Blog Post

The Key to Winning on Google Shopping:
Track Your Price Competitiveness

What is the impact of pricing on Google Shopping performance, and how can you factor it into your optimisation strategy.

Rob Simpkins

Rob Simpkins

Head of Service, Founder



Google Shopping is a powerful platform for retailers to reach new customers and grow their businesses. However, in order to be successful on Google Shopping, it’s important to be price competitive.

That’s because Google Shopping shows products in a “shopping feed,” where products are ranked based on a variety of factors, including price. If your products are priced too high, they’re less likely to show up in the shopping feed, and you’ll miss out on potential sales.

Why does price competitiveness matter?


There are a few reasons why price competitiveness matters so much on Google Shopping. First, Google Shopping users are often price-sensitive. They’re looking for the best deals, and they’re not afraid to switch retailers if they find a better price.

Second, Google Shopping is a competitive marketplace. There are millions of products listed on Google Shopping, and retailers are constantly competing for clicks and conversions. If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to be price competitive.

Now more than ever, it’s essential to incorporate external data signals into your paid search strategy. The bidding algorithms are the engine of your campaigns, and data is the fuel. If you’re not incorporating one of the most important Google Shopping data points in your strategy you’re going to get left behind by your competition.

How to track price competitiveness?


Traditionally, if advertisers wanted to track price competitiveness, they’d purchase a 3rd party tool that tracks price on individual SKUs, against a set of fixed competitors. This data is useful to use as part of your Google Shopping strategy if people are searching for individual products, and there are a limited number of merchants selling the product.

In reality, Google prefers to show a mix of products in the shopping ad unit. This increases the likelihood that someone will see a product they’re interested in, and therefore click (meaning Google gets paid). Additionally, people using more generic searches aren’t looking for a specific product, and displaying a variety of products makes more sense.

In these cases, it’s more important to track your price, relative to the other products being shown in the same auctions. The Propel Digital script (link here) starts collecting this data from the moment it is implemented in your Google Ads account. The entry-level version allows you to collect performance data for 5 SKUs and plots it in a Google Sheet alongside your price competitiveness benchmark. Advertisers can then assess the impact of price on performance, and start taking action against it.

Using pricing data to improve your Google Shopping campaigns


Once you’ve tracked your price competitiveness, you can use the data to improve your Google Shopping campaigns. Here are a few tips:

Collect the data, and set up meaningful reports and visualisations.Next, analyse the data and determine what impact price has on your performance. In our experience, price impacts performance in 2 ways:

  1. The more price competitive you are, the more your ads will show, and the more traffic you will drive. Price is a key driver of Google Shopping ranking
  2. An improvement in price competitiveness increases conversion rate, leading to more conversions (or vice versa).

Once you understand what impact the data has on performance, you can start to take action. Creating a custom label in your feed based on good, average and poor price competitiveness will allow you to segment your campaigns accordingly. You can then use different budgets and bid strategies on those campaigns.

Setup alerts that tell you when there has been a change in price relative to your competitors. Most PPC account managers don’t control prices, but can talk to the merchandising team that does. Create an automated process that informs both teams, so that action can be taken to address the performance change following a move in market prices.

Client case studies


Here are a few case studies from retailers who have used price competitiveness data to improve their Google Shopping campaigns:

Sports Retailer: an online sports retailer selling commodity-style products with very little differentiation across different advertisers, noticed a clear drop in conversion rate and sales when price competitiveness deteriorated. The merchandising team immediately reduced the price just below average market rate, and conversion rate soared higher than it had been previously. No changes in Google Ads were needed from the PPC account management team to improve performance here.

Womens Fashion Retailer: after seeing volatile performance of hero products, the paid search team implemented price competitiveness tracking to review if this was to blame. They noticed a clear drop in impressions and clicks when price competitiveness dropped. Upon reducing prices, this led to much higher ranking in their eligible auctions, and therefore higher traffic, sales and ultimately profit.

Price competitiveness is an important factor for success on Google Shopping. By tracking your price competitiveness and using the data to improve your campaigns, you can increase your traffic, improve spend efficiency and ultimately drive more sales for your business.

What should your next steps be?


To start leveraging price competitiveness data in your Google Shopping strategy, head to this page and download our free Price Tracker script. The document has clear instructions on how to implement the script, and if you need additional support give them a shout.

I encourage you to start tracking your price competitiveness today and see how the data can help you improve your Google Shopping campaigns.

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