Per a tweet from @GoogleAds on Tuesday:
"Starting April 1, 2021, Showcase Shopping ad groups will be removed and will stop serving your ads. You'll be able to access performance data for removed ads and ad groups in your account reports.
"You do not need to take further action. Previous Showcase Shopping ad layouts like the merchant carousel are now part of Product Shopping ad groups. These ad groups may now dynamically feature your products in these new layouts, which could increase your ad traffic..."
When Google initially introduced Showcase Shopping ads in 2016 the relevant Google support page explained that Showcase Shopping ads would let retailers group together a selection of related products and present them together "to introduce your brand or business."
That is, Showcase Shopping ads were intended to be used to create awareness of a business, and accordingly be shown to users early in the shopping process - at the "top of the funnel." (About 40% of product searches on Google are done using broad query terms.)
Benefits claimed were:
- Expanding reach of Shopping campaigns
- Brand differentiation
- Reaching your potential customers with your brand and product information while they're in the purchasing decisionmaking phase
Google displays Showcase ads above organic listings. In pre-pandemic 1Q2020, Showcase ads accounted for 9% of all Google Shopping ad clicks.
Because after 1 April Showcase ads will be moved to Product Shopping ad groups, advertisers using Showcase ads may see more visitors than usual who are "just looking". Bidding may have to be adjusted accordingly.