Nurture the Consumer Funnel with Showcase Shopping Ads

Blog | 06 Nov, 2018

A clear, holistic e-commerce strategy is necessary to ensure brand awareness and protection online, especially during the competitive holiday season. Here’s why yours should include Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads.


Product listing ad (PLA) units are as- if not more- important to retail brands as standard text units. They are the first ads a consumer sees when he or she starts a search. Thus it’s vital for a retail advertiser to have a strong, dominating presence across both aspects in order to own as much of the landscape as possible. 

Over the years, search engines have continually made optimizations to their shopping units: removing the carousel in the right-hand rail, featuring PLAs more predominantly on mobile, adding new functionality with Google Smart shopping campaigns, new features such as Showcase Shopping, and more.


The Rise of Showcase Shopping

The Showcase ad unit was the first of its kind when it debuted in 2017. Instead of displaying a single product, it showcased a full brand catalog. The units were initially shown for more generic queries like “boots” or “women’s sandals,” and offered users the ability to click into the catalog and browse items before committing to clicking onsite.

Since launch, Showcase ads have evolved most significantly in format and functionality,  including serving more frequently for brand queries, being leveraged from an audience targeting perspective, and featuring a cleaner, more dominant layout on the SERP. 


Nurturing the Funnel with Showcase Ads

As an advertiser, there are a number of key benefits to leveraging Showcase shopping in your brand’s e-comm strategy.

1. A Showcase ad is charged on a CPE model, unlike its standard PLA counterpart, which is charged on CPCs.

You are not charged a single penny unless a user spends a qualified amount of time inside your catalog, or if they take the initiative and click through to your website. The perk here is you can still remarket to users who engage with your unit, even a quick glance, without paying for their click.

2. Showcase shopping can be as specific or generic as you’d like.

Campaigns can be set-up to feature subsets of products, new product lines, categories or even your entire product catalog. The choice is yours but should align with your campaign objective and overarching e-comm strategy.

3. Showcase ads leverage high-quality creative.

The Showcase unit shows a single thumbnail on the SERP, surrounded by the brand name and a brief 24-character headline. Once clicked, the thumbnail expands into a header image and includes a full 120-character description and final URL. Unlike your product catalog, where the image links are generally single products on white backgrounds, these thumbnail images are recommended to feature lifestyle imagery. For the strongest quality score, ensure your image aligns with the products included in the catalog.

4. Showcase units can nurture the consumer's research phase on their path to purchase.

It will allow for your brand to be top-of-mind, no matter the occasion. Think of events like new product launches, seasonal offerings, promotions or callouts as great places to start testing these units. The brand coverage will help promote brand awareness, which in turn, increases brand demand and uplift in performance across both PLAs and search.

Catalog Expanded View 

Showcase shopping will continue to evolve into holiday 2018. Be on the lookout for opportunities to leverage within your Q4 e-commerce strategy.



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