Getting Started With Google Showcase Shopping Ads

Time for another episode of cool new AdWords features that are only available in the new interface. Today was are taking a closer look at a new shopping ad format, Showcase Shopping ads.

If you are an e-commerce advertiser, you are likely very familiar with Google’s Shopping ads. If you have never run shopping ads before, please stop reading this article and set them up in your account. (If you’re needing a refresher on the new interface, here is a rundown of many of the new features.)

When Shopping campaigns first launched, the ad formats were called Product ads. Each Product ad focuses on one product, showing the item photo, title, and price. With Showcase Shopping ads, you are now able to group related products together in one ad. This way users can see a wider variety of the products you offer.

These ads will appear when people are searching for more general terms like “summer dresses” or “running shoes” instead of product specific searches. When someone clicks on a Showcase Shopping ad, it will expand to show products most relevant to the terms they searched for.

As an advertiser, you have control over products are grouped together by setting up product groups in your ad groups. Let’s take a look at how to set up Showcase Shopping ads.

Creating a Showcase Shopping Ad

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure you are using the new version of the AdWords interface. You’ll be able to see the performance of Showcase ads in the previous interface but can’t create or edit ads.

Within a Shopping campaign, you’ll create a new ad group where you will see two types to choose from: Product Shopping and Showcase Shopping.

Name your ad group and enter your bid (we’ll talk more about bidding later in this post). Next, you’ll choose which products to include in your ad.

You need at least 6-10 products for the Showcase ad to appear in search results. Google recommends 1,000 products or more, but I suggest finding a happy medium based on product category. You want to make sure you have enough variety of products in an ad group, but also make sure the products are related.

After you choose your products, you’ll create the Showcase Shopping ad.

First, you’ll upload a header image that represents your business or the product category. Make sure the image you choose fits these specifications:

  • Dimensions: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Format: JPG or PNG

Choose an image to show to people before they engage with your ad when it’s in its collapsed state. You have a couple options:

  • Header image. Use a cropped portion of the header image. This option can work better for a small group of similar products (e.g., a product line).
  • Product image. Let Google pick the product image that best matches a person’s search. This is best for cases when the ad contains many different products (e.g., multiple product lines).

The Lulu’s ad above is using the Product image for the collapsed ad.

Lastly, you’ll add your text. Headline and Descriptions are optional, but you must add a Final URL and Display URL.

Showcase Shopping Ad Bidding

Bidding for Showcase ads works a bit differently than Product ads.

Showcase ads use max CPE bidding, meaning you are bidding per engagement. You will be charged when someone expands your Showcase Shopping ad, and spends 10 seconds within the ad or clicks a product or link in the expanded ad before then.

You also cannot set bids at the product group level, you must set them at the ad group level. This means all of your products you select for the ad group must use the same bid.

Final Thoughts On Showcase Shopping Ads

I really like this ad format for general searches. Showcase ads allow advertisers to show more products to users all in one ad, making them more appealing to people who might not be familiar with your brand.

Some quick tips on this ad type. When I first launched Showcase Shopping ads I had a hard time getting them to generate impressions. First, know that it can take between 2-4 days to start getting impressions in your account. If you still aren’t seeing impressions, make sure you have more than 10 products in your ad group and that you are bidding competitively. Queries are more likely to match to your existing Shopping ad groups that already have historical performance if the bids are the same or lower.

Have you tried Showcase Shopping ads in your account? Let us know what you think in the comments below!