Google Shopping ads are ultra-competitive with millions of retailers and brands competing to win ad impressions. The Google algorithm is such that it will identify the ads which have the highest chances of receiving clicks. Apart from title, price, and image, an ad’s annotations and extensions are very important components to improving quality score. Annotations help ads stand out and improve the chances of getting the click, over your competitors.
There are essentially two main categories of promotional labels available in Google Shopping:
- Annotation shown based on Product Feed attributes
- Google Shopping Ads Extension Features
Annotation/Ad Content Types Shown Based on Product Feed Attributes
The annotations “Sale”, “Price Drop”, “Shipping Labels”, and “Return Policies” are Google Shopping ads content that can be changed in a merchant’s product feeds, apart from the title, image, and price.
Sale Price Annotation
In order to get the ‘Sale’ annotation, you should not change the price field in the Google Shopping feed. Many advertisers make this mistake. You must submit the current price in the price attribute field. What you should submit in the sale price attribute is the actual sale price. Until and unless your product’s original price changes, Google expects it not to change the value of the price attribute.
The following Google Shopping feed shows a sale annotation on the top left corner of a product listing, as shown in Fig 1. The “Sale” label will be visible in product listing ads if your product is eligible and meets all the requirements.
Sale Annotation Requirements:
These are the various requirements that must be fulfilled in order for your product listing ad to be awarded a “Sale” label:
- The base price and sale price must be clearly visible
- Your product must charge the original price or base price for more than 30 days
- The base price must always be valid and must be higher than the sale price
- You cannot offer a sale discount of less than 5% or more than 90%
Another popular Google Shopping ad annotation is “Price Drop”. You can easily view the price drop label on Google Shopping, in Fig 2. This will be awarded if the listing meets the “price drop” annotation requirements.
Price Drop Annotation Requirements:
- A product will be awarded a ‘price drop’ label only when the price of that product drops to a certain level during a 90-day period
- The minimum price drop must be higher than 20% otherwise, this annotation will not be displayed on any items
Google automatically determines whether to show the ‘price drop’ label if the product listing meets the requirements. Therefore, we can categorize ‘price drop’ as an auto annotation.
Google Shopping ads generally show “Shipping Labels” on the bottom of a product listing, as shown in Figure 3.
To show shipping labels in your product listings, you must provide shipping information and enable them in Google Shopping.
- Free Shipping – Free of charge or product price meets the minimum limit
- Fast Shipping – must provide both handling and transit time.
Shipping Labels Requirements:
- The shipping label may vary in the form of “Oversized”, “Perishable”, or “Free Shipping”. You must provide the right one for your product
- You must assign attributes such as ‘Shipping Label’ and ‘Transit Time’ to your product feed
- Every user who clicks on your product ads must be able to see every piece of shipping information
Another subset of information that shows up on Google Shopping ads is return policies, as shown in Figure 4, below.
The return policy associated with any products should be specified using “Return Policy Label” attributes. The first return policy will be your default return policy unless you create other return policy labels. The first policy will be applied to all the products if the Google Shopping feed does not find a unique return policy label attribute related to that product.
Google Shopping Ads Extension Features
Google shopping ads essentially have three types of ad extensions: “Google Merchant promotions”, “Local Inventory ads” and “Product Ratings”.
Google Merchant Promotions
The promotions feature in Google Merchant Center allows you to add a “Special Offer” tag, which is displayed on your product listings for your customers to use. According to a Google Ads and Commerce Blog, there was a 9.4% increase in conversions found after setting up promotions for product ads.
Advertisers can offer essentially three kinds of special promotions to their customers:
- Discounts – Percentage off, cashback, or buy one get one
- Free Gifts – Free gifts cannot be on trial or samples
- Shipping – Free shipping, or a 50% discount on shipping on items/purchases above a certain value
Google Merchant Promotions Requirements:
- Must provide a value in monetary form or service/good equal to the monetary value
- The monetary value cannot be less than 5% of the product price
- Title bait is strictly prohibited, and you cannot trick or mislead Google Shoppers
- Must be accessible to all Google shoppers and must not impose offers to certain groups of shoppers
- Must use a valid redemption code for special offers or promotions unless it is free shipping
If you want to show promotions and special offers on Google Shopping ads, you must send the promotion feed in Google Merchant and activate the special offer extension in your shopping ads campaigns, as shown in figure 6.
Local Inventory Ads
Local Inventory Ads (LIA) are mostly recognized by labels such as ‘In-Store’ and ‘Pick-Up Today’ on Google Shopping ads. This extension appears on qualified product listings in Google Shopping. Local customers are more inclined to click on your ads if they have a local inventory label. Hence why Google prefers showing such ads whenever a local search is made.
A Local Inventory ad’s storefront page must showcase some important information about a business:
- Website links to product or landing page
- Product or business description
- Hours of operation
- Business phone number
- Navigation to a physical store
Local Inventory Ads’ Requirements:
Brands must fulfill some requirements to qualify for the LIA:
- You must have a physical store at the address that is listed on your ads
- You must be a local brick and mortar business
- The customer must be allowed to physically visit, view, and purchase any products at the location
- Your physical store must not have policies such as membership or store member to purchase any kind of product. If you have such policies, you are ineligible for Local Inventory Ads
- You are not allowed to use the Customer Personal Identifiable Information for your use
In order to enable the Local Inventory Ads, a business must submit the primary feeds. The primary feed is the list that is created in a delimited file or XML file. The file consists of a list of your products with the product attributes. A business must provide Google-specific information on each product and item. Google’s list of attributes can be found here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/3061342.
In order to get product ratings in Google Shopping, the specific product must have at least 3 reviews to form an overall rating. These ratings can be used from your own website or review sites. Product ratings are quite different from seller ratings. Product ratings define the reviews for a specific product you are selling.
How Does it Work?
The Google Shopping Feed matches the reviews data to your product feed using multiple factors such as:
- GTINs (Global Trade Identification Number)
- MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)
- Product URLs
GTINs are one of the strongest factors which offer significant help in product matching with reviews data, thus showing product ratings in Google Shopping. In order to show Product rating, one must provide enriched product feeds and enable product rating extensions on Google Shopping.
Google Extensions can hugely impact your Google Shopping Campaigns. See our article on Google Extensions and Its Impacts on Ads Performance.
Product Rating Requirements:
- Must share all the reviews and submit them to Google at least once a month
- The submitted lists must include all reviews including low star reviews
- The content that violates the guidelines must be removed
- The retailers must have at least 50 reviews on all their products
The Google Shopping ad Annotations and Extensions mentioned above can and will improve your ads rank if used properly. Product rating extensions can help build trust with shoppers. Special offer extensions such as “Price Drop” or “Sale” annotations can attract shoppers with monetary incentives.
Our GrowByData Advertising Intelligence Solution provides detailed data on all of these extensions and annotations on a national, regional, and local level. With comprehensive data on these features, advertisers can improve their Google Shopping ads’ product content to gain an edge in their target market.