July 16, 2012, 3:26 PM

Google Shopping gains steam

But many retailers need more information about the program, an IR survey finds.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Nearly two-fifths of respondents—39.7%—to a new Internet Retailer survey plan to take part in the Google Shopping  program. It is replacing the free clicks on Google Product Search with paid clicks designed to attract online comparison shoppers.

The June survey, which focused on search marketing, drew 128 responses. Complete findings will appear in the August issue of Internet Retailer magazine.

Of the respondents, 29.4% have yet to decide whether to take part in Google Shopping, while 23.0% said they would opt out of the program. The remainder, 7.9%, said they do not know what Google Shopping is.

Google has said that the new program, scheduled to be in place as online consumers are starting to shop for holiday gifts this fall, will give retailers more control over where their products appear in Google. That’s because instead of bidding on keywords for paid search ads, retailers will bid on the amount they will pay if their product listings in search results attract clicks or result in sales. Google Shopping will replace the Google Product Search comparison shopping service’s free listings.

That more than a third of respondents are either unsure about taking part, or had yet to hear of Google Shopping, suggests that Google has some marketing of its own to do. But the largest e-retailers are ready, says Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer of online marketing software firm Kenshoo Ltd.. Those retailers are working to integrate Google Shopping with other online marketing programs.

“Kenshoo works with seven of the world's 10 largest retailers and they are definitely up to speed on Google Shopping,” he says. “Key challenges include collaboration between the paid search and feed management teams, definition of 'product targets,' and ongoing management and optimization of increasingly large and sophisticated product ad campaigns.”

Comments | 2 Responses

  • 128 responses for any survey seems extremely low considering your readership. The Google search change is BIG and I question that since so few participated in survey, the results won't give me a solid direction in moving forward on addressing these changes. Right now we are going to wait until Google finalizes their "testing" before we put any money into Product Listing Ads as well as changing our Adwords campaign. We are also considering a separate Product Listing Ad campaign that will not be tied into our existing Adwords campaign. We are a small company and are not happy with the direction Google is going. As many have already stated, the big company names with huge budgets, now have the power

  • Thanks for reading and commenting. 128 responses does provide a good sense of how retailers are viewing search and Google changes. Please note that we don't pay for responses, nor offer any incentives, and with readers busy running their businesses, we don't expect thousands of responses. But there's no reason to think these 128 respondents are not representative of web retailers. ALSO: I would love to talk with you more about your unhappiness with the Google changes. We want to know more about the challenges smaller companies are facing in this area. Would you mind contacting me? My e-mail is thad@verticalwebmedia.com, which is the best way. My direct line is 312-362-0273. I think you raise an important point, and I'd like to learn more. Thanks. Thad Rueter

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