While Google’s switch to paid Product Listing Ads for Google Shopping has proven wildly successful, growth has likely been hindered by the fact that setting up and managing Product Listing Ad campaigns for Google Shopping has been plagued with complexity. Today, Google announced a new campaign type called Shopping Campaigns designed to make it easier for advertisers to manage PLAs.
The key feature in Shopping campaigns is that feed data will now be visible from within AdWords, rather than being walled off in Google Merchant Center. You’ll be able to see attributes in your Google Merchant feed such as product category, product type, brand, condition, item id within AdWords.
In Shopping campaigns you’ll set up “product groups” from any of the attributes listed above and new “custom labels”, which offer a way to tag products in your feed with custom attributes such as Margin.
Reporting for Shopping campaigns now allows you to view performance by product or product attribute. Performance metrics are associated with the actual product, rather than product group. You’ll be able to filter and segment data by your available product attributes from within your categories: As an 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.”
In addition to performance reporting on your own products, Shopping campaigns offer competitive benchmarks as well. From the Product Groups tab, you can add benchmark columns to see the estimated CTR and max CPC for other advertisers with similar products. These are aggregated averages, so the value of the estimates will vary. Google says impression share columns and a bid simulator (based on those aggregated averages) will be added soon.
Shopping campaigns are available to a small set of advertisers now and will be rolling out to advertisers in the US “gradually”. Global availability and API support won’t come until early next year.
Interested advertisers can fill out the form here to be contacted with more information in the coming weeks.