Last week Bing announced that they were creating a beta program for Shopping Campaigns. This new emphasis on product ads comes on the heels of Facebook’s announcement that they were also entering the space. It may seem like this space is meant for large scale retailers with automated solutions and big budgets, but small and medium sized businesses shouldn’t shy away from trying out product listing ads. The online shopping search space is starting to look more like a grocery aisle, so if you want to compete you’ll need to make sure your ads stand out.

High Visibility Results

The advantage of product listings ads is that they allow you to stand out from the marketplace by showcasing the exact products you’re offering in an eye-catching way that text ads just can’t compete with.

Google Search for Red Shoes
If you’re looking for red shoes, where is your eye going to land first on this page?

In addition to visibility, the ads generate clicks from qualified buyers who are interested in the specific product showcased in the ad. According to a recent AdWords blog post, this is leading some small businesses to see major improvements in their ad results.

“By coupling customer intent with Google Shopping’s image-focused approach, Paper Culture was able to highlight their designs in a cost-effective way — ensuring that each shopper that clicked on a Google Shopping ad was an already-interested buyer. Through Shopping campaigns, Paper Culture decreased their cost-per-lead (CPL) by 50%, and saw 3x ROI overall when compared to their other online channels.

PUBLIC Bikes used Google Shopping to find new customers beyond their brick-and-mortar stores. Bidding by product allowed them to more easily prioritize those products that were new or on sale, turning once low-converting search terms into profit. For every $1 invested in Shopping campaigns, PUBLIC Bikes was able to see 2x the ROI as compared to their other online channels.”

Small Scale Campaigns

If you start researching Product Listing Ads, you might find yourself quickly buried in technical documentation about APIs and data feeds, but don’t let that discourage you. After you’ve completed the initial setup process for AdWords, all of your inventory will be available to sort into product types and start running ads. You’ll even be able to create ad groups that target your products by category, brand, item ID, condition, product type, and any custom labels you might have applied. Updating your inventory is easy as well, and is usually handled by uploading a spreadsheet with your product information.

Potential for Growth

Bing, Google, and Facebook are putting a lot of effort behind these ad types, and the reason should be obvious. This space is growing quickly, and advertisers are keen to take advantage of the potential for more traffic and better conversion rates. Even if your inventory is limited, you can still take advantage of this powerful ad type to enhance your online presence and drive new customers to your site.