Marin Software, provider of a leading Revenue Acquisition Management platform for advertisers and agencies, has released a report showcasing the rise of Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Report findings, based on the more than $4 Billion in annualised paid search spend through Marin Software's platform, show PLA click-through-rates (CTR) have increased each month since February 2013 and reached record levels in July 2013 – 21% higher than the CTR of text ads. The high CTR of PLAs coupled with a 93% year-over-year increase in click share indicates a dramatic acceptance of PLAs by online shoppers. Retailers, in turn, are responding by increasing their investment in the ad type as they prepare for this year's holiday shopping season.
Marin Software's report, "Google Shopping Ads: Product Listing Ads Deliver for Retailers," consists of statistics and trends uncovered through an examination of the Marin Global Online Advertising Index. The index consists of advertising data from leading global brands that manage more than $4 Billion in annualised paid search spend through Marin's platform.
In October 2012, Google transitioned Google Shopping to a sponsored format, sparking a dramatic growth in PLA impressions and clicks. Advertisers have continued to embrace the richer and more engaging ad type, providing online shoppers with highly relevant and visual ad creative.
Marin Software's report shows shoppers find PLAs much more relevant to their product searches than they do text ads. Year-over-year, the share of PLA clicks to standard text ads increased 93%. Likewise, in July 2013 the CTR of PLA ads – the number of individuals that view an ad and subsequently click on the ad – was 21% higher than the CTR of text ads.
Fueled by consumer resonance, advertisers continue to increase their investment in PLAs. Marin Software found between October 2012 and July 2013 the share of PLA spend to standard text ads increased 59% with retailers allocating as much spend in June 2013 towards PLAs as they did during the popular holiday shopping month of November 2012. To win the battle for revenue, Marin foresees the level of spend directed to PLAs increasing to further highs in Q4 2013.
As a result of advertisers' increased investment in PLAs, Marin Software's findings indicate the cost-per-click (CPC) of PLAs is also on the rise. Marin found in July 2013, PLA CPCs increased 53% year-over-year, while the CPC of standard text ads increased 10%. Despite the rise in cost, PLA CPCs still remain lower than the CPC of text ads. Marin believes high CTRs at low CPCs represent optimal performance conditions for advertisers.
PLA best practices and additional PLA data figures are available in the full report, "Google Shopping Ads: Product Listing Ads Deliver for Retailers."
Product Listing Ads are a break through format for advertisers, but also a big step toward improving the online shopping experience for users," said Matt Ackley, chief marketing officer at Marin Software. "Google Product Listing Ads showcase what happens when users encounter relevant, engaging ads. There is no doubt the online shopping landscape has been significantly changed by PLAs and we expect even more notable results this holiday shopping season."