Google Shopping vs. Bing Shopping: Everything You Need to Know to Advertise Your eCommerce Products

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Google Shopping vs. Bing Shopping Everything You Need to Know to Advertise Your eCommerce Products

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Microsoft and Google have competed in one form or another over the last decade in the world of search and paid advertising. Between 2006 and today there have been numerous updates as the two search giants have tried to grab and maintain market share.

Google vs Bing infographic

With the consistent growth of eCommerce, that focus has shifted toward enhanced product ads. While Google may have a significant chunk of the search market share, you shouldn’t discount or write off Bing by any means.

Even if it’s a fraction of the market share, that’s still a considerable number of people—and your customers are likely in that mix. Ignoring one over the other could cost you visibility.

Google vs Bing Divider

The Demographics of Google vs Bing Shopping

We already know a large portion of people utilizes Google every day for search. If you’re not certain how much of your customer base uses Bing, just check out these audience demographics straight from Bing Ads:

  • 160 million unique searchers (per month)
  • 5 billion monthly searches
  • 51% female
  • 44% married
  • 1/5 U.S. South Atlantic
  • 40% between 35-54 years old
  • 1/3 has household income of $100,000+

Think about the spending power of the average search user and consider that nearly half of Bing users have an annual household income exceeding $70k. Those are people you want to target if they fit within your audience.

Google vs Bing Divider

Different Platforms, but Both Worthy of the Investment

When aiming to advertise your eCommerce products, it’s not always an easy decision to decide where to target your advertising. Running on multiple platforms doubles the workload of testing ad variations, monitoring campaign performance, and increasing your overall ad spend for the duration of those campaigns.

Yet, it’s the best way to hit the largest audience segments when promoting your eCommerce products. So exactly how do Google and Bing Shopping ads stack up to one another?

The Cost

Cost per click is always a major consideration when running any kind of paid advertising, especially shopping ads.

You need to know how much each click costs relative to what you can afford (your max CPC); otherwise, you’re not making much from your campaigns—you might even struggle to break even.

A quick comparison of 2015 to the previous year shows that retailers spent 47% more on Google Shopping ads.

Shopping ad spend graph

As more businesses increase their advertising on Google, the added competition drives up the cost per click.

Here’s data from AdGooroo that shows how CPC has changed over a few years within Google AdWords.

CPC change in industries

While some industries increased far more than others, Google saw a consistent rise in CPC. On the flipside, some industries saw a drop in their CPC—including shopping.

You’ll reach a larger market with Google, and you’ll certainly be paying for that reach. Bing can allow you to run tightly focused campaigns but at a reduced cost.

Don’t let the cost of Google shopping ads make you shy away. Sears Outlet boosted in-store visits by over 120% and had a calculated return of $8 for every dollar they spent on their shopping campaigns. It all comes down to your ad strategy.

The Features

Bing and Google shopping offer fairly similar features and functionality across the two platforms with only a select few differences.

Check this feature comparison chart from Bing showing the performance of the two shopping channels.

Bing vs Google comparison

With all the similarities, it’s not the features that will make or break your shopping ad performance. The mastery of shopping ads comes when you set up your campaigns and position your products for success.

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Start with Feed Optimization

Working hard on computerCreating your shopping ads in Google and Bing isn’t the same as working with text ads, like in Google AdWords.

Rather than creating campaigns and ad groups with targeted keywords, shopping campaigns on both platforms are targeted based on your product feed.

From there, Google and Bing determine when your product ads will be displayed. The key elements used to decide if your product appears for specific search queries include:

  • Your product feed
  • The domain/eCommerce store
  • Your ad bidding

SEO is still an important part of your ad setup. A well-configured feed ensures that your products show up for the right search queries, helps you earn more clicks, and makes management and future optimization of your products that much easier.

Whether you advertise on Google or Bing, there are key elements you want to optimize properly within your feed to maximize the odds of your product ads popping.

Product title – Your title should be concise and descriptive of the product so Google and Bing know when to show your ads. Include your top keywords here that are product specific, and be sure to use the name of the product.

Since long tail searches indicate more purchase intent, you should try to use color, gender, brand, model number, and size to differentiate your product titles.

Nikon Camera search results

Product description – Don’t try to write a lengthy description to push your product. Describe the product as best you can, fit in your relevant keywords, and think about the benefit statements that will help sell a customer on the product.

Front load the most important information at the beginning of your description to set the hook early.

Product categories – Choose the best category that closely matches your product. This is one more way for the shopping ad platforms to determine when to show your products. You don’t get to define your own category and, instead, must choose from what is already listed.

Product type – There are thousands of categories to pick from and, if you had a tough time configuring that aspect, then product type is critical to getting your ad to show for the right customers.

Product image – Shopping is a very visual experience, even offline. Use high-quality images that are compelling. Don’t try to include watermarks or logos that could distract from your images. It makes it harder to judge an item when it’s just a thumbnail.

Google search result images

Depending on your product, try to include a person in the image using it, wearing it, etc. One study shared by Jeremy Smith revealed how one organization boosted conversions by 95% by including pictures of artists with products.

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Keep Quality Score in Mind

Quality score effects CPCBoth Google and Bing use a 10-point system for scoring ad and landing page content. Think of it as their way of incentivizing advertisers to make better quality ads.

If the quality score of your ads is high, you’ll pay less per click and your ads will be far more visible over competitors with a lower quality score.

The quality score of text ads is transparent, but it’s not readily visible for shopping ads. While you can’t see it, every product in your store will have a quality score.

For text ads, a quality score is based on three things:

  • Ad relevancy
  • Click through rates
  • The landing page connected to your ad

For your products, you’re looking at feed relevance vs. ad relevance but, otherwise, the same elements will apply to your quality score.

Use this as motivation. Spend extra time and create a great listing for each product by optimizing your feed.

Google vs Bing Divider

Bid on Product Ads with Confidence

Aside from creating a well-optimized feed, bidding is likely the most important part of creating your shopping ad campaigns.

If you’re strategic in your bidding, you have a tremendous amount of control over which search queries your products appear for.

Just be careful not to overspend.

It doesn’t take extensive math to find the right bid—just some simple calculations. Shopify shares an accurate formula they recommend to use for determining your max CPC.

Once you know the max CPC you can afford, bidding becomes super simple.

How much do i bid

Sales Price – Cost of Goods Sold = Available Profit

Available Profit  x Conversion Rate = Max CPC

Max CPC x (between .4  to .75) = Initial CPC Bid

Shopify offers a great example of this calculation at work: Let’s say you sell a product that retails for $100 and has a cost of $50. Let’s also say that your conversion rate is at an industry average 2%. Here’s how the calculation would work:

$100 (Price) – $50 (Cost of Goods Sold) = $50 (in Available Profit)

$50 (Avail. Profit) x 2% (Conversion Rate) = $1.00 (Max CPC)

$1 (Max CPC) x (.5) = $.50 (Initial CPC Bid)

Check Shopify’s complete guide on bidding for shopping ads to learn how to create and manage bids, right down to SKU level bidding.

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Stand Out with Shopping Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a great way to call extra attention to your ads, and they cost absolutely nothing to use. Just make sure the extensions you utilize support the goal of your advertisements.

Some of the extensions you can use include:

  • Special promotions and coupon offers shown directly in the shopping ad
  • Local inventory call outs
  • Product ratings and reviews curating from around the web for your product
  • Product callouts relating to feed info, such as listing “free shipping”

Free shipping callout

Shopify offers a quick visual guide for adding extensions to your product ads. More extensions are likely to come as Google works on rolling out new features to support shopping ads.

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Don’t Forget to Incorporate Retargeting

It can be costly to go only after new customers with shopping ads—or any kind of paid advertising. For eCommerce, retargeting is one of the most powerful forms of marketing because it has such a high conversion rate with greatly reduced costs.

This is because retargeting puts the right ads in front of the right people in the right places.

Retargeting strategy

Research has shown that it works, with 70% of retargeting customers converting. It works because you’re showing targeted product ads to customers who have already interacted with your brand and showed interest in specific products.

Through a tracking pixel, brands are seeing conversion rates 5 and 6 times higher (or more) by targeting customers who abandoned their cart or took other specified actions (like viewing a particular product) on their websites.

Past engagement increases shopping chart

Use dynamic retargeting as a part of your shopping ads with Google and Bing to show more relevant ads, win back customers, and reduce your cost per acquisition.

Google vs Bing Divider

Focus on the Conversion Beyond the Click Through

Getting your ads to pop and winning those clicks in Google and Bing are just the first steps to converting the search user to a shopper—after the click, they’re taken to your product page or landing page.

You have a lot more control over the conversion process here, so make sure the relevancy between your product ad and your landing page is high. Create a seamless, engaging, and high-converting product page by following these best practices:

Create a seamless conversion page

1. Sell with Images

Your customers want to experience a product before they purchase it. Since they can’t turn it over and examine it in their hands, you need to sell the product visually.

Include high-quality images in your product pages, providing pictures of the product from multiple angles.

In a case study from VWO, one online retailer was able to boost sales by 9.46% without a single dime spent on advertising—all the company did was increase the size of product images.

Product image size case study

2. Leverage Social Proof

The majority of customers who shop online are influenced by the words of their peers and online reviews. According to Marketing Land, 90% of consumers shop this way.

Reviews impact on purchasing chart

Make sure product reviews and testimonials are readily visible on your product pages. You’ve already won their interest in your product from your shopping ad. Ease friction with social proof to get them to convert.

Express Watches implemented social proof with reviews on its product pages and saw a 58.29% increase in conversion rates—that’s a significant spike just from showing that other customers were satisfied with their purchase.

3. Focus on Benefit Statements

Your audience research should give you clear insight into their pain points and major concerns. You can use this for more than keyword optimization.

Use it to tweak your product features so they clearly state the benefits of your products. Those short, punchy benefit statements not only communicate the value of your products, they show the customer what they’re missing out on if they don’t make the purchase.

If you want more conversions from your shopping ads, start selling the benefits of the products.

TeuxDeux AD


Rather than trying to decide which platform is better for setting up shopping ads, consider utilizing both. The setup is very similar, with both Google and Bing offering near identical features to expansive audiences.

By running shopping ad campaigns on both and following the simple tips above for optimizing your feed and landing pages, you greatly increase the potential reach and conversion of your ad campaigns.

Have you run shopping ads on Google or Bing in the past? What has been your experience with these platforms so far?



Google Shopping vs. Bing Shopping

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