What Are Shopping Campaigns?
Shopping campaigns are a new type of campaign available to those who are currently running a PPC campaign for their business. If you manage your own PPC campaign, you will know that there are different types of campaigns which include Search With Display Networks, Search Network Only and Display Network Only – but now, Google have introduced Shopping Campaigns.
The new Shopping Campaigns are a new campaign type for Product listing Ads (PLAs) and it has been designed to make it easier for businesses to promote their products and manage their campaigns on Google Shopping.
Why Have Shopping Campaigns Been Introduced?
As many have predicted, Google have stepped up its approach to encourage businesses to start using their shopping advertising features. For a long time this was limited to text and display ads, however the introduction of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) showed Google that these new image ads had huge potential for all three parties (consumers, businesses and Google).
In June and July 2013 PLAs recorded 21% higher Click Through Rates (CTRs) than text ads, and as a result of such popularity PLAs Cost Per Click (CPC) increased by 53% compared to 2012 data.
How Does Google Benefit from the New Shopping Campaign?
PLAs are becoming more competitive, and for Google, competition is the best market conditions to have as the more competition there is the more money there is – for Google at least! Yet it also wants to give businesses and consumers the right marketplace to find each other, and that is another big benefit that PLAs have. Their images, along with pricing, act as shop displays and as stats show, they do this in a much more effective way than text ads.
What are the Benefits for Us, The Business Owners?
The new Google Shopping campaigns which are slowly being rolled out are set to replace PLAs. The benefit of this Shopping campaign – over conventional PLA campaigns – is, as Google states;
“These campaigns allow you to streamline how you manage and bid on your products, report your performance, and find opportunities to grow your traffic from Google.”
Micro-Manage Your Product Feed
The new Shopping campaign allows you to micro-manage products from your product feed in a much more granular manner. As to using AdWords labels or AdWords groupings they will now be replaced by Custom labels.
Useful Data Insights
However the most important feature that has been introduced is the new data that this new campaign provides you. This includes market average CPCs, average CTRs and search impression share. Businesses can now see how much the average CPC is in the product market they are targeting (you cannot see your competitors’ average CPC only the market average CPC), the same goes with the average CTR of the product market thus allowing competitive benchmarking.
Potential Issues With Shopping Campaigns
The clear issue with this is that people may see the average CPC of the market and try ‘out-smart’ the market by just bidding a little bit more… multiple people will undoubtedly think in this way and before you know the average market CPC has risen (which is primarily what Google would want).
To be more positive these new features do have some beneficial uses. If your CPC is above average but your CTR is below average then this could indicate some issue with your product feed information; your images could be better, your prices are too high or it may be a text related issue – whatever it is you will see that there is an issue, and using the new granular aspect of Shopping campaigns you can find what specific products or product groupings are the causing poor CTR results.
Is the New Google Shopping Campaigns Good or Bad?
The new Google Shopping campaigns are an improvement and will make it much easier for businesses to use shopping ads on AdWords. Yet we can also expect the level of competition to dramatically increase, so it is best to provide a good quality feed which utilities the custom labels to help micro manage the bids of individual products or product groupings.
This is one phase towards an improved shopping marketplace for Google. Expectations for the future: Google will definitely replace PLAs with Shopping campaigns. In addition to that we expect the Shopping page within Google to get a face-lift, improve its userability and make consumer searches much more dynamic.
If you yourself are keen to develop a product feed and start selling your products online then contact us.