Last week, Kenshoo and DataPop held an event called “Feed Chicago” where advertisers discussed ways to turn their product feeds into a powerful online merchandising tools all while supporting the important mission of Feeding America.

With the birth of Product Listing Ads (PLAs), feeds have become more and more critical to retailers and this revitalization of feed marketing is opening the door to creative uses of product-level marketing.

Event participants got a sneak peek into Kenshoo and DataPop’s Search and Social Commerce Index that revealed the opportunities for advertisers to leverage product-level interest on social channels as well as take cues from social media to inform search messaging.

Study’s Key Findings

Retailers are missing opportunities to better brand and merchandise via social commerce, with only 1.7% of products posted on social commerce properties.

Even among products in their most popular product categories, retailers post only 7.2% of their products via social commerce.

70% of retailers fail to align the copy in their social posts with what consumers care about most when discovering new brands and products.

DataPop SSCI Chart

In addition to this new data, roundtable discussions gave advertisers a forum to brainstorm and exchange ideas about preparing for the transition to Google Shopping campaigns, leveraging feeds beyond PLAs, and using feeds for local shopping experiences. Leading the roundtable on Google Shopping campaigns, I heard some interesting thoughts on the using Shopping campaigns. Overall, there was much excitement around the competitive intel and simplified structure creation for Shopping campaigns.

With the birth of Product Listing Ads (PLAs), feeds have become more and more critical to retailers…

Many advertisers seem to now be leaning towards building individual product groups for most of their products. This raised the concern of the difficulty to manage the bids for a large number of product groups and the need for an automated Shopping campaign bid policy like that available through Kenshoo.

Speaking about PLA war stories, some advertisers reported that searchers would often convert on different products than the product displayed in the PLA that was clicked. This spurred conversation around the importance for good site navigation as well as tracking and attribution PLAs in context of other consumer interactions.

It was also interesting to hear how advertisers were beginning to think of ways to use feeds beyond search and PLAs. Kenshoo’s Demand Driven Campaigns solution that automatically builds ads on Facebook based on a client’s best performing products was cited as a way to successfully utilize feed performance data in one channel to improve another.

I am excited to see how something as dull as a feed is spurring such creative and innovative marketing solutions. It will be interesting to see how feed use continues to evolve– especially outside of the retail world.