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Three trends and actions to build successful Shopping campaigns in 2023

By Daniel Castelblanco and Nastazia Manousou, Marketing Team, Google Shopping | Expertise Series [February 2022]
Three trends and actions to build successful Shopping campaigns in 2023

The beginning of the year is a good time to reflect on your results and learnings from the busy peak season, review campaign performance, and refine your plans for the coming year. This can be a complex process, especially in a dynamic and ever-changing economic landscape. Emerging trends influence everything from strategy to budget and creative ideation.

To help with your 2023 planning, the Google Shopping (CSS) team have mapped out the key trends and actions you can take to land your Shopping campaigns efficiently and successfully.

2023 Shopping trends

It’s important to understand key shopping trends and identify new research and buying patterns across different audiences. This can help you make more informed decisions on your Shopping campaign strategy and preparation. So let’s dive in:

Key trends How to leverage these trends for your Shopping campaigns

A. Shoppers’ searches are more specific than ever1

While researching and comparing products, people use more descriptive words known as “modifiers”. This helps them navigate information more easily and narrow down the most relevant results for their needs.

Identify more tailored or unique searches that link with your products

You can help consumers find exactly what they’re searching for by writing more specific product descriptions that meet their individual needs and preferences.

Using Google Trends and search terms in Google Ads will show you which search terms people are looking for, so you can adjust your titles and descriptions in your campaigns to maximise relevance and appeal.

B. People prefer more visual and diverse media

The way users search for products online is evolving2, whether they’re looking for something specific or trying to find inspiration. Authentic and relevant content can help you connect with diverse audiences. Generation Z, for example, has evolving needs that require businesses to be dynamic3 and embrace the diverse world Gen Zers live in.

Use more engaging formats in your campaigns

Compelling visual assets like images and videos can assist with searches, and attract and engage visual-forward audiences, such as Gen Z.

Tip: In Performance Max campaigns, focus on developing creative asset groups to help build engaging images and videos for your audience (read more below in action 3: ‘Be creative’).

Be more diverse in your ads

Use more inclusive language or visuals that are consistent with your brand and company values. This can help you reach and connect with these audiences.

C. Uncertainty will continue to influence purchase behaviours

The uncertainty experienced by many shoppers in 2022 will likely extend for some time. So people may be more intentional4 about what they buy, online and in-store. 

Balancing price and quality is particularly important. Shoppers will probably continue to compare prices and promotions in detail and leverage resources - like online ratings and reviews - to feel more confident, especially for large purchases.

Stand out by providing details shoppers care about

As shoppers research more thoroughly their options before making a purchase, you have the opportunity to position yourself as their best choice by providing information on core aspects of the item/service.

When setting up your feeds, use all relevant annotations to provide details on:

  • Price drops

  • Free shipping

  • Product ratings and more

These elements can make the difference in purchasing decisions.

Key actions for success with your 2023 Shopping campaigns

Considering these trends, it’s important you invest your time and resources to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of your Shopping campaigns. New tools and campaign types – such as Performance Max – can help you sharpen your focus and prioritise your next steps. We’ve gathered three key actions that we recommend prioritising in 2023:

1. Be strategic: Align your Shopping campaign action plan with your business goals

When planning your Shopping campaigns for the new year, the three questions below can help you create an action plan focusing on key areas for your business:

Key questions How this can benefit your Shopping campaigns

A. List the strategic objectives you aim to achieve with your 2023 Shopping campaigns, then ask – are your current and planned Shopping campaigns aligned with these objectives?

Use strategic objectives such as profitability, stock management, or new Customer Acquisition as your North Star. Then design your overall campaign structure to meet these goals.

B. Are you measuring the performance of your Shopping campaigns directly against your most strategic business and marketing objectives?

After you define your objectives, set up a process to measure the performance of your campaigns. Use the reports in your Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts when doing this.

Tip: Explore using new resources such as the Insights page in Performance Max.

C. Ensure your campaign structure and strategy are up to date, then ask – are you making the most of the latest tools and campaign types, such as Performance Max?

Use the latest automated solutions, allocate enough budget to maximise sales and return on ad spend (ROAS), and follow Performance Max best practices for assets and audience lists.

2. Be feed-health driven: Prioritise optimising your feed in Merchant Center

Your Merchant Center feed is one of the building blocks of your Shopping campaigns. As optimising feed health will likely remain a priority in 2023, consider the following recommendations:

Use descriptive product titles 

The title is one of the most prominent parts of your Shopping ads. Give it the attention it deserves – improve your product search relevance by using direct, descriptive titles.

Think, where are people seeing your ads? Depending on their device’s screen size, they may only see the first few characters of your title. So include attributes relevant to a user’s search, such as brand, colour, material, or size within the title’s first 70 characters.

Include detailed product descriptions

Use the description attribute to tell customers about products accurately and in detail. Include relevant information with keywords that deliver the most impressions from search terms.

Be specific and accurate, listing the most important details in the first 160–500 characters. Using tools like Google Trends and information from your landing page can be helpful.

Choose your product images carefully 

Select product images which accurately show the entire product. Use minimal or no product staging, and high-quality pictures that meet the minimum requirements and guidelines. 

Finally, if it’s a good fit for your account, we recommend activating automatic image improvements. This will improve your images by removing things like promotional overlays, which can help prevent disapprovals.

3. Be creative: Focus on creating high-quality assets for Performance Max campaigns

Performance Max campaigns use Google’s automation technologies across bidding, budget optimisation, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more. This allows you to find more interested customers across all Google channels. As you create and optimise your Performance Max campaigns, we advise pivoting your 2023 focus towards building high-quality asset groups, with elements like headlines, descriptions, images, and videos.

While you don’t need to supply additional creative assets to launch a Performance Max campaign, we advise doing so if you’re using a Merchant Center feed. This is likely to be a key differentiating factor for advertisers looking to maximise their campaign’s reach and performance this year.

Familiarise yourself with the guidelines and best practices, and invest time in thinking creatively about each relevant asset.

This is how it looks in your Google Ads interface:

Google Ads interface

Source for the image: Google Ads Help Center


As 2023 brings new opportunities, businesses can double down on efficiency and effectiveness using the latest tools and campaign types, such as Performance Max. This will help them focus on what’s relevant.  

It is essential to be strategic, prioritise feed health, and pivot focus towards creativity. This will be fundamental for achieving success. Whether the goal is to improve top-line growth with sales and new customer acquisition or to optimise the bottom line with increased ROAS and marketing budget efficiency, the Google Shopping (CSS) team will continue to partner with businesses across Europe to help them achieve their goals.

This article was published by Google Shopping (CSS). Google Shopping is Google's CSS and a Premium CSS Partner.

1 Think with Google (2022), ‘Searches are getting more specific. This can help you spot early intent’

2 Think with Google (2022), ‘What the latest Search innovations mean for marketers’

3 Think with Google (2022), ‘Top digital marketing trends and predictions for 2023’

4 Think with Google (2022), ‘What 2022 holiday shopping trends and insights mean for marketers in 2023’

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