e-Commerce sites need to learn Google’s new Shopping Campaigns

If you own or manage an e-commerce website, you are probably familiar with, or should be, Google’s Product Listings Ads (PLA).  PLA is a part of Google’s Adwords program that used to be free, but changed to a pay model earlier in 2012-2013.  It is a way to create an XML file of all your products, that meet PLA guidelines, and submit them as a feed to your Adwords account.  And thereby get your products listed in the “Shopping” sections of Google search when people are searching for products you have for sale.

While Google’s Product Listing Ads will still be available, and added feature of Shopping Campaigns will be available in early 2014.  For now, only a select group of compaines will access to the new campaigns feature.  By now retail search marketers know that Merchant Center data is critical in creating and managing Product Listing Ads. Shopping campaigns address this requirement by making all product data accessible within AdWords, removing the need to reference Merchant Center. Advertisers can now easily browse and organize their product inventory and make informed decisions about their advertising strategy within a single interface.




1. Retail-centric way to manage your products

Shopping campaigns allow you to browse your product inventory directly in AdWords and create product groups for the items you want to bid on. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you’ll see what types of shoes are in your data feed and how many boots you can promote. You use the product attributes derived from your data feed such as Google product category, product type, brand, condition, item id and custom labels to organize your inventory into product groups. Custom labels are a new, structured way to tag your products in your data feed with attributes that matter to you, such as ‘margin’ to separate your high- and low-margin products. To see all the items you can bid on, the Products tab will show you a full list of your approved products and their product attributes.



2. Advanced reporting to measure product performance

Regardless of how you choose to structure your product groups, Shopping campaigns offer the unprecedented ability to view your performance data by product or product attribute. Since performance metrics are associated with the item and not the product group, you can filter and segment data by your product attributes. This includes Google product category, product type, brand, condition, item id and custom labels. For example, you’ll see which Apparel & Accessories categories drive the most clicks, without having to break out your clothing category into a separate product group.



3. Competitive data to size your opportunity

To help you optimize and scale your PLAs, Shopping campaigns provide insights into your competitive landscape. In the Product Groups tab, you can add benchmark columns to see the estimated average CTR and Max CPC for other advertisers with similar products. The competitive performance data you see is aggregated and averaged, so all performance data is anonymous. Coming soon, you’ll have impression share columns to help you understand the opportunity lost due to insufficient bids and budgets, and a bid simulator will help you estimate the amount of impressions you’ll receive as you adjust your bids.





Shopping campaigns are currently available to a limited number of advertisers. It will be rolling out gradually in the US, with full global availability by early next year. API support will come in 2014 as well.  If you have any questions about this new feature and campaign, do not hesitate to contact us.

For information on having a custom e-Commerce website built to utilize these Google features, CLICK HERE or call us at (303) 630-9402

InspireSmart offers custom software development, custom iOS Application Development, iPhone App Development, iPad App Development, and custom web design services in Denver, CO and beyond.

* Information for this article was gathered from the Google Commerce Blog HERE