The Google Shopping Webinar – The Questions We Didn’t Answer

We’d like to thank everyone that tuned into our Webinar with Google Shopping’s Senior Product Manager, Jon Venverloh.  We hope you found Jon’s comments insightful and useful for your ecommerce ventures.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get to all the good questions submitted by our listeners.  Fortunately, we’re going to get into those leftover inquiries right now.

  • Q: When I do product listing on Google Shopping, all my products are approved and eligible. However, it received no impression recently. What’s wrong with my products list?
  • A:  First, you should make sure your Adwords PLA campaign is set up properly and that your products show up on a standard Google search.  If the PLA is set up and your products show up, odds are you’re not bidding enough on your product targets. If that’s not the case, and we hate to be cynical, it’s possible your products just simply aren’t popular or attractive.

 

  • Q: Does Google Shopping plan to give product level reporting & data (clicks, conversions) in the Google Adwords or Shopping platform?
  • A: Yes, Jon mentioned that product-level reporting is coming to the Adwords login page.  It’s currently available through Google Analytics, but some may find that it’s tough to navigate through.  Our hopes are that the reporting may be more intuitive on Adwords.  There is no date set yet for when that feature will come up.

 

  • Q: Within the PLA campaign, is the Auto Targets tab where we will place our bids for the targets that we set? Also, they must be according to matching data in the product feed, right?
  • A: Yes, that is where you can set a product-level bid.  Remember, setting a default bid for the entire campaign will apply that bid to all adgroups within that campaign if you do not set specific adgroup-level bids

    Similarly, an adgroup’s set bid will apply that bid to all product targets within the adgroup, unless you do set specific product target-level bids.  But yes, all product targets in Adwords must match the data sent in the datafeed.

    If you have a product target bid for a specific brand, include the brand name in your datafeed for it to work.  You can check that you did this right by clicking on the Validate button when setting up your product target bids.

 

  • Q: Is there an option to bid differently on Google Shopping results vs. normal Google PLA results?
  • A:  No, they are all the same bid.

 

  • Q: Will there be a control mechanism to ensure merchants have to complete all data feed requirements?
  • A: Yes, Google already has a feed review system in place.  If a merchant fails to meet these requirements, Google will reject the datafeed.

 

  • Q: From a retailer’s perspective, what are the key differences between Google Product Shopping and other CSE’s out there? How should I allocate my CSE budget?
  • A: The main difference between Google Product Search and other comparison shopping engines is that Google gets the most traffic and spends the most money on their engine.  If your budget allows you to be on only one engine, it should be Google Shopping.

    However, it’s better to be on a variety of other engines because they can all be profitable with the right datafeed management.  If you are able and budgeted to expand and are willing to spend the time to manage them all, you should enlist on other CSE’s, notably the Big Four: Nextag, Shopzilla, Shopping, and Pricegrabber.  Luckily, you can refer to lucrative channels on our quarterly rankings of big CSE’s.

 

  • Q: How should we handle a product that has multiple SKU’s due to manufacturer revisions?
  • A: Well, you should always send Google the most accurate data possible, and this usually means the most recent.  So whichever is the most recent and updated SKU is the one you should send in your data feed.
  • Q: If you are set up for a CPA PLA campaign on all products, but not a CPC PLA, do you still qualify for the 10% rebate?
  • A: The requirement was that you have to have had a PLA campaign with Google set up by Aug. 15 2012, and it doesn’t matter if it was CPC or CPA.  Unfortunately, that date has passed.  Google’s discount information was as follows:
    • All merchants who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit for 10% of their total Product Listing Ad spend through the end of 2012; and
    • Existing Google Product Search merchants can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out a form before August 15, 2012.

 

  • Q: What are some determining factors as to which campaign you should use, CPC or CPA? (ex: bounce rate, conversion rate, gross margin % ; our goal is contribution gross profit)
  • A: If you’re concerned with gross profit, you are probably also deeply concerned with gross volume.  The main difference between CPC and CPA is that with CPC, as the merchant, you determine a certain bid for a product or the whole campaign in general.  A CPC strategy tends to see more gross volume sold, yet you pay more to Google, or whichever CSE you’re utilizing.

    The knock on CPC is that you are not guaranteed to profit since you may be paying for a lot of clicks that don’t yield actual sales. With CPA’s, traffic and volume tend to drop, but you’re guaranteed to profit since you only pay a percentage of revenues for products you actually sell.

    So if you have the time and effort to spend to manage a CPC strategy and are interested in  gross volume, go with CPC.  If you’re not concerned with selling products in a lot of volume and do not want to put in the effort, go with CPA.

 

Thanks again for listening in and be sure to look out for webinars we plan on hosting in the future.  If we couldn’t answer your question, don’t hesitate to bounce ideas off us.

About the AuthorJon Gregoire is the Director of Demand Generation at CPC Strategy. Jon heads up the agency's inbound marketing program. A UC San Diego grad, Jon is a Chicago native and full-time San Diego tourist. He enjoys Bear Grylls-like backpacking trips, archery, weekend getaways in Southern California, watching his beloved Chicago Bears, and bidaily coffee consumption. See all posts by this author here.