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Report: Google Product Listing Ads Drive CSE Channel Growth, Cannibalize Text Ad Clicks

The August Same Store Sales report from ChannelAdvisor shows that the 7.7 percent growth from Comparison Shopping Engines was driven by the product listing ads (PLAs) that power Google Shopping. Search (traditional AdWords text ads) saw just a slight uptick in growth at 0.2% in August. Both channels grew more slowly than comScore’s overall ecommerce growth rate of 16 percent in Q2.

In a summary statement, ChannelAdvisor reports, “Google Shopping continues to show strength in this category helping offset headwinds from traditional CSEs.” While the average order value (AOV) from Google Shopping/PLA fell 14.6 percent year-over-year to $95.14 as more merchants entered the program, conversion rates actually increased 5.2 percent to 2.35 percent.


Search grew just slightly throughout the summer. August’s 0.2 percent increase was down from July’s 0.6 percent growth rate. Clicks fell 3 percent year-over-year, which ChannelAdvisor attributes to cannibalization from PLAs. Search conversion rates were flat year-over-year, holding at 2.63 percent. However, AOV rose 8 percent and cost-per-click dropped 6 percent to $0.50 year-over-year.

While Search and CSE growth lagged behind that of the overall ecommerce market, Amazon and eBay continue to show strong SSS growth. Read more about their performance on Marketing Land: Amazon And eBay Same Store Sales Growing Faster Than Overall Ecommerce.