelAdvisor platform by CSE customers that have been using ChannelAdvisor software for at least a year, removing any customer additions or attrition.

There are several factors that have contributed to these results:

1)    More PLAs on main search results

Google has focused on delivering more Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google.com.  PLAs show up for more queries, in more page locations, and frequently in greater number than prior to the change.  If you are not in the US, you are probably experiencing this now.

2)    Amazon is not advertising on PLAs

Amazon certainly commanded a lion’s share of Google Product Search traffic in the US.  Now, that traffic has been distributed to other retailers.

3)    More difficult economics for other marketplaces

In addition to Amazon, other marketplaces had a lot of shelf space in the free Google Product Search.  Now that they have to pay, the margin may not be there to pay for placement for many of their listings.

4)    Less competition due to fewer retailers

How many retailers never made the change to the paid model, either by choice or the inability to get started? Further, how many retailers just put one low bid on All Products to earn the Google incentive but have never optimized their data or bids?

Adding it up:

With more overall traffic and less competition, opportunities are there for retailers with a budget and the means to manage it.  A good product target strategy and tools to monitor performance and adjust bids have been key tools for successful retailers. 

We’ll keep an eye on how our retailers continue to perform and report interesting information as it arises.

Blog post by Jim Dechow, ChannelAdvisor Product Manager


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