If you're new to online marketing, Google Shopping -- and the rest of Google's marketing platforms -- might seem alien. Intimidating even. And, to be fair, they can be. But that's no reason to neglect them; with a little know-how, these platforms become powerful assets in your marketing toolkit.

So... What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is the entry point to Google for Retail. Product listing ads, dynamic remarketing ads, local inventory ads, Google Express, shopping actions, Google Manufacturer Center… these are all dependent on Google Shopping (and Merchant Center). So it makes sense that Google Shopping is far and away the most important marketing channel for online retailers.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the Shopping Campaigns is pretty straightforward: the ability to get a complete picture of all Google Ads campaigns – text ads, PLAs and dynamic remarketing ads – in one place.

Before, it was kind of like looking at one large item through two microscopes in an attempt to see the big picture. Now you’ll only have to go to one place to find the data you need, compare performance, and make decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars.

It’s hard to improve your advertising campaign unless you have quantifiable data to show you what’s currently working or not working.

Luckily, Shopping Campaigns gives marketers greater insight into important benchmark data. Users can see category data and, in some cases, hone in on SKU-level data for individual products. Access to SKU-level data depends on the specific product, competitors and search volume. With a Google Shopping campaign, you’ll be able to see data for click-through-rate, max CPC, clicks, impressions, and conversions. It’s all right there in your Google Ads account.

How to Get Started

Before you can start selling on Google Shopping, you'll need a Google Merchant Center and Google Ads (formerly Adwords) account. With that out of the way, you’ll need to set up your Google product feeds and launch your Google Shopping campaign. These processes can get a little complicated, so we’ve provided a full step-by-step guide here. Check it out!