Working in PPC I spend a lot of my time ensuring that the ad that shows for my clients matches the search query as closely as possible, and has the most “click-worthy content” to get as much relevant traffic as possible.
With search queries such as “canon cameras” this generally means using something like “Canon Cameras from £xx” to get the click. However the increased visibility of Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) is having an impact on this tactic as you can only show specific products:
As you can see a range of products show up in the PLAs for the search “canon cameras”. It is tempting to just follow advertising theories and attempt to show the cheapest relevant product to get the click, nevertheless, I am not entirely convinced this is the best option with PLAs.
When reviewing data from our eCommerce clients we found that typically 70%-85% of users who buy a product after clicking on a PLA go ahead and buy the exact product shown in the ad. Therefore by showing your cheapest product you are only going to get more sales on this product which may not match your business goals or work commercially for you.
I believe we should be using PLAs not to get the highest volume of traffic, but to get clicks on products that you actually want to sell, this may be your best-selling product, a higher margin product or a product of the month. This strategy is advisable as our research has shown that the consumer will be most likely to purchase the product that they click on in a PLA.
Consequently, the answer to my initial question (in my opinion) is no, we should not use lead-in priced products in PLAs on generic search queries such as “canon cameras”.