Google Launches Shopping Campaigns, Companion To PLAs

Google introduced Shopping campaigns Tuesday for product listing ads (PLAs). The feature aims to streamline how marketers manage and bid on products, report on performance and find opportunities from Google traffic.

Shopping campaigns allow marketers to browse product inventory in AdWords and create product groups for biddable items. A fashion retailer, for instance, will see the types of shoes in the data feed and how many boots are available to promote. Marketers can use the product attributes like product category, product type, brand, condition, item ID and custom labels to organize inventory into product groups.

Then custom labels, such as "margin," provide structure when tagging products in data feeds. Categories separate high- and low-margin products. The product tab provides a full list of approved products and their attributes. Filters help marketers identify product group performance metrics.

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Competitive data helps marketers to develop 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. Eventually, impression share columns will help users understand the opportunity lost due to insufficient bids and budgets, and a bid simulator will estimate the amount of impressions received as bids are adjusted.

Brands posted 1,410 PLAs with prices greater than $100,000 in August, totaling about 0.005% of all that appeared in U.S. AdWords accounts, according to AdGooroo, a Kantar Media company.

Ads for expensive watches greater than $100,000 accounted for 49% of total PLAs. A few of the more expensive items included a 24-carat gold plated vacuum and black diamond nail polish. There were also less expensive items. Some 8,775 PLAs appeared on U.S. AdWords in August with prices less than 10 cents, per AdGooroo.

Shopping campaigns are available to a limited number of advertisers, but Google said the feature will roll out gradually in the U.S., with full global availability by early next year.

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