Google said Wednesday that the type of campaign advertisers use to create and manage product listing ads (PLA) on the back end will transition to Shopping campaigns, which offers more features than PLA campaigns alone. The move will automatically upgrade all PLAs to Shopping in late August.
The decision was made based on feedback from advertisers, and brings new features to the service. Some of those include a bid simulator that provides more actionable insight to the campaign, such as estimating how bid changes might impact impressions, clicks or costs.
Google also will add options to help marketers get started, such as creating a Shopping campaign from scratch, or using a regular PLA campaign to create similar product targets, negative keywords or promotional text. Marketers with advanced skills can create multiple ad groups within a Shopping campaign.
Additional features brought better returns for US-Mattress.com. The company began using PLAs in January 2012, but moved to Shopping campaigns in February 2013 and found 30% higher click-through rates, 10% higher average order value, lower cost per acquisition, and higher return on investments and conversion rates.
Google wants to make it clear that PLAs are still PLAs, although the way that marketers manage campaigns will change. Consumers doing searches for brand products and services will see PLAs in query results. The ads appear in the same places and on the same networks. The managing, monitoring, and optimizing of campaigns will change for the better, per the company.
Similarly, ValuePetSupplies.com began using PLAs in July 2013 and switched in October that same year to Shopping campaigns. With the upgrade the company experiences a 160% return on as spend, higher conversions, click-through rates, lower CPAs and significant time savings. In fact, Shopping campaigns requires a couple of hours per week, versus more than 20 hours for PLA campaigns.