The New Frontier of Performance Marketing: Google Shopping

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Resoundingly effective due to its combination of relevance and intent, Google Shopping has long been one of the key foundations of performance marketing. And with the value to businesses showing no sign of slowing down, we wanted to take a look at some of the factors that have shaped it, where we think it’s going, and what businesses should be doing to react. 

Where is Shopping Now?

There’s no denying that, as it stands, Google Shopping is hugely complex with Bidding, Structure, and Feed data all playing a crucial role in performance. And with Campaigns being relatively simple to set up,  many advertisers use Smart Shopping without exploring its full potential – e.g. keyword analysis or split campaigns. Currently, Smart Shopping can offer a wealth of opportunity for advertisers to create complex campaigns that allow high levels of manual control. However, advertisers need to take into account that Google is beginning to strip this ‘capability’ back and their level of control might change.

Where is it Heading?

At the moment, we still have good levels of control. However, with more and more brands being pushed by the likes of Google and Facebook down their own feed automation solutions, we’ll likely see these types of platforms make automations more mandatory in the future. Which means less control for advertisers – rather than being able to set bids at an item level, it’s more likely that we’ll have to set ROAS targets etc.

The Role of Feeds?

Feeds are so much more than just something that’s used by Google – it’s the tool that is used by all channels to automate the way their information (such as products), is used. However, despite being a key performance channel, many marketers are skeptical of feed management because it’s difficult to attribute direct uplifts. Best practice involves working up; starting with data quality and accuracy foundations, layering in business data (be it return rates or profit margins) and finishing up by adding in 3rd party data like APIs to automate changes that are happening externally.