Should Your eCommerce Brand Be Using Google Shopping For Remarketing? Here’s How To Tell.

online shopping

If you are like most direct to consumer eCommerce brands your primary customer acquisition channel is probably Facebook.

This makes sense since Facebook gives you access to approximately 1.45 billion users per day. However, one channel which I think most merchants overlook, especially for remarketing, is Google Shopping.

In this post, I’ll show you how to determine if your brand should be remarketing on Google Shopping.

What Are Your Competitors Doing?

The first step is to see if your category of products show up on shopping ads when you search for them. For example, let’s say to sell a beachwear brand, take one of your products and search for it.

Here’s an example for the search “men’s beach shorts”

mens beach wear

Try a variety of searches using very general search terms. Search terms that a customer might use to find your type of products.

If you see other merchants selling similar products then its time to go to Google Analytics to see how your customer behave in your store. This will help you determine if you should test Google Shopping as a remarketing channel for your brand.

If you are not using Google Analytics you should be.  Small to medium store owners usually have finite resources which means you need to know exactly what’s happening in your store so you can optimize your marketing efforts better.

Google Analytics gives you a central place to see how customers interact with your store from all channels, that valuable insight lets you find opportunities you can leverage and bottlenecks in your funnels that you should remove.

Inside Google Analytics look at your top conversion paths, this will give you an idea of the paths your customers take towards a purchase.

You’ll find this under Conversions (on the left-hand side menu)

Assisted Conversions

If your top conversion paths show that some of your customers are coming from organic search, then Google Shopping is a remarketing channel you should test.

organic search assisted conversions

You may be thinking, why should I do that? I’m already getting free customers from organic search.

The reason is that humans are lazy, we almost always take the path of least resistance.

For example, If you do a Google search, how often do you scroll to the bottom of the page or even go to page 2?

The fact that you are getting “free” customers is great, but you can increase your revenue by showing up at the top of the page with images!

After all, you’re most likely responsible for those organic search queries in the first place.

This happens a lot more than merchants realize. As you run Facebook and Instagram ads in your customer acquisition efforts you are also building residual brand recognition and desire.

Often your prospect sees your ads on Facebook, clicks and views the product but doesn’t buy, then a few days later searches for a similar product on Google and makes a purchase.

The stimulus for that purchase came from your Facebook ads but if you are not showing up high enough on the search results, that sale will go to another merchant.

The objective of the remarketing campaign on Google Shopping is to scoop up all the people who are searching for similar products because of your marketing efforts elsewhere.

In some cases, they may even be searching for your brand name or if you have specific product names, they may be searching for those product names.

Depending on how unique or generic your product names are, you may sure up very high on the organic search results and you may not.

Google Shopping remarketing campaigns ensure that you are always right at the top.

Some tips on setting up effective Shopping remarketing campaigns

Here are some tips on how to set up effective remarketing campaigns on Shopping.

Obviously, you must have your Adwords account and Analytics account linked and have created your Merchant center account.

If you only have a handful of SKUs, say less than 30, you can get away with a manual feed but most eCommerce platforms like Shopify have apps you can use that will dynamically link your product catalogue to your Merchant Center account.

If you are acquiring customers on Facebook then you probably already have a Facebook product catalogue feed set up, so this will be straightforward.

Once the basic infrastructure is set-up use the following tips.

Time-based remarketing audiences

Set up time-based remarketing audiences inside Analytics.

For example, “cart visitors – 7 days, cart visitors – 14 days, etc.” We like to set up 7, 14, 30 and 60-day audiences for all cart visitors, all purchasers and all store visitors.

If you have high-profit products that you want to highlight, then create remarketing audiences based on product pages (or product categories)

Shopping campaign focused ONLY on your visitors

This is an error we see a lot with these types of campaigns and the Adwords’ set-up flow doesn’t help.

When you are adding audiences to your shopping remarketing campaign make sure you select “Targeting” instead of “Observation”.


This option will make sure ONLY people in your remarketing audience see your ads.

As a rule of thumb, always be wary of “recommended” options on Adwords or Facebook, they rarely give good results and often lead to wasted ad spend.

Bid higher for “hot” prospects

Lastly, set up bid adjustments for your “hot” prospects.

This is the reason why we set up time-based remarketing lists. You want to bid higher for 7-day cart visitors as compared to 60-day all visitors.

The idea is that if someone added your product to cart in the last 7 days but is now on Google searching for a similar product, you want to show up first in the shopping listing for that person.

Also, if you sell a replenishable product like cosmetics, supplements, or anything that your customers have to re-order, then you want to bid higher for those customers as well, meaning you want to bid higher for older customers since they have likely run out of the product.

Let say you know that your bottle of supplements normally runs out in 30 days, for example, then 30-day purchasers should have a higher bid adjustment because those customers are likely looking to re-order.

Test different bid adjustments over time to see how they affect your revenue and ROAS because performance will vary depending on how your customers interact with your store and their purchase cycles.

I hope you test these remarketing campaigns for your brand, you may be pleasantly surprised.