According to a new study by PPC Management Software providers Marin more retailers than ever are adopting Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to promote their products.
By May of this year more than one billion different products had been advertised using the platform.
In spite of increased user-ship, however, the impression share of Product Listing Ads has actually diminished since reaching its peak in December of last year; with text ads gaining back some ground in 2013. Some analysts attribute this to a number of external factors, such as simple seasonality of the retail market, particularly the slump of June and July 2013.
Other commentators say that the transition to enhanced Google AdWords campaigns was a contributing factor.
But the future remains bright for PLAs and Marin predicts their impression share to increase dramatically as mobile usage increases, but also as the natural surge of the retail market occurs again in the run up to Christmas.
Another piece of good news is that while the rise in usage of PLAs might have slowed, the rise of click throughs shows no sign of losing momentum. The Click Through Rate (CTR) of Product Listing Ads has been higher than that of text based ads ever since November 2012, and despite a dip in impression share during summer 2013, the PLA CTR was 21% higher than text ads.
As if that wasn’t enough, retailers enjoyed a lower cost per click than they did through text based ads. This might not be the case for long, however, since the PLA CPC has risen by more than 50% in the past year. The cost of text ads is up just 10%.
Retailers preparing for a big seasonal push should prepare to spend time on their PLA’s in order to make them as relevant as possible to their audience. This means advertising at a product level, making ads as targeted as possible.
Are you a retailer? Are you putting faith in PLAs? Are you seeing a marked improvement in paid search performance? Whether the answer is yes or no, let us know in the comments.