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06 September 2021 • Resources

The price of Google Shopping: How much it costs to use the platform in 2024

The price of Google Shopping: How much it costs to use the platform in 2024

Looking for a way to reach more potential customers and increase traffic to your ecommerce website? 

Google Shopping is a frequently used platform for consumers and businesses alike. Although there are certainly other comparison search engines out there, Google’s is definitely one of the most popular.

It allows online retailers to promote their products in a manner that focuses on visual appeal, helping them to stand out from the many text-only listings that appear in the search results. Shoppers are able to view and compare products from multiple stores at the same time, offering a level of convenience that’s hard to beat!

If you’ve just launched your ecommerce site, you might be wondering how Google Shopping works and if it’s worth using to help your business grow. This article will help you to better understand the costs associated with the platform so that you can determine if it’s a good fit for your store.

Benefits of Google Shopping for your business

With Google’s introduction of free listings in April 2020, an increasing number of online retailers have opted to use the platform to help grow their businesses. Regardless of your level of experience in ecommerce, you should definitely consider incorporating Google Shopping into the marketing strategy for your online store.

Even if you’ve got an amazing website and you’re seeing decent sales numbers come in, the perks that the platform can provide are hard to ignore.

To start, Shopping listings will generally attract more-qualified traffic to your site. It can sometimes be a little bit more difficult to appeal to consumers in regular text ads with a limited word count. In contrast, Shopping listings supply viewers with the most important information about your products up front.

The product’s photo, title, description, and price are all immediately available for the shopper to see. If they click on your ad, they’re probably already at least a little bit interested in making a purchase.

In addition, Google Shopping allows for an easier, more streamlined experience for consumers to enjoy. Provided that you’ve added the correct links to your product feed in Google Merchant Center, when customers click on your ads, they’ll be taken straight to the product page on your website.

They don’t have to spend time wandering around trying to locate the item and can add the product to their shopping cart in mere seconds. With fewer clicks needed to complete the purchase, you’re bound to see your conversion rate soar!

Finally, Google Shopping ads are a wonderful way to help your business stand out in a sea of competition. Think about your own shopping experiences on the internet. 

If you’re searching for a product on Google, you first type in the name of the product or a related keyword. Then, you’ll probably see a long list of text-heavy results appear. 

What probably catches your eye first, though, are the Shopping ads that show up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Featuring high-quality images of the product you’re looking for, these ads shine against an endless wall of text. 

You, just like your potential customers, are more likely to click on these photo ads and check out these stores’ websites ahead of those with text-only listings.

What are the costs of Google Shopping?

Google Shopping listings are different from more traditional forms of advertising, such as newspaper ads, where businesses purchase “space” to promote their products. With Shopping ads, retailers engage in a pay-per-click (PPC) system in which they’re only charged when people click on their ads.

The price of an ad is then known as the cost per click (CPC) for regular Shopping ads and cost per engagement (CPE) for Showcase Shopping ads. For the latter, “engagement” refers to when a user clicks on your ad to open it up and stays there for at least 10 seconds or clicks on a link that you’ve provided in the ad. 

Because of the way that Google Shopping functions, it’s impossible to figure out the total cost of your paid Shopping campaigns in advance.

You instead set a budget and bidding strategy before launching a campaign, which you can modify later.

As you prepare to give Google Shopping a try, it’s important to note that the platform consists of several components. Though the platform now costs nothing to use, the total costs will depend on your unique goals for your business. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent parts of the platform that you’ll encounter when launching your Shopping campaigns.

Google Merchant Center

In order to do anything with Google Shopping, you’ll first need to set up an account with Google Merchant Center. It’s basically the headquarters for all of your product information. This is where you’ll create your product feed and input all of the details for your products that Google will use for your Shopping campaigns. 

There’s no cost at all to sign up with Merchant Center. Once you create your account, you’ll build your product feed, register your website domain, configure your tax and shipping settings, and link your Google Ads account.

Listings on the Shopping tab

While you would have previously had to purchase an ad to have your products show up on Google’s Shopping tab, you can now do so for free! 

This relatively new regulation allows for many more businesses to add their products to the platform, providing shoppers with a larger selection of goods from which to choose.

These free listings can appear on both mobile and desktop devices and can include information such as pricing, availability, product attributes, and ratings. 

While free listings are a great way to get started with Google Shopping, paid listings can be a much more effective route to increasing site traffic and conversions. Paid listings can appear on the Shopping tab as well and will be more prominently displayed than their no-cost counterparts.

When consumers search for a product and head to the Shopping tab, they’ll likely find the paid listings at the top and bottom of the page. Unpaid listings will appear sandwiched between the two.

electric guitar search results on the google shopping tab

Electric guitars found on the Google Shopping tab: paid ads in the top row under “Sponsored,” with free listings starting to appear in the second row

Listings in the search results

Several months after starting to allow free listings in the US, Google announced that it would begin letting free listings appear in search results as well as on the Shopping tab.

In the announcement, Google stated that free Shopping listings would soon be able to show up in a product knowledge panel on the SERP. Product knowledge panels appear on the right side of the SERP and display buying options for a specific product for which a user has just performed a search. 

This update occurred first on mobile devices in the US and later for searches completed on desktops.

However, similar to listings on the Shopping tab, online retailers still have the option to use sponsored ads. These paid listings continue to appear at the very top of the SERP and are distinctly marked as “Ads.”

electric guitar google shopping search results

Electric guitars found in paid Google Shopping listings in the search results

What elements influence the cost of your Shopping ads?

If you’re new to Google Shopping, it can be a little tricky trying to determine the right budget for your paid campaigns, at least in the beginning.

This is because there are actually numerous factors that have an effect on how much Shopping ads end up costing you.

Here are some of the important elements that you’ll want to consider when deciding how much money you want to allocate to your Shopping campaigns.

How many products the campaign features 

If there are quite a few products in your campaign, you’ll need to set a larger budget than if your campaign only promotes a handful of items. 

For example, say you’ve got a campaign with 100 products and a CPC of $0.50 (USD). Those clicks are going to eat up your budget a lot faster than a campaign with 10 products and the same CPC.

Maximum CPC bid

When consumers search for a particular product on Google, the search engine determines which Shopping ad best suits their query. To do so, it reviews different factors, including a retailer’s maximum CPC bid.

Your maximum CPC bid is the highest amount you’re willing to pay when somebody clicks on your ad. If you establish high maximum CPC bids for all of your campaigns, you might find that some of your campaigns are diminishing your budget more quickly than others. 

In addition, keep in mind that even if you set a high maximum CPC bid, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that your ads will appear in the search results. Google also considers each business’s quality score, which consists of site quality, relevance for customers, click-through rate, and other items.

Product sector

The current ecommerce landscape makes nearly any product you could think of available for purchase on the Web, with the competition for some products being particularly fierce. If your store’s products are part of a competitive sector, the CPC for your Shopping ads could get pretty expensive.

When deciding whether paid Shopping ads are right for your business, be sure to consider the competition, the budget you can afford, and if Google Shopping is likely to appeal to your target market.

Targeting approach

One part of Google Shopping that makes it accessible to all kinds of businesses is the flexibility regarding ad campaign set-up. There are numerous targeting aspects that you’re able to tailor for each campaign to suit your needs. 

With geotargeting, you can establish which geographical area you want to prioritize. You can also opt to target various devices differently, such as mobile devices, tablets, or computers, and allocate your budget accordingly. 

Lastly, using dayparting, you can choose to use your bid budget equally throughout the day or for times of the day that you’ve found to be the most profitable for you.

Shopping ad spending for different markets

Whenever you start a new venture with your ecommerce business, it’s bound to come with a few unknowns. That’s part of the excitement, but it can also be a little unsettling. Completely understandable!

As mentioned earlier, it’s extremely difficult to predict the exact amount that you’ll need to dedicate to your Shopping ad budget to be profitable. Nevertheless, there are certain spending trends that we’ve noticed with online stores on the WiziShop platform. 

Here’s a list of product categories that do especially well with Google Shopping for our WiziShoppers (the beloved clients of WiziShop). It also includes the average amount they spend in USD in a week to get 10 conversions in the same time frame.

  • Gifts, collections, and games: $10 
  • Automobile, motorcycle, and boat supplies: $15
  • Home, decoration, and appliances: $15
  • Beauty, health, and wellness: $15
  • Apparel, jewelry, and accessories: $16
  • Sports and hobbies: $19
  • Food and wine: $19

Many WiziShoppers opt to use Smart Shopping campaigns, which offer more automation and can reach a wider audience than Standard campaigns.

In a review of WiziShop stores with Smart Shopping campaigns, we found the most successful stores to be those that spend at least $150 (USD) a month. Furthermore, stores tend to achieve more success with their campaigns when they’ve been open for business for at least 2 months.

Is Google Shopping worth it?

Today, many ecommerce entrepreneurs are diversifying their sales channels to boost website traffic and sales. Google Shopping can be an excellent avenue for growing your business and achieving even greater levels of success in online selling.

What’s more, now that retailers can use the platform for free, many of your competitors are likely already taking advantage of it. By not using Google Shopping for your business, you could be missing out on a major opportunity to reach new customers.  

If you have the funds to invest in paid listings on the platform, you’ll be able to increase the visibility for your products and your brand even further. However, it’s important to do some research beforehand and create a well-planned strategy for tackling the optimization of your Google Shopping campaigns.

There’s a fairly good chance that there will be some trial and error involved with paid and free listings alike. You should therefore cut yourself some slack if you don’t see amazing results immediately. 

Remember that many settings can be modified even after you launch a Shopping campaign. This allows you to make changes to campaigns as you gradually discover what products of yours are the most profitable and improve your experience on the platform!

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