Tag Archives: shopping

Smart Shopping campaigns are publicly available today

Smart Shopping campaigns were released in AdWords API v201802 to whitelisted advertisers. Today, we’re releasing them to all developers in both the AdWords API and Google Ads API.

Smart Shopping campaigns combine automation and machine learning to maximize your conversion value across networks based on your budget. For end-to-end instructions in creating Smart Shopping campaigns, ad groups, and ads, visit our docs: AdWords API guide or Google Ads API guide.

For optimal performance, we recommend you have at least 20 conversions over the last 45 days across existing Shopping campaigns before creating a Smart Shopping campaign.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please post them on our forum.

A new guide for integrating Google Shopping ads using Google APIs

Good news for developers planning to integrate Google Shopping ads! We have just released a brand new guide explaining how to automate the delivery of Google Shopping on behalf of merchants using Google APIs.

The Shopping Automation Guide covers the steps required to set up new merchants using a combination of the Content API for Shopping and AdWords API. It describes how you can fully automate certain tasks that would otherwise be performed manually using the Merchant Center and AdWords websites.

The guide is for developers interested in feed management, campaign management, or full automation workflow that includes both. The workflows provide detailed explanations of how the different APIs can be used for each stage of the user journey. You can follow the workflow step by step or navigate straight to the article you require using the side panel.

Head over to the developer pages to get started! If you have any questions or need help, please contact us on the relevant forums: If you have any feedback on the guide, please use the “Send Feedback” link at the top right of each page.

We also appreciate any feedback on your experience using the guide. If you would like to share it, please complete this survey.

How Canadians are shopping this holiday season

Are you a last-minute shopper? Well, you’re not alone. With only 10 days until the holidays, a new study tells us that Canadians have completed less than half of their holiday shopping!1 But these last-minute shoppers aren’t panicking.

We partnered with Ipsos to survey Canadians on how they’ve used technology to shop this holiday season, and we found that holiday shoppers are using their smartphones, search and online video to be savvier than ever. This year, 34 percent of Canadian shoppers say they always do research or check digital sources before going to the store. Canadians may be last-minute shoppers, but they certainly have a game plan for when they hit the mall.

Today we’re sharing three trends that surfaced during Canada’s peak shopping season:

Smartphones are the ultimate shopping companion

The smartphone is a ubiquitous part of Canada's shopping experience, and when Canadians incorporated smartphone searches into their holiday shopping activities it resulted in a purchase 49 percent of the time. Savvy shoppers are turning to their smartphones to make purchases. Of the transactions that were made online this holiday season, 33 percent were purchased via smartphone.

While more people are willing to buy on mobile, we know that mobile is still used as a personal research assistant in and out of the store. This year, 38 percent of Canadian shoppers that bought in-store used their smartphone to search for products and services, and 74 percent used mobile apps as part of their holiday shopping experience.

Digital research influences purchases

Digital tools like smartphones and online search are friends, not foes, to in-store shopping. Canadian shoppers are conducting online research before they hit the mall to determine what they want to buy, the best products in a given category and which stores to visit to find that they need. We’ve seen mobile searches related to “best” products in the top retail categories grow by more than 44 percent in the last year.2

This year, shoppers are prepared, as one in five Canadian holiday shoppers say they’ve checked prices online before going in store. Almost half (43%), wish retail stores would do a better job of sharing inventory information.

YouTube is the new gift guide

Whether it’s watching a product review or learning how to bake gingerbread cookies, Canadian shoppers look to video in countless moments throughout to the day to help get things done. And this includes shopping. This holiday season, shoppers will turn to devices to learn more, make a decision or purchase a product. This year, 26 percent of holiday shoppers used online video to look at products and services

Whether you’re a last-minute shopper or you’ve checked off your whole list, have a happy holiday!

Posted by Sarah Bradley and Naumi Haque, Research and Market Insights Managers, Google Canada.

1 Google/Ipsos, 2016 Holiday Shopping Study, Nov 17 to Dec 9, 2016, with n=1,387 Canadian shoppers

2 Google internal data, Canada searches related to apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computer & electronics, and gift (excluding terms “best buy,” “best man,” and “best friends”). Jan-March 2015 vs. Jan-March 2016

Sunsetting promotionLine in AdWords Scripts

We are sunsetting support for the promotion line field of Product Ads in AdWords Scripts, since this feature has been retired in AdWords in favor of automated extensions.

As part of this change, we have marked the getPromotionLine() method of ProductAd and the withPromotionLine() method of ProductAdBuilder as deprecated. These methods will start throwing errors on September 15, 2016. If your script uses these methods, then make sure you review them and make necessary changes to ensure they continue to work as expected.

If you have any questions about these changes or AdWords scripts in general, you can post them on our developer forum.

From hoverboards to adult onesies: the gifts we’re searching for this holiday

If your holiday shopping plan this season involves grabbing a spare minute on your phone to hunt for presents while you’re standing in line or on the train to work, you’re not alone. More than half of holiday shoppers say they plan to use their smartphones in free moments throughout the day to get their holiday list done. As we wake up to what has become the day for online deal hunting—Cyber Monday—we took a look at the top gifts trending on Google Search to help you shop smarter in those spare moments. Here’s a look at online shopping search trends across the U.S., to give you ideas of what your loved ones might like to find under the tree.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

Drones are now toys: Drones are no longer expensive playthings for the tech-savvy. Search for “toy drone” and you’ll find countless inexpensive, easy-to-use devices available from department stores and toy stores. And they’re popular—nationwide, shopping searches for drones are up 80% over the past year, and they’re highest in California.

Hoverboards are real, and they’re trending: While we’re on the topic of electronic toys, hoverboards are so popular this year they’ve even overtaken searches for drones. They may not be exactly like the boards from Back to the Future or the Lexus commercial, but these two-wheeled boards have become a hot toy this season. Searches for “hoverboards” started trending in the summer and are up more than 500% since July.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

Holiday onesies are the new “ugly Christmas sweaters”: Last year “ugly Christmas sweaters” were all the rage. This year we’re seeing holiday onesies are the new kitsch partywear of choice, as searches for “adult onesies” are trending even faster than searches for “ugly Christmas sweater.” (Hey—we don’t try to explain these trends. We just report them. -Ed.)

Your 90s wardrobe is BACK: Bomber jackets. Levi jeans. Adidas Superstars. Looking at this year’s top-trending apparel list you’ll be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone back to the 90s. Not only have we seen searches for these 90s fashion trends more than double over the past year, each city has their own 90s fashion item of choice—shoppers in Chicago are more interested in Levis while shoppers in New York are on the hunt for Adidas Superstar shoes.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

“Smart” devices top electronics searches: With more models on the market than ever, both smart watches and smart TVs topped our list of trending electronics this year—with “smart watch” searches seeing a particularly phenomenal growth, up nearly 300% compared to last year. But as smart devices get more popular, retro electronics are also making a comeback: searches for instant cameras like “Polaroid Camera” and “Fujifilm Instax” have been rising steadily in popularity each holiday season.

So there you have it. Ready to start shopping? To help you search for these gifts quickly and easily while on-the-go, we recently redesigned Google Shopping on mobile. And for more insights behind this season’s trends, check out the Shopping Insights tool. Happy deal-hunting!

Fetching invalid product offers in Content API

The Shopping Content API now supports the retrieval of invalid product offers. This means that offers such as those with an invalid category or a mismatched URL can now be retrieved and reviewed via the API. This will enable you to more easily view invalid product offers and debug API requests. Going forward, invalid product offers that are newly inserted via the API will be available for review in the Diagnostics tab of the Merchant Center.

How should you go about retrieving your invalid offers from the API? You can do this by using a new optional URL parameter that has been added to the products.list method, called includeInvalidInsertedItems. (Yes, it's a long name; we apologize for the extra keystrokes.) If you set this parameter to true, your response will include products that were invalid at the time of insertion. The default value is false, so if you don't include the parameter in your request, you will not have invalid products in your response. This preserves existing behavior, with the exception that if you have invalid product offers from feeds, they will also not be returned in the response. Note that you can still use the 'get' and 'delete' methods to reference product offers directly by ID, even if they are invalid. No additional parameter is needed for those methods.

We are introducing one new error when inserting product offers, called "The item could not be inserted". An invalid offer is inserted only if it does not overwrite an existing valid offer. When there already is an existing valid offer, an additional error is returned, stating "The item could not be inserted". This also means that the product offer will not be available for review from products.list nor in the Diagnostics tab. Product offers are matched based on the full product ID, of the form channel:languageCode:countryCode:offerId.

It's important to remember that the new includeInvalidInsertedItems parameter will only filter between valid and invalid product offers, as determined at insertion time, ignoring whether they were or not later disapproved. This means that it will return invalid product offers inserted both from the API and from feeds. To distinguish between approved and disapproved product offers, use the Productstatuses Service.

To try out this new parameter, add includeInvalidInsertedItems as a query parameter to your products.list request. If you have more questions or feedback, please head on over to our developer forum.

Upcoming changes to Paid and Organic Query report

We are updating the Paid and Organic report to include only text ad statistics. Impressions and clicks for mobile app install ads and Product Listing Ads will be excluded from this report starting July 13, 2015.

These formats serve in places other than on search results, so we are excluding them to provide you a better comparison across paid and organic listings at the query level. If you use data from the Paid and Organic report in any of your AdWords API or Scripts applications, then make sure you update them to adjust for this data change. Historic stats for mobile app install ads and Product Listing Ads will continue to be available from this report type up to the following report dates:
  • Product Listing Ads - up to and including March 23, 2015
  • Mobile app install ads - up to and including July 13, 2015
If you have any further questions about this change, let us know via the API or scripts forum, or Google+ page.

Shopping utility available in the AdWords API Java client library

We've got good news for Java developers using the AdWords API to manage Shopping campaigns: the Java client library now has a set of utilities that greatly simplifies the process of setting up your product partition trees.

The utilities let you focus on your use case, avoid boilerplate code, make your code more readable, and reduce the amount of code needed for common actions.

For example, the updated AddProductPartitionTree code sample that uses the utility is 65% shorter than the previous version.

Intrigued? Check out the product partition utility guide on github, and let us know what you think!

If you would like to have a similar utility in a different client library, register your interest by opening a github issue on that library's issues page.

Learn more

If you haven't started using Shopping campaigns, the following resources are a great place to start: Still have questions? Feel free to visit us on the AdWords API Forum or our Google+ page.

Upcoming removal of AdWords legacy PLA objects

Now that all existing legacy Product Listing Ads campaigns have been upgraded to Shopping campaigns, some cleanup is in order. On March 23, 2015, we'll be removing criteria and ad objects related to AdWords legacy PLA campaigns, specifically:
  • All AdGroupCriterion objects for Product criteria (Product Targets):
    • Criteria that accrued impressions will be marked REMOVED. These objects will continue to appear in API reports in v201406 and v201409.
    • Criteria that did not accrue impressions will be permanently deleted. These objects will no longer appear in API reports.
  • All ProductAd objects for legacy Product Listing Ads campaigns will be marked DISABLED. These objects will continue to appear in API reports in v201406 and v201409, regardless of whether or not they accrued impressions.

Actions required

If you are interested in capturing the components of legacy Product Listing Ads campaigns that did not accrue impressions, retrieve that information before March 2015 using the appropriate services (e.g., AdGroupCriterionService, AdGroupAdService).

Learn more

If you haven't started using Shopping campaigns, check out the following resources. Still have questions? Feel free to visit us on the AdWords API Forum or our Google+ page.

Announcing the launch of account-level tax and shipping and improved product dates in Content API for Shopping

We are pleased to announce the launch of API support for account-level tax & shipping for the Google Content API for Shopping v2. Previously, this was only available on the Merchant Center UI. This API feature will match the configuration options available in the UI.

This launch enables you to programmatically specify default tax and shipping rules that apply to all products within an account through the Accountshipping and Accounttax services. Specifically, the account-level tax and shipping rules apply to all products, but can be overridden by item-level tax and shipping settings, which are in the Products service. Note that products' taxes and the Accounttax service are only applicable to products targeting the US.

The shipping settings allow you to set-up different shipping services using calculation methods ranging from flat rate to carrier-based rates, and you can use rate tables or decision trees to specify conditions on price, weight, and delivery location. Please see our guide and reference documentation: Accountshipping service, Accounttax service, which will help you get up and running with these new services.

The second addition is new date fields that many have asked for. The Productstatuses service in v2 of the API has 3 new fields:
  • creationDate: the date that a product was first inserted into the Merchant Center.
  • lastUpdateDate: the date that the product was last updated. This may be the same as the creationDate. It also reflects updates from Inventory service.
  • googleExpirationDate: the date that your product will expire in Google Shopping. By default, products usually expire after 30 days of no updates.
Also, the Products service contains an expirationDate field. This field represents the date as submitted by the merchant. The field is optional, and can be useful for setting an expiration date that is closer than 30 days away.

Another use case of expirationDate is for products you wish to expire later than 30 days away; for example, 40 days away. As you continue to resubmit the product, this date will remain unchanged, and the product will not expire until the expirationDate is reached. Remember that if you don’t resubmit a product within a 30-day window, it will automatically expire, regardless of what date you set in expirationDate. There is no equivalent v1 field to expirationDate.

On that note, please be aware that these new features are not available in v1, which is deprecated and will be sunset at the end of February 2015.

We hope these new features will simplify your process for configuring tax and shipping settings, and clarify your product expiration dates. As always, feel free to reach out on the developer forums if you have any questions.