Are you an active online shopper? If you’re living in 2020 with the rest of us, the answer is probably “yes”.
And why wouldn’t it be? Like the shopping malls of yesteryear, online marketplaces have made it easier than ever to find and compare the products you want.
But unlike those shopping malls (and that delicious smell of Aunty Annie’s pretzels we miss so very much), online marketplaces don’t require you to go from store to store to compare products and prices.
In fact, one of the world’s most powerful online shopping tools doesn’t even require you to go from website to website in order to find and compare products! And that product is—you guessed it—Google Shopping.
Google Shopping is quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools any retailer can use to advertise and sell products online. And flooring retailers are no exception! With over 80% of consumers demanding to see online product offerings before even visiting a brick-and-mortar store, it couldn’t be more important.
Below, we’re going to explain exactly what Google Shopping is and why it can be a huge asset for flooring dealers.
What is Google Shopping?
Although Google prefers to use the term “comparative search engine”, Google Shopping is essentially a marketplace that lets you search by product rather than store.
Think of it this way: if you drive to a shopping mall looking for an orange hat, you’ll have to go into each and every store that sells hats to find one you like. You’ll have to stop at the Nike store, Macy’s, the Adidas store, Nordstrom—the list goes on.
But: what if there were someone who worked at the mall who knew every single product sold at every single store? They could just bring you every orange hat at the mall, from every shop, complete with prices and product information. You could compare them and choose your favorite without ever leaving your seat at the food court!
That’s exactly what Google Shopping does. When you search for a specific product on Google, Google searches the inventory of each and every online store in the Google Shopping “mall” to find products that fit your description.
Then, it shows you pictures, prices, and descriptions of the products that match your search! And when you click on one, Google links you straight to the item’s product page—whether that page is on the Nike website, the Macy’s website, the Adidas website… you get the idea.
Below, we’ve searched “green hats near me” on Google. The first results (even above Google PPC ads) are results from Google Shopping ads! Recognize them? You’ve probably seen ads like this many times!
How does Google Shopping know what products these stores have?
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t automatically know which products you offer. And even if it did, it wouldn’t display them on Google Shopping. To become part of the Google Shopping “mall”, you have to purchase Google Shopping ads!
And part of the process of purchasing these ads is to tell Google exactly what products you offer, along with identifying information that will help consumers find them. That means detailed descriptions, pictures, SKU codes, and other things like that. All this information can be provided to Google when setting up your Google Shopping product feed.
How much do Google Shopping ads cost?
The amount you pay for Google Shopping ads depends entirely on how you set your bids. In general, the more you spend, the more prominently your ads are displayed. It’s more or less the same as any other auction-style ad purchase.
Why flooring retailers should consider Google Shopping
With Google Shopping ads now making up 76.4% of retail search ad spend and a massive 85.3% of clicks, it’s clear that retailers all around the world are harnessing the power of Google Shopping. Here’s why flooring dealers need to do the same.
Google Shopping helps your Google presence dominate
According to Salesforce, a full 90% of shoppers start their buying journeys online. For flooring retailers—and everyone else—that means one thing: you need to have as large a Google presence as possible.
At FloorForce, we discuss the importance of your Google presence constantly. It’s why we champion SEO content, online directories, Google My Business, even traditional Google PPC ads. It’s just common sense: the more presence and authority you have on Google, the more leads you’re going to get.
So if you’re already running Google PPC ads, great job! You’re definitely boosting your presence. But without running Google Shopping ads as well, you’re missing out on dominating an even bigger share.
Consider the image below. In this Google search for ‘brown carpet tiles near sarasota fl’, Google Shopping ads appear above the Google PPC ads! And even more importantly, a company could easily dominate top-of-page visibility by having both a PPC ad and a Google Shopping ad featuring their product.
Google Shopping ads are often shown higher than PPC ads
Google Shopping ads will often appear above Google PPC ads in search results. Why? Because like we said before, they receive more clicks! So if you invest in Google Shopping ads, you’re more likely to be guaranteed a top spot and more visibility in the SERP (search engine results page).
Google Shopping ads are more targeted and intent-based
Google Shopping ads show customers exactly the products they’re looking for, because Google itself is matching your products to customers’ searches. Contrast this to traditional Google PPC ads which target keyword searches that you have to choose!
For flooring retailers, this could not be more important. If a buyer is looking for a specific type of flooring in your area, you can be sure that they will see your ads if they search any type of flooring that matches anything in your entire inventory!
There’s really no comparison when it comes to fitting user intent.
The ads are cheaper, too
Because Google Shopping ads are more targeted and intent-driven than their PPC counterparts, they often lead to less wasted ad spend.
Additionally, according to Marketing Tech News, Google Shopping ads routinely cost four to five times less than Google PPC ads for top-3 positions.
Google Shopping ads are visually superior
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to selling beautiful floors, it couldn’t be truer. Below, we have a Google search for “blue carpet tiles”.
On top, you’ll see product-specific Google Shopping ads. Below, you’ll see the traditional Google PPC ads. Which is more appealing? Which are you more likely to click on?
Odds are, it’s the Google Shopping ads. And that’s because they’re visually superior! Images allow us to see ourselves interacting with products. So when a shopper is making a purchase largely based on appearance—like new flooring—pictures couldn’t be more important.
Are Google Shopping ads better than traditional PPC ads? Absolutely not. They’re both extremely important elements of a well-rounded Google presence.
But: if you’re deciding whether Google Shopping ads can be a powerful tool for flooring retailers, we hope this article has shown that the answer is 100% yes.
And now that you’ve gotten the basics down, keep an eye out for our next Google Shopping guide, where we’ll show you exactly how to set up Google Shopping ad campaigns and product feeds to advertise your store’s products!