Google Showcase Ads: The Next Generation of Product Advertising?

July 15, 2016

Digital Marketing Anna Torres By Anna Torres

While those in the e-commerce world were busy on Tuesday prepping for Amazon’s Prime Day, Google was unveiling some big updates of their own (in preparation for the upcoming holiday shopping season).

The most significant addition to Google Shopping Campaigns? Showcase Shopping Ads.

So what are Showcase Shopping Ads?


Showcase Ads hope to improve that shopping experience for consumers who don’t quite know what they’re looking for yet while putting the retailer first by allowing them to closely curate the series of images that appear with certain broad keywords. Win-win.

Once a consumer clicks on an image, they’re taken to a page specific to a given retailer for more product information and more related products to the original search. Advertisers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis from the images on the retailer’s landing pages as opposed to clicks from the search results.

No one understands the importance of mobile like Google. Showcase ads are an obvious attempt to make mobile shopping easier for consumers in the months leading up to the holiday shopping season.

And the best part? If you’re already using Shopping campaigns (which you should), you’re already signed up. Effective immediately, all sellers running Shopping Campaigns in the US, UK, and Australia will be eligible to have their products automatically appear in Showcase ads in the coming weeks.

There’s also a premium version of Showcase Ads that should be available to sellers in the coming months.

Google vs. Facebook?

Highly visual display ads? Larger images and more emphasis on lifestyle? If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

Facebook and Instagram are key players that are proving that consumers react to high-quality visuals. The increased success of Google’s PLAs over the past few years also proves this. Which is why this new ad format is a sign that they’re doubling down and ready to compete with the social platforms.

The new Showcase Ads are very similar to Facebook’s Canvas Ads in a lot of ways. They’re also very similar in experience to Facebook’s Carousel ads that are now also available on Instagram.  

The fact that the Showcase Ads are based on broader queries and Google’s announcement of Customer Match and RLSA earlier this year only confirms that Google is joining Facebook in redefining the retargeting game by offering advanced audience targeting.

Looking for more information on Google Shopping? We recently hosted a webinar with Google all about RLSA that was so popular, we made it available on demand, for free! Check it out here