Google Shopping Strategies For Small Retailers

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A few weeks ago, we brought you the news about retail giant Amazon’s experiments with Google Shopping’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs). While the retailer has previously ignored PLAs and stuck to AdWords ads, Amazon recently ran PLAs across their home goods and furnishing categories. Given their huge size and spending potential, the move could drive up the cost of PLAs — sending alarm bells ringing for smaller retailers.
Does this mean its game over for smaller retailers who can’t compete with Amazon in terms of ad spend? Of course not! Take a look at our Google Shopping strategies that can help your SME compete with the big players:

Find your niche

Each retail sector has its leaders. In fashion, it’s ASOS, while Amazon is the master of the multi-channel market. As a smaller business, you may find it difficult to compete with your market leaders for popular branded items. Take Apple iPads for example; trying to compete amongst the likes of Currys PC World, Argos and Amazon may not be the most effective use of your time and budget.

However, by focusing on your niche, you can offer something that even your biggest competitors can’t: exclusivity. Harness the power of your own brand or independent stockists to eliminate direct competition for brand queries and enjoy greater ROI from your campaign.

Include natural language in Product Titles

So you’ve taken our advice and began focusing on your niche products — but because they’re from smaller, lesser-known brands, their search traffic is similarly reduced. How do you capture related search traffic without venturing out of your niche? The answer lies in thinking like a user.

While a user may be unfamiliar with the brands you stock, you can still capture their attention through incorporating what they are searching for. Work out what other search phrases your products relate to using Google’s Keyword Planner.

For example, if you’re a wedding retailer promoting a specific bridal headpiece via PLAs, you can strengthen the Product Titles in your Product Feed by including keywords like ‘wedding accessories’. This will help you capture greater search volume and boost the ad’s reach, as using natural language in titles has been proven to double or even triple impressions without altering your budget.

Decrease prices

While reducing prices could seem counterintuitive, the price point is one of the main deciding factors for consumers — and Google too it seems. Google is a business, so it naturally wants to encourage users to buy through Google Shopping. As such, rather than choosing a product with a higher bid, Google will show the cheaper product in the vast majority of cases. This decision is based on machine-learning, which has established that users prefer lower prices.

If you are targeting the same products through PLAs as your competitors, undercutting their prices can give you an advantage. This may not be possible on all products, but offering more competitive prices where you can could provide a great return on investment (ROI) in the long run.

Our team of paid search experts can help you perfect your Google Shopping campaigns, helping you succeed in the increasingly competitive retail market. For more information, contact us on +44 (0) 330 108 4263 or email


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