About retail category reporting

By using retail category reporting, you can see category level performance insights across your Search and Shopping campaigns. This more holistic reporting will help you understand the full value of your Search and Shopping campaigns investments on Google.com for the categories important to your business. Retail category reporting can help you stay present and competitive on your key categories, while also driving key performance metrics.

Retail category reporting is only available for searches on Google.com surfaces, which consists of:
  • Google search results page
  • Google Shopping tab
  • Google Images tab

This report is available for Shopping campaigns that target any of these countries:

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  • See the combined performance of your Search and Shopping campaigns on Google.com by an automatically determined retail category.
  • Report your performance metrics for an entire product category across both networks.

How it works

Google assigns a retail category to all the ad impressions for a given search term using the Google Product Taxonomy (the same taxonomy as the one used for the Google product category).

For example, when someone searches for “headphones”, the query could be further categorized as:

  • Electronics
  • Audio
  • Audio Components
  • Headphones & Headsets

You can then report your performance across Search and Shopping using those categories. Some of the metrics available per retail category include:

  • Retail category (available up to the 5th level following this taxonomy)
  • Performance metrics (clicks, cost, and impressions)
  • Attributes (campaign type and name)
  • Conversion metrics (conversions, conversion value, conversion value/cost)
Not all queries are categorized. Keep in mind that:
  • Only the traffic that triggered your ads is classified.
  • Only retail specific traffic is classified.
  • Some queries can’t be assigned to proper categories and are not classified.
  • Only corresponding Shopping and Search traffic on the Search network is classified.

This data is available in the Google Ads Report Editor under the “Search term category” group.

Best practices

Retail categories can reveal opportunities to optimize categories. However, we recommend avoiding direct performance comparison between channels. Before analyzing the data, it is critical to check for other factors that can contribute to meaningful performance differences between Search and Shopping. For example:

  • Brand vs. non-brand campaigns (especially on Search)
  • Campaigns targeting best sellers, or only specific types of products on shopping
  • Geotargeting or day parting
  • Audience targeting
  • Different bid strategies

Where to find retail category reporting

You can access your retail category reports either through our predefined reports or by customizing which metrics you want to evaluate using the Report Editor.

Using predefined reports for retail category reporting

Use predefined reports to help you discover the new categories and understand in which context they should be used and interpreted.

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

To open a predefined report:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Insights and reports drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Report editor.
  4. Under “Basic,” click on Retail category (Search and Shopping).

Using the Report Editor for retail category reporting

By using the Report Editor, you can evaluate the performance of your Search and Shopping campaigns across different retail category levels and ad groups. You can also filter for various performance metrics, such as clicks, cost, conversions, and click share.

Example: You want to identify performance opportunities for key categories. To do this:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Insights and reports drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Report editor.
  4. Click the blue plus button in the top left-hand corner of the page, then select Table, Line chart, Bar chart, Pie chart or Scatter chart.
  5. On the page menu, select Search term category to show all retail category levels.
  6. Drag and drop retail category level(s) into the “Row” window at the top of the table.
  7. Drag and drop the metrics you want to evaluate into the “Column” window.
    1. Metrics available for the reporting column: Attributes (campaign type and name), Performance, and Conversion metrics.
  8. Identify categories where performance can be improved.
  9. On the page menu, select Attributes to show “Campaign type”.
  10. Drag and drop Campaign type into the “Row” window to get channel-level insights.

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