Back in April 2018, Bing Shopping ads finally rolled out of beta in the UK – the first market outside of the US where retailers can now list their products using Bing’s answer to Google Shopping.
Now, Bing Shopping is available in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Canada.
If you’re familiar with Google Shopping, you’ll already have a good idea of what to expect from Bing’s alternative. After all, it’s basically a like-for-like copy of the ecommerce advertising platform Google released in 2012. However, there are some key differences to consider if you’re wondering where to advertise your products – so keep on reading.
Market coverage: Google Shopping gets you further
The first difference you need to consider between Google Shopping and Bing Shopping is market coverage. As we said in the into, Bing Shopping allows you to show product ads in six markets: the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Canada. However, Google Shopping means you can target users in 36 different countries with product listing ads:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US.
Of course, this doesn’t matter if you’re only selling to customers in the UK without any intentions of expanding overseas. Likewise, if you’re going international but only targeting English-speaking nations, then there isn’t much between Bing and Google in terms of market coverage (except the notable exception of Ireland).
Ask yourself who you want to/can sell to and then decide if market coverage is an issue for you or not.
Market share: Google dominates as always
This is arguably the biggest difference between Bing Shopping and Google Shopping. We know Google dominates the search in the UK and, according to data from Statista, market share as of January 2018 stood at 84.91% (Google) vs 11.23% (Bing).
This doesn’t make Bing Shopping look like an appealing advertising platform but keep in mind that 11.23% of the UK’s entire online population is still a huge audience to work with.
Google Shopping Ads vs Bing Shopping Ads
There are some differences in how Google and Bing deliver their shopping ads across search. With Google Shopping, you’ll see product listing ads appear at the top of search results for relevant queries and you’ll also see a Shopping tab appear below the search bar or to the right of search results for some desktop searches.
With Bing, product ads also show below the search bar or to the right of results for some desktop searches, in the same way as Google.
However, there’s no Shopping tab in Bing Search and product ads only appear in Bing Image searches on mobile, not desktop.
Product Listing Ads also appear in Google Image results for desktop searches
While there’s not a lot between Google and Bing in terms of where they deliver their ads, it’s worth keeping the subtle differences in mind when you’re creating campaigns on either platform.
Ad formats on Google Shopping and Bing Shopping
A more noticeable difference between Google and Bing’s shopping ads are the formats currently available. Google offers three main types of shopping ads: Product Listing Ads, Showcase Shopping ads and Local inventory ads.
Product Listing Ads are the regular Google Shopping ads we’ve been looking at in this article so far and Bing’s product ads are essentially the same. However, Google also offers Showcase Shopping ads for you to show a range of different products within the same category and Local inventory ads to help drive store visits from people in the nearby area.
Currently, Bing has no ad format similar to Google’s Showcase Shopping ads but it has created its own answer to Local inventory ads. Unfortunately, these are currently only available as a pilot to advertisers in the US, which means regular product ads are the only option available to advertisers in the UK.
What about costs-per-click?
If you’ve been wondering what strength Bing can possibly offer over Google Shopping throughout this article, then you’ll be glad to hear that costs-per-click tend to be cheaper on Bing Shopping. Of course, this depends on the strategy you implement and other factors like quality score but we can tell you our Bing Shopping CPCs are consistently cheaper than Google Shopping – sometimes significantly.
In other words, it will probably cost you less to sell a product on Bing Shopping than it will with Google.
Where should I advertise my products?
There’s no doubt Google offers more in terms of market coverage and user numbers. It also offers the better advertising platform with richer features tools to help you get the best possible results. The key downside to Google Shopping is that CPCs tend to be higher than Bing Shopping.
So this leaves us with one platform that’s generally cheaper to use vs one that offers access to the sizeable majority of the market.
That makes the Google Shopping vs Bing Shopping question sound tricky but the truth is you want to be advertising your products on both of these platforms. You want cheaper CPCs and access to the majority of the market – not one or the other. The hard part is dividing your budget between Google and Bing, not deciding which one to use.
Keep in mind that lower CPCs aren’t the end goal with paid advertising. If you’re spending more to make more, then lower CPCs can actually be detrimental to your overall profit margins – so try to find the right balance between keeping those CPCs down and hitting the best sales targets.