Google Showcase Shopping Ads for Broad & Non-Branded Queries

Google Showcase Shopping Ads for Broad Queries

Starting this week, Shopping advertisers in the US, UK and Australia will have access to Google’s new ad format for broad queries – Google Showcase Shopping ads.

The primary goal of the new format is to help shoppers with non-branded searches explore and discover what they want to buy and where they want to buy it.

Although Google has always been focused on product discovery, more than 40% of shopping related searches on Google are for broad terms like “women’s athletic clothing” or “living room furniture.”

In the past, for less defined searches (aka non-branded searches), Google would serve up very specific product ads — say, a red sofa. Unfortunately, that search result “red sofa” may not be the most useful experience for a person who isn’t sure what they want to buy and has not progressed far enough down the shopping funnel.

As seen in the Google Showcase Shopping Ad example below, if a shopper searches ‘summer dresses,’ ASOS, a global apparel retailer, can now showcase its collection of dresses in a visually rich experience:


google showcase shopping ads


What are Google Showcase Shopping ads?

Google Showcase Shopping ads will include one large main image, along with two smaller side images (all related to the initial product search). Advertisers can also include a “promotional message” or identify the distance to make a purchase (Local Inventory ads).

If you click on the ad – the shopper is served a specific Google-hosted landing page with an assortment of the search queries related products. Advertisers will not be charged for the initial click from the search results but will be charged if the shopper clicks on one of the products found on the Google landing page to the store’s site.

lewis-brannon“Google taking steps to improve the product mix that is served against broad searches is a big development,” Lewis Brannon, Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy said.

“Many mid-size advertisers were hesitant to go “all-in” with Google Shopping for fear of not having enough control over which of their products would show-up for broad searches.”

“But now that Google is giving all advertisers more tools to curate their products, it will be interesting to see the competitive shifts for these broad queries and if more advertisers will jump at the chance to more aggressively target those shoppers.”

“At CPC Strategy, we developed “isolation” strategies to allow advertisers to target these shoppers and curate the product mix against all types of queries, but at this point it’s somewhat of a work-around. The new Showcase Shopping appears to be designed to ease the difficulty of targeting these queries and optimizing your product mix.”

ISO campaigns leverage priority settings and negative keywords to isolate and allocate more aggressive bids and budget to certain high value searches.
This advanced strategy gives advertisers more control over which search queries their products show up for. It also allows them to isolate and dedicate budget to search queries that historically convert well.

Check out: How to Target Google Shopping Search Queries with ISO Campaigns

“This is a concept that we call “product to query matching,” and has been a big challenge for advertisers within the current Google Shopping format. Showcase Shopping, in concept, appears to be poised to improve advertiser experience as well as user experience which is, presumably, Google’s ultimate goal here”, Brannon said.

Advertisers currently running ISO non-branded campaign for Shopping are in a prime position for the new Google Showcase Shopping ad format.

How Much Control will Advertisers Have Over Google Showcase Shopping Ads?

One concern among advertisers about the new ad format is how Google will source information (as seen in the highlighted area below). The hope is that advertisers will be able to control what is displayed in the space below.

google showcase shopping ads


What we do know so far is that Google is also introducing a “premium version” of Showcase Shopping ads.

This premium offering will allow advertisers to customize how their products and brand are featured in the Shopping Showcase ads and landing page.

According to Google, for the premium version – products are pulled directly from the feed and advertisers provides the creative.

There is still some debate over how Google defines “premium”, which could potentially mean additional paid ad opportunity or just inclusion for specific ‘premium’ retailers. No information is currently available on the pricing for the premium version of Shopping Showcase ads.

For more on Google Shopping Showcase ads, email

Additional Resources:

How to Target Google Shopping Search Queries with ISO Campaigns

How To Whitelist Search Terms in Google Shopping

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.