Paid Search

Are Custom Labels Part of Your Google Shopping Strategy?

If you’re working on a Google Shopping account, you’ll undoubtedly be managing a product feed containing tens of thousands of products. In shopping, like search, you want to group campaigns by product type or categories.

However, in the same way you may want to funnel search traffic based on propensity to convert, we also want to do the same with shopping. The goal: get the products that are most likely to convert in front of potential consumers.

In this post, we will look at how this can be achieved using custom labels and how the new features recently launched in Google and Bing make adding custom labels effortless.

Custom Labels

Custom labels are columns in the product feed that allow you to subdivide products by the values your choose. Up to five custom labels can be used, and some examples include: seasonality, discounted stock, profit margin and bestsellers.

It’s pretty much down to your creativity (and shopping strategy) how granular you want to go here.

Once in place, you can layer these labels into your account structure and tailor your bid strategy accordingly.

Let’s imagine you’re managing a clothing retailer’s Google Shopping activity. They stock everything from t-shirts and jeans to gloves and scarves. It’s 21 degrees outside, and considering you’re in the UK, it’s the middle of summer.

Your campaign structure, broken out by product type, allows you to downweight investment in gloves and scarves, and upweight investment in t-shirts.

However, you’re unsure on what to do with jeans and hoodies, as they seem to be driving conversions but efficiency is not as strong. Wouldn’t it be great if you could go one step further in these categories, pushing summer lines and pulling back on winter lines?

Layering in a seasonality custom label allows you to add this granularity into your campaigns. At scale, this can drive greater efficiency in your shopping account.

Supplemental Feeds and Feed Rules

In the last year, Google has released supplemental feeds along with feed rules, making the creation of custom labels even easier.

Supplemental feeds can be found in the Google Merchant Center and provide additional data to the existing primary feed. Based on product IDs, you can add or amend custom labels in the feed. This supplemental feed can be hosted on a Google Sheet, adding scheduled updates into the primary feed daily.

If your client runs weekly sales, adding the product SKUs into a supplemental feed, updating the custom label with ‘on-sale’, and pulling these products into their own campaign with increased bids over the weekend, would allow you to support the sale in Shopping.

Then after the weekend, you can remove them from the supplemental feed and they revert back to where they served before.

Google Shopping 1

Feed rules in the Google Merchant Center provide an alternative way for adding custom labels quickly. Let’s say the primary feed has [price] and [sale_price] information. You want to filter out products on sale and bid more aggressively. This makes sense since these products may be more price competitive.

For example, a feed rule e.g. ‘if price minus sale_price is greater than zero, mark custom label as [on-sale]’ would allow you to filter these products out quickly.

So, with the weekend promos all set up in Google Shopping, there's still one more question that brands should ask: 'What’s our plan for Bing Shopping?’.

The good news is that Bing Merchant Center has recently launched a direct import feature, pulling the product feed from the Google Merchant Center. This means that all custom labelling, whether from rules or supplemental feeds, can be pulled into the Bing Merchant Center, allowing you to easily achieve parity between Bing and Google shopping. This is a quick win for minimal work!

Google Shopping 2 

Here at iProspect, our dedicated teams of PPC experts are currently using custom labels to pull out bestseller products and weekend deals. Since testing this, campaign ROAS is 23% more efficient compared to the existing structure. Get in touch with our PPC team to learn more. 

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