(cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog)

In a couple of days, it will be November and the holiday rush will be in full swing. With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year, retailers must make the condensed holiday shopping period count. Here are our top tips for using Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to your advantage this holiday.

Sway undecided shoppers with timely promotions. Gift givers are often in the market for things they don’t normally buy, and according to our recent research, price is the main reason they decide to shop somewhere new. We saw this in action last year, as one in four holiday shoppers purchased from a retailer they had never shopped with before. Including promotional text like free shipping, price discounts, coupons, and purchase incentives in your PLA campaign can help close the deal with shoppers still trying to make up their minds. In fact, one in five say free shipping will be the deciding factor on purchases this year, so make sure your shipping settings in Merchant Center accurately reflect free shipping if you offer it.

Fill in the gaps in your data feed. Great product data powers the most effective PLAs. It helps you win the trust and confidence of active shoppers by letting them know you have exactly what they’re looking for. One of the most worthwhile things you can do is to take a close look at your data feeds and make sure you’re including all the key information that would draw the attention of a potential customer.

Here’s an example of filling in the gaps in your data feed:

Short Sleeve Solid Dress
NY Collection Short Sleeve Solid Green Dress
Short sleeve solid dress…
The NY Collection short sleeve knee length dress…
Google Product Category
Clothing > Sales
Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Dresses > Cocktail Dresses

NY Collection



Keep your data feeds fresh. The holidays are a time for high inventory turnover and price changes, so don’t disappoint potential customers with stale and inaccurate information. Keep your data feed content up-to-date and upload your feed as frequently as needed (up to 4 times per day) to ensure your products have accurate stock statuses, prices, and promotional information. Remember to account a few hours for data feed processing and approvals. 

Build a campaign structure you can maintain through the holiday hustle. Create product targets and bid more aggressively on products with good performance and high demand during the holiday season, such as seasonal items, best sellers, or products with high margins. You should also ensure there is only one All products target with the lowest bid of all your product targets to capture consumer interest in your low priority products.

Maximize your exposure to constantly-connected consumers. People will shop at all hours, across devices this holiday. For example, 84% of shoppers with smartphones actively browse the web while in a store, looking for comparable deals online. At minimum, aim to maximize your visibility on product search results by running both text ads and PLAs. Then focus on incremental gains: ensure your PLAs are showing on mobile devices and increase bids when a consumer is in or near your store, or even while they’re browsing nearby competitors’ offerings. Capitalize on recent improvements in mobile PLAs to increase mobile traffic, and point people to your physical stores with local availability for Product Listing Ads

Posted by Erica Sievert, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping