What makes PLAs so popular right now?


PLAs so popular right nowProduct Listing Ads have become the advertising statement for many retailers across the globe. In the past few months, there has been a meteoric rise in the number of retailers investing in PLAs. Since the year 20111 when PLAs was first launched by Google, there has been an overwhelming adoption, accounting for more than 43% of ad clicks in the Q1 of 2016. For non branded products, the click rate was 70% according to the latest reports.

PLA has completely changed the game of online advertising. A year ago, marketers were all about trying to optimize keywords and ad copies and still expect a 30% of the cake as the best case scenario. However, PLA, being a feed driven model will drive faster and more accurate results. Google Shopping accounts for more than 31.7% of online sales in the holiday season and this is almost double of what popular retail platforms like Amazon is experiencing. There have been several drivers of growth when it comes to PLAs. Among the most popular are:

Smartphones / mobiles

The smart phone has truly lived up to the idea of being mobile, especially when it comes to shopping and selling on the go. The phone spend and number of clicks for the Q1 of 2016 stood at 193% and 162% respectively, denoting a solid growth in this industry. There are a number of reasons why mobiles have become a natural platform for PLAs. First of the reasons is the increasing use of internet. Smartphone ownership has been rising across the globe and users, even in the most rural localities are looking to get connected.

Google also boasts of being the favorite search engine and with devices growing, so are the opportunities for PLA. Considering the high demand for product searches on Google, the search engine has also increased the size and frequency of these ads. To strengthen its position as an advertiser, Google has also begun to show more PLA in image searches. Partner traffic has certainly been of advantage to PLA programs.

In the past year, the shopping sales from Google increased by 52% according to Sidecar. While the biggest reasons behind this growth have been mobiles, the listing ads experienced:

  • A 171% increase in number of clicks
  • A 171% increase in the number of orders
  • A 23% increases of ROAS
  • A 164% increase in the amount of sales
  • An overall 45% increase in the revenues earned from mobile devices

These numbers are enough to encourage retails more in shopping advertisements. So, what’s the next step for retailers who aren’t updated yet? The priorities should be:

  1. About optimizing the product feed to match Google requirements
  2. Updated feed in terms of product availability, selection and the pricing
  3. Intelligent shopping campaign construction to effectively bid for products
  4. Segmentation of the campaign using query type, ranging from traffic brand to bid campaigns for non-branded products
  5. Using smart bidding platform capable to meet targets effectively
  6. Better time management of error feed, disapproved feed to keep your PLA intact
  7. A consistent search report that monitors structural Campaign guides and other keyword additions

The ability to make PLAs, your priority can serve effectively to become the biggest vehicle of search growth for all kinds of ecommerce brands.

Google’s trusted store is not a form of marketing channel but rather a medium of customer reassurance. Google being synonymous with internet itself is one of the most trusted platforms that customers across the globe rely on. Having your product ads placed in Google is also a way of reassuring your customer of the credibility of your site. With major shopping / ecommerce platforms coming up with a separate mobile app for their customers, the traditional shopping process still starts with trying your query with Google search engine. For more than 3.6% of these users, Google also becomes the last step in the buying process. With a conversion rate so favorable, the implications of PLAs are increasing and regardless of the size and nature of the business, every retailer is competing for the search engine ad space.

The popularity of PLA will exist as long as people use search engines for everyday queries and we don’t think that the habit will ever die!



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