Showcase Shopping ads offer a great way to show off a category of products from your brand. The ads help you reach customers higher up in the research phase. 

Showcase Shopping ads lets people search and discover new brands they way not be familiar yet with. The very nature of Showcase Shopping ads is that they surface when someone does a more general search on Google. These ads help the user decide where to buy when they search for more general terms like “kids toys” or “women’s shoes”.

Say you sell women’s clothes and you want to highlight your women’s jacket page and all your relevant products for a customer that searched for “women’s black jacket.” You can create a Showcase Shopping ad that features everything you have to offer for women’s jackets.

Being able to group products and let people discover what you offer makes Showcase Shopping campaigns a unique offering the paid search landscape.

How Do Showcase Shopping Ads Work?

A Showcase Shopping ad appears on Google when someone does a more general search, such as “kids toys” or “dirt bike”. Since this is a general search and the person has not said what company or brand they want to buy from. 

Google will try to surface a showcase shopping ad to let the person know what options exists. Showcase Shopping ads show relevant products together with lifestyle images that you choose to represent your brand or business.

When someone clicks on your Showcase Shopping ad, it expands revealing your products that are most relevant to the search terms they used. One way to not show all your product is to group your SKUs into theme or product categories based on how people search. Google recommends showing a minimum of 1,000 SKUs but we have found brands with smaller SKU counts can use ~200 and still drive sales and revenue.

Bidding With Showcase Shopping Campaigns

There are 3 bidding options available for Showcase Shopping ads:

  1. Maximum CPE (cost-per-engagement) bidding: You set the highest amount that you’re willing to pay for an engagement. You’re then charged when someone directly clicks the ‘Visit Merchant’ link on the Showcase ad or expands your Showcase Shopping ad and either spends 10 seconds within the ad or clicks a product or link in the expanded ad.

  2. Maximize clicks bidding: Maximize clicks sets your bids to help get as many engagements on Showcase Shopping ads as possible within your budget. Unlike Product Shopping ads where you set your bids on product groups, you’ll set a bid for an engagement with your Showcase Shopping ad on the ad group that contains your ad.

  3. Target ROAS (return on ad spend) bidding: This Google Ads Smart Bidding strategy helps you get more conversion value or revenue at the target return on ad spend you set. If implementing this bid strategy, Google recommends applying it in conjunction with a data-driven attribution model.

What Countries Can Use Showcase Shopping Ads?

  1. Australia
  2. Brazil
  3. Canada
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Ireland
  8. India
  9. Indonesia
  10. Malaysia
  11. Netherlands
  12. New Zealand
  13. Philippines
  14. Singapore
  15. South Africa
  16. Sweden
  17. Taiwan
  18. United Arab Emirates
  19. United Kingdom
  20. United States

The list of available countries is getting updated on a regular basis. I would check back every few months to see if your country is on the list.

Best Practices: Showcase Shopping Ads

The anatomy of showcase ads break down into 3 distinctive but connected groups: products/SKUs, header image and ad copy. If any one of these are not matching what your target audience is searching for, then the ads will fail to do their job. Here is how we look at optimizing our showcase shopping ads.

Product Groups

We bang on about it a lot for shopping but you don’t have to put all your SKUs in your shopping campaigns. Showcase shopping ads are no different. The showcase ads work best when you are using best selling SKUs or you have a new product you want to promote.

Header Images

Regardless of the shopping campaign type, your images are everything. This is what customers see. This is what makes them decide if they want to click on your item or not.  Make sure you upload a header image that truly represents your product and brand. This is the first impression people may have with your brand and you want it to be the best.

Pro Tip: In certain cases, the bottom part of your image may not be visible. Place the most important content sufficiently far from the bottom edge. You can also crop the image, and then see what it’ll look like in the preview on the side.

Ad Copy

The headline and description text may be optional but we always include it with ads for our clients. Make sure the ad matches the tone and style of your header image above. Write copy that encourages and drives something to take action.

Don’t simply copy the ad copy you see all your competitors using. This is the worst way to stand out and makes your brand look boring. Don’t get sloppy on your ad copy. Don’t be afraid to test your ad copy either.

The Autonomy Of Showcase Shopping Ads

Before You Begin

To create a Showcase Shopping ad, you’ll need to complete a few steps first. The logo below is optional but I would make sure you include it. 

Google is always changing the requirements for shopping campaigns and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Filling out the business details of your Google Merchant Center is something we talk about in our audits.

  1. Meet the requirements for a Shopping campaign. 
  2. Create a Shopping campaign. For easier reporting, create a unique Shopping campaign for your Showcase Shopping ad. We always breakout Showcase ads for easy reporting
  3. Upload your 1:1 logo in Merchant Center so it appears in your ad. 

Making Showcase Shopping Ads

Step 1: Create a Showcase Shopping Campaign

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account
  2. Click the plus button .
  3. Click on Shopping and fill out our campaigns details as normal
  4. On the Ad Group page is when you select that you want to run a showcase shopping campaign

Step 2: Create a Showcase Shopping ad group

After you built your campaign, here is what you need to fill out at the ad group level to get your showcase campaign up and running.

1. Next, choose your settings for the ad group:

  • Ad group type. Click Showcase Shopping.

  • Ad group name. Enter a name for the ad group. You’ll use this name to find the ad group later. You can change the name after the ad group has been created.

  • Bid. Enter the bid for the ad group. This is the cost-per-engagement bid that will be applied to your Showcase Shopping ad. You can change the bid at any time. You can’t make any bid adjustments on product groups like you can for Product Shopping ads. You’ll pay when someone clicks to expand your ad, and spends 10 seconds within your ad, or clicks a link.

2. Choose which products will appear in your ad by selecting product groups. Here are some important tools you can use to help target your products to your ad for best effect.

3. Click Save and continue.

Pro Tip: Showcase Shopping ads do not perform well if there are only a few highly relevant products in your ad group. It’s recommended that you have at least 1,000 products in your ad group — in order to respond to the highest number of queries.

Step 3: Create a Showcase Shopping Ads

Next, you’ll create the Showcase Shopping ad by providing an image, links, and text for your ad. You should create an ad and ad group for each group of products that you want to sell. Making sure your URLs and product groups are relevant to people searching is going to drive more clicks from the correct people.

Once you’ve chosen your product groups, you should be on the create an ad stage. Here’s what to do:

1. First add a header image. Upload a header image that represents your product category, brand or business. Here are the requirements for that image:

  • Dimensions: 600 x 314 px minimum (1200 x 628 px recommended), 1.91:1 aspect ratio. Images of 812 x 428 px and less are acceptable, but can limit your overall reach, and are therefore not recommended. In certain cases, the bottom part of your image may not be visible. Place the most important content sufficiently far from the bottom edge. You can also crop the image, and then see what it’ll look like in the preview on the side.
  • Format: JPG or PNG
  • Image color model: RGB
  • Max file size: 5 MB. ​Use a high quality, professional image with at least one product. Don’t use an image that contains promotional text, watermarks, borders, collages, logos, or references to competitor products. 
  • Your header image will appear at the top of your ad after someone clicks it. If your header image is the most relevant match for a given search query, it may also appear in your ad before someone clicks it. Otherwise, one of your product images will be displayed instead. Google will show the ad that matches best with the user’s query.

2. Next, add text:

  • Headline: The headline is a short line of text that helps people notice your ad. Include up to 24 characters.
  • Description: The description can appear in the expanded form of your ad and provides more information about the products you’re showcasing. Include between 70 and 120 characters.
  • Final URL: The final URL is the URL of the landing page you want people to visit after they click on your ad. The landing page you choose needs to be relevant to your ad and the products you’re advertising with the ad.
  • Display URL: The display URL is the website address that appears in your ad. It’s typically the URL of the site or page you’re advertising. Only a URL of 25 characters can be shown on mobile and 35 characters on desktop. If your display URL is longer than the character limit, a shortened version is shown in your ad. Review our display URL policy.
  • Important: Keyword Insertion isn’t supported in the headline and description fields
  1. Preview the ad on the right side of the panel. Remember that the products shown together with your Showcase Shopping ad are influenced by a person’s search term. Note: To show more relevant ads to users, it is recommended to create an ad for each relevant category page on your site.
  2. When you’re done making changes, click Save and continue.

Your ad will go into review to ensure images and text comply with our policies. You can expect an answer within 3 business days.

Showcase shopping ads and campaigns are a great way to get in front of customers who are just starting to buy a new product but don’t know who they will buy from.

That is it for this week. See you next time.