Google Shopping Ads: Strengths & Weaknesses

Google Shopping Ads: Strengths & Weaknesses

Google Shopping was originally developed by a kiwi! Craig Nevil Manning created it over at Waikato University and it used to be called Froogle. It relaunched in New Zealand in February 2017.It’s a product-based advertising channel which features at the top of search results for relevant product searches. Each of your products can appear when a relevant search is made.


  • Well-known brands with competitive price points do really well. This is because in Google Shopping, all the ads are auto-generated. You only see the product image, product name, price, brand – all of the ad formats are the same.
  • Google Shopping has only been available in New Zealand since February 2017, so it can be a good way to get onto a channel that your competitors may not know about.
  • Ad creative is all done for you based on an XML product feed that we can help you with - which is nice because maybe you have 10,000 products and you don’t want to write ads for every single one
  • Very strong channel for consumer products.


  • You’ll struggle on this channel if you can’t differentiate your products by price, brand or imagery.
  • Technical expertise is necessary for setup using XML product feeds – Some CMS (content management systems) may offer plugins.
  • If you have fewer products or less well-known products, demand can be an issue.
  • If you want to change your product descriptions, you’ll need to update the copy on your website because it is dynamically pulling the content from there.

Tips from the team

“Check your Google Merchant Centre regularly because if there are any issues through your shopping feed you may not be notified.”  - David Dennis

“When setting up your product feed, take the time to allocate tags and categories to all products so you can control bids at the category level rather than just one bid for all your products. This will allow you to control your ROI based on each category’s profit margin.” – James Gunson

“Analyse your shopping campaigns data regularly as the product trends are quite dynamic due to seasonality, popularity and competition.” – Ben Goh

“If you have been using Google Shopping for a while, consider implementing Google Smart shopping. The main benefit of this is be able to set a R.O.A.S. target for your Shopping Campaigns” – Jody Lane

If you need help with Google shopping ads or your Google ads account, feel free to get in touch!