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Customer Match & RLSA for Google Shopping: The Ultimate Guide

Rob DePersia

What keeps e-commerce marketers up at night? For most, it’s probably either winning new customers or keeping existing ones coming back for more. Luckily, Google offers two powerful tools that retail marketers can use to accomplish goals for both audiences: Customer Match and RLSA for Google Shopping.

But where to start? And once you’ve added one (or both) of these features to your Shopping campaigns, what strategies can you employ to continue improving performance?

What is Customer Match for Google Shopping?

Customer Match for Shopping is a remarketing tool that lets you adjust bids to target valuable past or prospective customers with Google Shopping ads using email addresses from your database.

What is RLSA for Google Shopping?

RLSA, short for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, dynamically builds lists of shoppers in AdWords based on actions they’ve taken on your site — visits, checkouts, cart abandonments, etc. — and lets you target these consumers with Shopping ads.

When did Google add these features?

Both Customer Match and RLSA have been available for text ad campaigns for years. Google added RLSA to Shopping campaigns in October 2015, and rolled out Customer Match for Shopping during Summer 2016.

Which feature, Customer Match or RLSA, should I include in my Shopping campaigns?

Short answer: Both! Long answer: Customer Match is better for engaging customers over a longer time window (6+ months) who haven’t been to your site in a while. RLSA is better for dynamically targeting shoppers based on actions they’ve recently taken on your site. Together, they are a powerful combination. 

Let’s get started.

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