If your online store lacks a global presence, running Google Shopping campaigns in other countries can help you reach customers abroad and generate more international sales. But setting up international Google Shopping campaigns isn’t as straightforward as setting up such a campaign for your home country. There are language and currency issues to think about, not to mention logistics matters such as how you’ll ship your products abroad.
Here, we’ll walk you through six steps for internationalizing your Google Shopping campaigns and reaching more customers across borders.
1. Decide on the Countries for Your Google Shopping Campaigns
While you may have cross-border ecommerce domination in your sights, Google supports the running of Google Shopping campaigns in only selected countries and currencies. These countries and currencies include:
United States: U.S. Dollar (USD)
United Kingdom: British Pound (GBP)
Germany: Euro (EUR)
Austria: Euro (EUR)
Netherlands: Euro (EUR)
Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
You can find the full list of supported countries and currency requirements on this Google support page. Check it out, then decide on the countries for which you want to set up Google Shopping campaigns.
Then, for each country on your shortlist, consider issues such as:
Shipping: Start working out how you’ll ship your products to your target countries. For example, you may need to secure air and sea shipping arrangements with logistics partners.
Language of your target audience: What languages do the people in your target countries speak? Prepare versions of your Google Shopping landing pages in these languages to help users understand them (more on this in step three below).
Currency: Find out the native currency of your target countries and reprice your products in this currency. Taking payments in your customers’ local currency will reduce the friction in making a sale as they need not do troublesome currency conversions beforehand.
Tax policies: Check the liability of retailers to pay sales tax in your target countries. If you’re required to pay sales tax, register your business with these countries’ tax authorities and implement a system to accurately calculate, report, and pay the amount of taxes due.
2. Localize Your Google Shopping Product Data
You’ll need to submit data on your products to Google before setting up your Google Shopping campaigns. Such data includes the product title, description, image link, and price (in its associated currency). View the full range of available product data attributes on this Google support page.
The product data you submit should be localized for your Google Shopping campaigns’ target countries. For example, you may need to:
Translate your product’s title and description.
State the price in your users’ home currency.
Provide a link to an image that includes elements of your target audience’s culture.
Doing all this can be tedious if you’re localizing your product data manually – and especially if you intend to put up multiple Google Shopping product listings.
But if you’re using Weglot to translate your website, it can also help translate the product data in existing Google Shopping feeds (such as a product feed for your home country, for example).
Which pages will users land on and visit after clicking your Google Shopping ad? Map out the entire user flow – from your product listings to your shopping policies, checkout page, and so on – and localize your web pages accordingly.
Displaying your prices in your target audience’s local currency.
Calculating and collecting the appropriate amount of sales tax.
Strictly speaking, translating the landing pages associated with your Google Shopping ads isn’t a must. As long as your landing pages are in a language that Google supports (as mentioned above), you’ll be able to run Google Shopping ads with them.
Neither is it mandatory to state your prices in your target audience’s local currency. Google can automatically convert the currency for you, and show the converted currency alongside the different currency you’re using for your products.
Nevertheless, we’d recommend localizing your landing pages to help international customers understand your content and place orders with you. Just imagine you are browsing a page in a language you have trouble deciphering. Will you stay on the website for long, much less buy something from it? Probably not.
Although website translation involves quite a bit of work, Weglot can dramatically speed up the process. When installed on a website, Weglot detects its content and instantly translates all discovered text using a proprietary mix of machine learning translations. The resulting high-quality translations can also be fine-tuned by hand before being published. You can try Weglot on your website for free here.
4. Set up the Product Feeds for Your International Google Shopping Campaigns
With the foundational work out of the way, you can set up your international Google Shopping campaigns properly!
Log into the Google Merchant Center and set up a new feed for submitting your (localized) product data to Google. You can input your product data in various ways, such as via a Google Sheet or by uploading a file from your computer.
To increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, we suggest setting up separate product data feeds for each target audience based on their currency, country, and primary language. Doing so lets you localize your product feeds perfectly for each target audience.
For example, we’d recommend having separate product feeds for each of these audiences:
That said, it is possible to reuse product feeds across multiple countries if your target audiences speak the same language and pay using the same currency.
Following from the table above, for instance, you could reuse your product feed meant for English speakers in France for English speakers in Italy. After all, both audiences speak the same language and pay using the same currency (namely, the Euro). They could therefore engage with the same landing page with few issues.
To reuse your feed in this manner, edit the feed settings for your product feed meant for English speakers in France to add a new target country of Italy.
In contrast, however, we wouldn’t recommend adding the United States as a new country to your product feed meant for English speakers in France. If you did so, you’d end up displaying Euro prices to people who pay using the U.S. Dollar. Not the best move for facilitating a smooth shopping experience!
5. Set up Google Shopping Campaigns for Each of Your Target Countries
After setting up your product feeds in the Google Merchant Center, head over to the Google Ads platform to create a new Shopping campaign. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to link your Merchant Center account with your Google Ads one.
When creating your Shopping campaign, select the product feeds you want to advertise using it. Also, fill out settings such as:
Bidding: The amount you want to pay for your ads. For example, selecting “manual CPC” lets you set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads.
Budget: Your average daily budget for your campaign.
Locations: The locations in which you want to display your ads. Unlike the country settings for product feeds, you can state even more specific locations for your Shopping campaigns, such as certain cities, regions, or postal codes.
Create as many Shopping campaigns as you need for your target countries and audiences. To learn more about creating a new Google Shopping campaign, refer to this Google support page.
6. Monitor the Performance of Your Google Shopping Campaigns
Let your Google Shopping campaigns run, then use their results to guide your next steps.
For instance, if your clickthrough rate seems low, this could suggest that your ad doesn’t sufficiently entice users to click it after they’ve seen it. In this case, try replacing your ad copy or images with something more compelling.
Alternatively, a low ready-to-serve percentage indicates that many of the products you’ve submitted to the Google Merchant Center are out of stock. (Google does not display ads for out-of-stock products.) To raise your ready-to-serve percentage, increase your inventory for products that are out of stock.
You can also run experiments to optimize your Shopping campaigns. A/B-testing may be especially helpful here, where you run two versions of the same campaign to determine which one is more effective. You could play around with your ad copy, images, or even price, until you hit upon a winning combination.
Ready to Run International Google Shopping Campaigns?
Does the above sound like a lot? Here’s a handy phrase to help you remember the steps for creating Google Shopping campaigns for multiple countries: “Decide, Localize, Set Up, Refine.”
Creating Google Shopping campaigns for multiple countries first involves deciding on the countries for which you want to run such ads. Next, localize your product data and landing pages to foster a seamless experience for users who interact with your ads. You’ll then submit your product data to Google and create your Shopping campaigns (again, we recommend setting up separate product feeds for each target audience!)
And after you’ve launched your ads, keep track of their performance. Refine your campaigns based on what’s working – and what isn’t – to get the highest returns for your advertising budget.
Weglot’s website translation solution will prove essential as you work on your international Google Shopping campaigns. It translates web content into over 110 different languages with a high degree of accuracy, and also offers media translation features for replacing images with more culturally appropriate variants. Weglot can translate your product feeds too, freeing up more resources for you to craft the highest-quality Google Shopping campaigns for your online store.