Google Shopping Ads vs Amazon Product Ads: Which is Better?

Living in a digital space has been our norm for a long time and, as seems, will continue to be.

There is no doubt: the pandemic transformed a lot of things, from the way we communicate, travel and, ultimately, shop.

With online commerce taking over in-store commerce, the need to advertise your products on the most popular e-commerce networks has become more and more important.

In fact, most businesses have chosen to get their products displayed on Google Shopping, which is Google’s advertising network for e-commerce and the most popular advertising channel for online shops.

However, in recent years a new and particularly strong competitor entered in the agenda of e-commerce businesses: Amazon. We’re obviously talking about the opportunity to advertise products on Amazon and how this is challenging the well-established Google counterpart.

Throughout this blog, we will be exploring Google Shopping Ads and Amazon Product ads, drawing on their differences and similarities, to help settle the debate on which one is best.

PS: Did you know that e-commerce businesses can also sell their products on social media? That’s what we call social commerce and we wrote about it in a previous article, which you can find below

Social Commerce vs eCommerce Whats the Difference

Google Shopping Ads vs Amazon Products Ads has been a hot topic amongst marketers and business owners, seeking to better understand and know which platform can best meet their business needs.

Although they both provide a space for retailers to sell and promote their products; when broken down you’ll see that they are two sides of the same coin. You’ll leave knowing exactly which one to invest more into.

Google Shopping Ads: what are they & how do they work?

Before pinning these two giants against each other, we must first define them to make sure we are all on the same page. Google’s official definition of shopping ads are as

“A comparison-shopping engine that includes rich product information, such as a product image, price and merchant name”

These types of ads instantly distinguish themselves from Google Search and Display ads, due to their visual appeal and detailed product description which sometimes even come with product reviews. Therefore a potential customer searching for an oversized jumper, for example, can instantly see everything about that product before even visiting the product website.

Information from the product’s price, retailer and delivery options are displayed clearly and aided by a picture of the product so that customers don’t have to question whether the results shown in their search query are relevant and correct.

Shopping ads eliminate a lot of the guesswork, especially compared to Search Ads, which not only fail to give the same level of detail but perform lower within retail searches. Shopping Ads are proven to produce a 30% higher conversion rate and provide more possibility for realtors to boost their sales.

Though we all know, marketing should never be done with only one method, incorporating Shopping Ads with Search and Display Ads is also a great way of expanding your reach and boosting your online visibility as they follow different objectives.

Google’s smart algorithms are also tuned into the performance of Shopping Ads that it rewards them by placing them right at the top and top right-hand corner of the SERP, ensuring that it’s in clear view for potential customers. Although this is not a feature exclusive to Google Shopping Ads as Amazon Products Ads are also placed at the top of the result page, Google Shopping Ads nonetheless present opportunities and advantages that  Amazon Product Ads don’t.

Benefits of Google Shopping Ads

1. Increase website traffic

If we relate to our earlier example of a customer searching for an oversized jumper, the customer is able to make an informed decision on which ad to click. They are then redirected to the product landing page of the company website to complete their order. If a business goal is therefore to boost traffic, Google Shopping ads are their best bet, as they have shown to produce a 12% increase in website traffic, 6% CTR, and an 8% increase in conversions. Here is where Amazon lacks as when a customer clicks on a Product Ads they are not directed outside of the product page within Amazon, offering no potential for website traffic.

2. Boost Sales

A customer’s point of entry into the company website presents many opportunities for the retailer to cross sell, as now the customer has access to a company’s entire inventory, all they have to do is click on their ad, how easy! This presents the customer looking for the oversized jumper, the option to now browse for trousers and shoes to go with it and by the end the opportunity to purchase an entire outfit. This is also beneficial for physical stores as 80 % of customers are more likely to visit a physical store and buy the product they want if they know it’s there. Therefore whether it’s online or offline, exposing customers to all your products increases their spending intent which results in a boost in sales.

3. Build Brand Awareness

If conversions are not necessarily your business goal there is still so much you can get from Google Shopping ads, specifically building your brand awareness. As mentioned above you can incorporate all the Google Ad formats to expose your brand as much as possible and put yourself in front of people looking for your services and products. You can also retarget the customers by collecting their information, so even if they go through the motion of purchasing a product but abandon the cart, you can still have them in your marketing databases and keep interacting with them through email marketing, where you can send them monthly newsletter, promotions and much more for the customer to remember your brand. This overall creates a better relationship with your customers and gives them more of an incentive to come back to your store and refer their friends and family. These type of ads have even be noted to increase brand awareness by 80%.

Based on these Google Shopping ads may seem like the clear winner as it provides a lot of growth opportunities for businesses to leverage with eCommerce stores and a seamless shopping experience for the customer.
However, Amazon is not out of the race just yet, having had a  40% increased revenue in 2019, Amazon has quickly become a big power house and a competition for Google.

4.Cost effectiveness

Due to the fact that it’s not technically a “Marketplace” same as Amazon, eBay or equivalent, being part of Google Shopping Network doesn’t have any additional cost other than the advertising one. Being on Amazon, you normally have to sustain additional costs such as subscription fees and percent charges on each product sold, which ultimately increases the overall cost of advertising. So, if you just started and are not selling on Amazon yet, you might want to take this into consideration when it comes to deciding which one is better for you.

benefits of social commerce to customers and retailers

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads: what are they & how do they work?

One massive advantage of Amazon is that it is a marketplace that can be used as a search engine, but it is also an eCommerce store, which already has your name, shipping address, payment and search history on record, making the purchase journey super easy for the customer. 89% of customers are more likely to buy products on Amazon than on any other eCommerce store.

So Amazon is in no doubt one of the more popular options for customers, in fact, 66% of customers begin their search for new products on Amazon, which is higher than the 20% coming from Search Engines. 

So if that’s the appeal for customers what does it provide the retailer?

Well, Amazon, like Google, provides loads of different ad formats, Sponsored Product ads, which are “ ads for individual product listings on Amazon, appearing within shopping results pages and on product detail pages., are able to reach customers of high intent helping retailers place their products in front of them and improving chances for conversation. These ads are also placed at the top of the results page through keyword targeting and at the bottom of your competitors product page through product targeting.

This presents an advantage over Google Shopping Ads. Let’s explore.

Benefits of Amazon Ads

1. Keyword targeting

Keyword targeting means being able to choose the product queries you want to appear and enables more precise and narrow targeting, which in turn means that customers searching for particular products on Amazon will match better with product results and are more likely to make a purchase.

Thus the ability to navigate between using the broad, phrase and exact matching keywords and negative keywords manually for a closer match, gives retailers control over their ads. In PPC clicks mean money, therefore a huge advantage of this also allows retailers to have better financial control. Manually setting up your keywords means that your budget won’t have to waste on clicks and searches which don’t correlate with your ads. Granted cost per click is as little as £0.60 -£1.50 ( $0.84 – $2) on Amazon, but every penny helps! You don’t want a lower ROI due to paying for clicks on services and products you don’t provide.

2. Conversion Tracking

When it comes to tracking your campaigns, analysing what’s working and what isn’t, whether you are making a profit or not Amazon Ads has the upper hand. The eCommerce style has a built-in metric system that helps track orders, conversion and revenue. This data is collated in an easy and quick format so that you can instantly start reviewing your ad campaigns, which someone new to the platform could be an attractive bonus and definitely less intimidating than Google’s ‘do it yourself approach. For Google shopping Ads, you are required to create your conversion tracking, which could be very difficult and tedious if you think about every stage of the customer journey you want to measure, e.g tracking, purchases, lead submission and more.

3. Amazing Conversion Rates

Let’s be clear, Amazon is obviously the place where most of the eCommerce happens globally. When people land on Amazon the intent is, clearly, to buy and thus appearing in the top positions could make a huge difference and generate very good returns.

Of course, Amazon knows that and they want to be paid for it, which is why the cost is significantly higher than Google Shopping but, on the other hand, the expected conversion rate is approximately 5 times better. Recent data suggests that Amazon Ads have an average 10% conversion rate in comparison to Google Shopping Ads which have around a 2% conversion rate.

Google Shopping vs Amazon Product Ads: the results

Of course, both platforms offer plenty of benefits and we could be here for ages debating which one is the best. The real answer is both.

Though this might seem like the most diplomatic answer, it untimely boils down to what you are looking for. Every business has different goals and targets that both platforms can provide.

For example, if you’re a business wanting to increase website traffic, cross-sell and build brand awareness by engaging with customers at different points of the sales funnel, Google shopping Ads is the clear winner. On the other hand, if you are a small business that sells on Amazon (or wants to start selling) not concerned with sending people to their website, but mainly focused on conversions and selling products and tracking campaigns in an easy and user-friendly manner, then Amazon Products take the lead. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve with ads, will determine who comes out victorious in the Google or Amazon battle.

At Three Sixtee, we helped many businesses succeed on Google Shopping and Amazon.  Want to be the next? Let’s have a chat!


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