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BizReport : Ecommerce : January 22, 2014


How Google's PLAs are impacting the retail space

Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are changing the way retailers advertise in the online space; new data out from Marin Software shows PLA spending increased nearly 300% in 2013, with significant growth during the holiday season.

by Kristina Knight

According to Marin's data the PLA spend was changing how brands used search ads - through October 2013 retailers spent an average of 12%-15% of their search budgets on PLAs but by December about 23% of the search budget was pushed to PLA options.

The top reason for this change: consumer engagement. According to Marin 1 in 5 paid shopping clicks (2013) can be attributed to a PLA. At the same time, clicks on typical text ads decreased by as much as 13%. The highest click-thrus for PLAs came during the holiday season when clicks jumped.

"A year most likely remembered for enhanced campaigns, 2013 encapsulated a dramatic shift in the shopping landscape and changed the way retailers approach PLAs. As consumer engagement and the cost of PLAs continue to increase, advertisers will need to rethink their PLA strategy. Setting revenue maximizing budgets across search and Shopping campaigns will become critical particularly during the holiday seasons. Shifting more attention toward optimizing the mobile experience--mobile-friendly landing pages, integrating Google Merchant Center's local availability and local storefront features--will be key to maximizing smartphone PLA performance," writes the company.

Looking ahead to 2014 Marin's experts believe that Google's Shopping campaigns, which roll out in the US first, will give retailers a better way to manage and analyze PLA spending. This, in turn, could push more ad dollars into the space.

The full report may be downloaded here.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, ecommerce, Google PLA, product listing ads, search marketing










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