This month Kenshoo had the pleasure of taking part in a Google Shopping Virtual Summit hosted by CPC Strategy. This summit provided insights into Google Shopping campaigns nearly a year after their introduction. Product listing ads (PLAs) continue to grow in terms of retailer spend and revenue and have become a vital component of a retailer’s strategy. Because Kenshoo serves more PLAs than any other platform, we thought it would be interesting to share some aggregated Shopping campaign data.

We evaluated how running Shopping campaigns and text campaigns together affected overall performance. In order to perform this analysis we looked at aggregated data from Kenshoo’s retail clients that were running product listing ads (managed through Shopping campaigns) and text ads, versus retailers only running text ads. Overall, the return on investment for those running both ad types was nearly $8 while those that were only running text ads was closer to $7.

Because text ads are triggered by keywords and PLAs are triggered by product feeds, evaluating PLA and text ad performance is not an apples-to-apples comparison. By separating brand and non-brand keyword performance you are able to get a bit closer to a fair comparison as PLAs are less likely to be shown brand terms. Interestingly, advertisers running both ad types saw better performance across brand keywords and non-brand keywords than those advertisers only running text ads— indicating that there was a positive impact in leveraging both ad types.

In addition to the halo effect that can be experienced by running both ad types, there are also insights that can be gleaned from each ad type to improve overall optimization strategies. Below are a few suggestions on how to leverage each ad type to improve the other or even expand into new channels.

Using Text Ad Insights to Improve Shopping Campaigns

  • Feed Optimization – Leverage search query information from your text ad campaigns to incorporate into your product feed. This will help your PLAs resonate with searchers.
  • Determine Shopping Campaign Structure – Use search text ad performance data to identify top products when determining Shopping campaign structure. Creating product groups for top performers will allow for smarter and more granular bid optimization.
  • Minimize Inefficient Spend – Use negative keywords from text ad campaigns to instantly refine traffic and improve relevancy by restricting which search queries your ads will appear against.
  • Leverage Promotional Ad Copy – Capitalize on promotional messaging that has worked for text ads to incorporate as a promotional lines in your PLAs.

Using Shopping Campaign Insights to Improve Text Ads and More

  • Increase Ad Credibility – Apply to become a Google Trusted Store so you can take advantage of review extensions in text ads.
  • Inform Text Ad Structure & Optimization – Uncover opportunities for keyword expansion and/or adjust bids and budgets based on best performing products in Shopping campaigns.
  • Leverage Product-Level Insights Cross-Channel – Expand or improve performance in other channels by creating ads for best-performing products. Kenshoo’s Demand Driven Campaigns automatically creates Facebook ads based on top performers within Shopping campaigns.

Shopping campaign budgets have grown dramatically since PLAs were first introduced in 2012. As a result, it’s become even more important for retailers to optimize specifically for this ad type. Kenshoo’s Shopping campaign solution offers tools that allow marketers to leverage insights from text ads to create better campaign structures as well as Shopping campaign-specific bid policies that make more granular bid optimization manageable. If you are only leveraging one ad type today, you may consider testing running both in tandem and exploring how you can leverage insights from each ad type.