If you are still a little reluctant about jumping on board the eCommerce advertising bus, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to take your store to the next level. One of the most effective ways to grow your dropshipping business is to spend money on ads.
One method to boost sales of your dropshipping store is to use the Google Shopping platform and run Google Shopping Ads (previously known as Product Ads).
Google created the “Shopping” tab as a way to enter the online marketplaces and to counter the growing dominance of eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Alibaba, all of whom were already providing easy-to-use platforms for online retail.
In a nutshell, Google Shopping works by allowing online stores and merchants to upload either a portion of or their entire product catalog to the platform, complete with information such as the price, the brand and the product image. Merchants can then place ads on the platform, and provide additional information such as shipping, promotion, inventory, promotions and reviews, and customer ratings.
When potential customers conduct a product search, your product details appear directly within the Google search results, under the “Shopping” tab, in a grid-like product. This, of course, depends on whether Google will deem the search to be relevant to one of your products, and how much you bid for the particular ad spot.
What are Google Shopping Ads?
Google Shopping Ads are the product-based ads that appear alongside or on top of your product searches across Google Shopping and Google searches. Google Shopping is a separate area of the number one search engine where you can search directly for products.
Google Shopping Ads aren’t the usual blue underlined links that are common in past search results. They are powerful and highly contextual ad units that are now taking on Amazon and other eCommerce platforms to drive awareness, demand, and traffic back to retail sites such as your dropshipping store.
There are essentially three types of Google Shopping Ads:
- Product Shopping Ads: created from the product data you provide in your Google Merchant Center account
- Showcase Shopping Ads: created by grouping a selected range of related products
- Local Inventory Shopping Ads: they showcase your products and more information from your local inventory to nearby shoppers using Google to search for products.
Are Google Shopping Ads Worth It?
The short answer is yes! While other eCommerce platforms like Amazon still have the bigger chunk of retail advertising, Google Shopping is tipped to become the new storefront since it’s more focused on driving traffic to independent online retail stores rather than selling its own version of the products. It’s the ultimate anti-Amazon marketplace. After all, who wants to live in a world where there’s only one place to buy something online?
Google’s overall domination of search gives it a clear edge since it promises to deliver greater brand visibility, impressions, and high-quality traffic, all of which will help boost your dropshipping store’s revenues.
Still interested in finding out how it works and how you can set up Google Shopping Ads for your dropshipping store? Keep reading for more information.
But first, what’s the fundamental difference between Google Shopping Ads and Facebook advertising?
Google Shopping Ads vs Facebook Advertising
Google Ads and Facebook Ads have a fierce and longstanding history. Digital marketing experts often have to grapple with the fundamental question; which of these two platforms provide the best ROI for eCommerce businesses?
The answer, of course, is always the same; it depends. Several factors such as target audience, business objectives, and your budget will determine which of the two platforms would be the most suitable for your eCommerce store.
One of the most basic differences between Google Shopping Ads and Facebook Ads is how they appear or how they are displayed to potential shoppers. Google Shopping Ads are search-based and they appear at the top of search query results. Potential shoppers will only see the ad if they directly search for the relevant product.
Facebook Ads on the other hand are interruption-based. This means you will see products that you are not directly searching for as you scroll down your timeline. They will often appear as ‘Sponsored’ posts in between the regular posts on your feeds.
Since Google Shopping Ads are click-based, they are priced per click and tend to have lower costs per click (CPCs) in comparison to the products. Therefore, Google Shopping Ads would be more cost-effective if your eCommerce store is selling high ticket products.
Facebook Ads on the other hand provide more flexibility and can charge per impression or per click. Most product prices on Facebook tend to be on the lower end and Facebook Ads would be ideal if your product prices are at the low to medium price points. And since Facebook is a much more mature platform, CPCs tend to be a little higher in comparison.
Below is an estimate from WebFX of how much Facebook advertising costs in 2021:
In terms of quality of traffic, Google Shopping Ads have a slight edge due to the simple fact that website visitors are actively searching for your products, which translates to a much higher buying intent. Therefore, Google Shopping Ads will give your store a higher return on ad spend (ROAS) than Facebook Ads for the same products.
Facebook Ads have better targeting capabilities. And since you can target audiences by age, gender, interests, and even exact location, Facebook Ads have a much larger potential reach.
Can You Dropship on Google Shopping?
Google allows you to have both a Google Merchant Account and a Google Ads account. It also allows you to upload your products and have your ads running on the platform, even if you are a dropshipping store. There’s no specific verbiage in the Google Merchant Account’s terms and conditions that addresses dropshipping.
That being said, some dropshipping stores have had their accounts suspended for various reasons. Like every other commercial company, Google wants all its users to have the best possible experience so it will always be on the lookout for any potentially bad business practices, or stores that try to game the system for quick profits.
A common reason Google can suspend an eCommerce store is when an eCommerce store uses a Merchant account to upload products it’s promoting as an affiliate rather than selling the products directly on their side. This also includes online stores that run on an arbitrage model, i.e. having no real connections to the products or the brands they are selling on their website.
Another reason is when the information on your Merchant Account such as pricing, discounts, and business information, doesn’t match the information on your website. Even the smallest details such as listing a $0 shipping price on your products on your Merchant Account and then listing a $20 shipping price on your website can easily attract a suspension or complete ban.
In short, don’t try to game the system.
Why You Should Run Google Shopping Ads For Your Dropshipping Store
One of the most effective ways to grow your dropshipping store’s sales figures is to generate more traffic. Begin with one traffic source, master it, and then branch out to other sources.
There are three reasons why we recommend starting with a Google Shopping campaign:
- Easy to set up, especially if you sell multiple products: You’ll only need one campaign to market all your products since you’ll only be creating a single shopping feed. With only a few clicks, you can quickly set up your campaign and simply wait for it to gather more data.
This is far much easier than setting up Facebook Ads where you have to set up a campaign for each product and at times, having to deactivate some underperforming ad sets/creatives within campaigns
- Better Quality Traffic: While Facebook Ads allow for more precise targeting, Google Shopping Ads will garner a much higher quality of traffic. Most of the leads generated from your ads will have a higher buyer intent since they are already searching for the products.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): Facebook is a much more mature platform and analysts indicate that its CPC rates tend to be slightly higher than Google Shopping ads. Depending on the size of your campaign or your budget, it’s always prudent to look for areas where you can save some dollars while achieving the same results.
What Are the Best Products/Niches for Google Shopping Ads?
Finding the right niches to focus on is absolutely critical for your dropshipping store. And since you are not going to be advertising to everyone but rather, a small portion of people that are interested in your product, you won’t have to spend a lot of advertising dollars to achieve great ROI.
Remember, niche products can follow along the wave of a trend and end up in the mainstream market. In the eCommerce world, it’s not uncommon for niche products to turn into wildly successful trends.
So which product niches do well within Google Shopping ad campaigns? Products niches in vegan cosmetics, beauty and makeup, pet products, jewelry, sports and gym equipment, wearable tech gadgets, and home appliances work quite well with Google Shopping ads. And because of the relatively lower CPCs, A Google Shopping ad campaign can generate great ROI when used to market high ticket products.
The infographic below shows the average conversion rates for Google Shopping ads by niche:
Use Sell The Trend to Find the Best Niche Products to Promote
Tools such as Sell The Trend help take the guesswork out of finding the right product niches for your dropshipping store and consequently, your ad campaigns. With an AI-powered search and analytics engine, Sell The Trend is the ultimate dropshipping niche research tool.
Sell The Trend’s product research capabilities use cutting-edge tools you won’t find anywhere else to not only give you access to a comprehensive database of more than 7 million products and 83 niches but also advanced analytics such as market trends and competition analysis to help you find your winning products.
How to Get Started With Google Shopping Ads:
The first step in creating a Google Shopping Ad campaign is to convert your dropshipping store’s products into shopping ads. For this you will need the following elements that interconnect to ensure a successful campaign:
- Your dropshipping store and your products (of course)
- A Google Merchant Account
- A product feed
- A Google Ads account
Create Google Merchant Center Account
A Google Merchant Account will let you create and manage how your product inventory will appear on Google (both in-store and online). The Google Merchant Center is designed to help your store reach millions of people who are searching for and looking to buy products like yours.
After setting up your account, you will have to both claim and verify your domain name and also prove that you own it.
Create Google Shopping Feed
The next step is to create your product feed, which is essentially a big spreadsheet that contains your product information. Google is quite strict about the kind of product information you should include and can easily disapprove your products if you don’t get it right. Follow Google’s product data specifications to avoid errors.
Link Google Ads & Merchant Center Accounts
You’ll need to allow your product data to flow from Merchant Center into your Google Ads account so you can use it to create and launch your ad campaigns. For this, you’ll need to approve a link between the two accounts. Note that only a Merchant Account user can initiate this request.
Launch Your Campaign
Before setting up and launching your campaign, you’ll need to upload your store’s product feed to the Google Merchant Center. If your dropshipping store is already hosted on eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, it may already be connected via its API and hence no need to upload your product data feed since the data is automatically sent to Google Merchant Center.
If this isn’t the case, then you can choose any of the four upload options that Google provides:
- Direct upload: uploading your input file
- FTP upload: submitting a large amount of product data
- SFTP upload: similar to FTP but more secure
- Scheduled fetches: create uploading schedules for a product data feed hosted on your site.
Once your products have been approved, you are now ready to create your ad campaign. Go to your Google Ads dashboard and click on the plus sign on the “Campaigns” tab and then select “New Campaign.”
On the campaign type select “Shopping” and then fill out additional settings such as budget, the locations you want to show the ads, and other general settings.
Give your campaign a name then press “Save” to create your campaign.
Monitor and Analyze Shopping Campaign Performance
As soon as you get your shopping campaign up and running, you’ll have to monitor its performance to ensure you are getting the desired results. Some of the key performance areas of a campaign you should analyze and monitor include:
- Product groups page: the performance of your product groups
- Products page: how individual products are performing
- Dimensions page: customized granular reports on any dimensions you chose (brand, category, product type, etc.)
- Auction insights report: comparing your performance against other advertisers in similar auctions
- Bid simulators
Ready to Optimize Your Dropshipping Advertising?
Setting up your dropshipping store for massive success isn’t easy. But tools such as Sell The Trend can take the legwork out of your dropshipping store’s campaigns using exclusive and cutting edge AI-powered tools.
As your competition spends weeks or even months in research and strategizing, you can give your dropshipping store a healthy headstart with a repertoire of Product Research, Store Intelligence, and Store Automation tools, and marketing tools such as Facebook Audience Builder, Influencer Engagement Calculator, and Video Ads Creator.
Whether you want to get your feet wet in the eCommerce world or you want to level up your skills, Sell The Trend’s Success Academy can quickly transform you into a dropshipping expert.
Start your free, no-commitment trial today.