Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Brian Roizen, co-founder and chief architect of ZATO’s favorite Shopping feed provider: Feedonomics. You can get further details about Brian and Feedonomics at the end of the post. Happy reading!
While most people are familiar with the paid search marketing aspect of Google Shopping, not everyone understands how Google Shopping Actions works. As more small businesses and retailers enter the eCommerce industry, it’s critical that you understand the differences between Google Shopping Actions (GSA) and Google Shopping.
What is Google Shopping Actions?
Google Shopping Actions is an online marketplace that allows retailers to list their products across various Google platforms.
Advertisers can reach a bigger audience with GSA because their products surface across multiple Google platforms – Google Search, Google Assistant, Google Home, and the Google Express mobile app.
Due to the convenience of a universal shopping cart, we have found that consumers place more items in their basket. An instant checkout process with saved credit card information makes GSA an efficient one-stop shop. In our experience, when you reduce the friction that your customers experience while shopping, they tend to spend more.
Google Shopping Actions Pay-Per-Sale Model
Unlike Google Shopping which uses a PPC model, with Google Shopping Actions you only pay when a product sells. Here’s an example of how it works. As you can see in the image below, the GSA ad listings are denoted by a colorful parachute with the word “Express.”
A click on the ad with the colorful parachute takes you to Google Express, where a buyer can purchase the product. Ninja does not pay for the clicks, they only pay a commission when the user makes a purchase. Depending on the item category, the commission rates range from 5-20% with an average of 12%.
While there are no upfront costs to list your products on Google Shopping Actions, you will need to have a certain spend budget to take part. With Google Shopping, it is much easier to qualify for the pay-per-click program.
Additional Benefits of Google Shopping Actions
- Customer data is yours! Unlike Amazon, retailers gain access to users data which includes name, email address, and shipping address. It lets you build an email list, allowing further engagement with customers on promotions and sales.
- Drive loyalty and repeat business – with Google Shopping Actions, customers get personalized product recommendations. Users can easily reorder and build baskets of products based on purchase history.
- Lower administrative costs – customer support and returns are handled by Google.
Now that we’ve discussed Google Shopping Actions, let’s take a quick look at Google Shopping.
Google Shopping Uses a Cost Per Click Model
Google Shopping, formerly known as Product Listing Ad (PLA), are ads that companies pay for on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Retailers pay each time a user clicks on the ad.
How is a Google Shopping Ad Determined?
Google Shopping considers three factors: your website, your product feed, and your bids. In order to advertise your products on Google, you’ll need a Google Merchant Center account. Once you have your account, you’ll need to verify your website by adding an HTML tag or upload a file to your website. From there you can link your Google Merchant Center account to Google Adwords and also provide a feed.
Google Shopping and Product Feeds
One of the things that retailers need to be aware of when managing their Google Shopping feeds is to regularly review and update their feeds with the most current information.
One major pitfall that a lot of retailers fall prey to is using a ‘set it and forget it’ approach. Just about every digital marketer would agree that setting and forgetting doesn’t work for campaign and bid management. If you truly want to compete on channels like Google Shopping or Amazon, you need to make sure your product data is fully optimized by structuring it according to what people are searching for. The title, description, and categorization are critical elements to optimize.
Why run Google Shopping at all?
The best option to maximize sales is to use a combined PLA and GSA strategy. We’ve found that when companies use both methods, they work in parallel and are successful. You can read our real-world Google Shopping Actions vs. Google Shopping case study here.
About the Author
Brian Roizen is the co-founder and chief architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels like Google Shopping, Amazon, Walmart, and Facebook. Brian oversees all of Feedonomics’ Automation Processes. Brian received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA, where he graduated summa cum laude.