Google Introduces Shopping Campaigns for Merchants
By Ina Steiner
Google Shopping introduced a new feature called shopping campaigns that lets merchants run Product Listing Ad (PLA) ad campaigns in a more streamlined, "retail-like" manner. Google will let merchants browse their product inventory in AdWords and create product groups which they can then advertise through PLA.
Merchants can create product groups by category or other criteria - they can use the product attributes derived from their data feed such as Google product category, product type, brand, condition and item id.
Merchants can also use custom labels, which are a new, structured way to tag products in the merchant data feed, to create attributes such as "margin" in order to separate high- and low-margin products. (A merchant may be willing to spend more in advertising for more profitable products.)
Once merchants have organized their inventory into product groups and started advertising them, Google provides advanced reporting to measure product performance. "For example," Google explained, "you'll see which Apparel & Accessories categories drive the most clicks, without having to break out your clothing category into a separate product group."
Google will also provide competitive data:
"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."
Googel said shopping campaigns are currently available to a limited number of advertisers and will gradually roll them out in the US, with full global availability by early next year. It will provide API support next year. Google is offering a "Learn With Google" webinar for Shopping campaigns on November 20, 2013, and will be exhibiting at Search Engine Strategies in Chicago on November 6, 2013.
More information is available in this announcement on the Google Commerce blog.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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