In beta from July last year and now available for advertisers in the UK, Showcase Shopping Ads will influence the 40% of product searches that is generic un-branded search1 for the better. Even if you have never created a Showcase Shopping Ad, your current Shopping Ads are already showing in the Showcase Shopping Ad format for generic search.

Showcase Shopping Ads appear in the Google Shopping search results when users type in a generic, non-branded commercial search query. From our investigation, it seems that Showcase Shopping Ads appear alongside other Showcase Shopping Ads; not alongside individual Product Listings Ads. Google seems to be transitioning into a landscape where Showcase Shopping Ads appear for generic search queries, and individual Product Listings Ads appear for long-tail search queries.

Winter boots 3 different screenshot comparisons

From left to right: Product Listings Ad; Showcase Shopping Ad; Inside a Showcase Shopping Ad – the catalogue of Product Listings Ads

What do Showcase Shopping Ads look like?

Unlike the original Product Listing Ads, which appear as individual ads in the Google Shopping search results where each ad features a solitary product, Showcase Shopping Ads show a compilation of three products that match the generic search query.

Whereas clicking on an original Product Listings ad brings users to the product landing page, clicking on a Showcase Shopping Ad brings users to an expanded catalogue of products from the same company, all matching the search query.

Crucially, Showcase Shopping Ads do not show prices or USPs; these extra pieces of information are shown in the catalogue that users reach after they click on the Showcase Shopping Ad. The products are listed in the catalogue by way of individual Product Listing Ads.

Google Shopping ad format Number of products displayed Prices displayed USPs displayed
Product Listing Ads 1 Yes Yes
Showcase Shopping Ads 3 No No

Why should I run Showcase Shopping Ads?

Equality of Brand Visibility in Generic Search

The Google Shopping auction is getting ever more competitive, and an advertiser’s worst nightmare is seeing the Google Shopping search results being dominated completely by the Product Listings Ads of a single rival company. Since Showcase Shopping ads show alongside other Showcase Shopping Ads, the products viewable on the main search results page are limited to three per company.

More Brand Engagement for Everyone

Since Showcase Shopping ads do not show prices or USPs, from the main search results users may only compare products of one company with the products of another company by product images. They may click through to view prices and USPs, but their memory recall of how one company’s products compare to another company’s is reduced. When researching to find their ideal product, users are therefore more likely to engage with all the Showcase Shopping Ads they see appearing in the Google Shopping search results, and less likely to prefer one over the other.

More Opportunities for Brand Promotion

To reap this benefit, you must create a Showcase Shopping Ad. You can do this in the new AdWords experience and AdWords API. By creating a Showcase Shopping Ad, you will be able to control which three products appear in the Showcase Shopping Ad, and in the expanded catalogue page you can add a Headline, Header Image, Display URL, and Description to tell potential customers a little bit more about your brand.

Mobile phone wireframe
Image credit: Showcase shopping ads

And All for the Same Price

The first click comes free! Advertisers do not pay when users click on the Showcase Shopping Ad from the main search results page; they only pay when users click on one of the individual Product Listings Ads one the second, company-specific expanded catalogue page.

Customise your Showcase Shopping Ads and see for yourself how the engagement levels of your generic un-branded search queries are affected by this new format! The best way to do this is by comparing performance (a) during the period before July 2017, (b) the period after July 2017 when Showcase Shopping Ads started to appear in search, and (c) the period after you created Showcase Shopping Ads.

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