Making the most of Shopping campaigns in DoubleClick Search: Tips and best practices

Since announcing support for Shopping campaigns in DoubleClick Search a few weeks ago, we've seen strong momentum with clients taking advantage of this new way to manage, bid, and report on Product Listing Ads. In fact, over half of DoubleClick Search retail clients have already tested Shopping campaigns, and we see this number rising on a daily basis.

As Justin Johnson, Paid Search Program Manager at Cabela's notes, "DoubleClick Search was quick to provide complete support for Shopping campaigns -- mirroring the ease of setup and product-centric management and letting us be a first-mover to adopt Shopping campaigns.  We are eager to continue using these new tools to help us get the best performance out of Shopping campaigns."

With regular PLA campaign types retiring in late August 2014, we know that Shopping campaigns continue to be top-of-mind for retail search marketers. Today, we wanted to share a few best practices to those of you just getting started with Shopping campaigns.

Tip #1: Scale bid management of product groups with automated rules. Unsure what to bid on your new product groups? Let automated rules for Shopping Campaign product groups lead the way. Set up automated if/then rules to change product group bids based on performance. If you want even more control over your product group bids, try using bulksheets. DS bulksheet allow you to download your Shopping Campaigns, assess their performance, and upload new bids, whether you’re managing 10 product groups or 1000 product groups at a time.

How to take control over your product group bids: Because DS has easy bulksheet reporting for both legacy PLA campaigns and your new Shopping Campaigns, it’s easy to use historic data from PLA campaigns to inform bids for your new Shopping Campaigns. Talk to your DS support team for more information and tips on how to migrate CPCs from old campaigns to Shopping campaigns.

Tip #2: Know how to subdivide a product group. Product groups can be subdivided at any time into more refined groupings so that you can bid more granularly on any part of your business, e.g. breaking out Product Type Level 1 = Electronics product group into three product groups subdivided by Product Type Level 2: Computers, Video, or Phones, with a high max CPC on Phones, with lower CPCs on Computers and Video. This makes it easy to continually adapt the product group tree to your business structure, especially if you find that different products within the same product group require different max CPCs.

How to best subdivide a new product group: When we subdivide a product group, that product group’s bid, landing page, and status are passed on to the new subdivisions. For example, if we just broke out Electronics (below) into Computers, Video, and Everything else, the bid and landing page URL we set for Electronics will be passed onto the three subdivisions. But, this also means that if we try to delete that Electronics row, the three subdivisions beneath it (Computers, Video, Everything Else) will also be deleted! As you create new subdivisions, you should take the opportunity to update the bid and landing page to the right value, specific to the newly created group.

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Tip #3: Experiment with PLA reporting. Take Shopping Campaigns as an opportunity to experiment with how you report and think about PLAs! Shopping Campaigns makes it easy to structure your campaigns and product groups around a certain set of attributes (maybe splitting out products by Product Type or Category), but slice performance data by different fields, including custom labels or product IDs

How to try it out: Custom labels are a great way to experiment. We’ve seen advertisers use custom labels 0-4 to mark products as high or low margin, seasonal or year-round, etc., and add additional information like parent SKU.. Segmenting by custom label in the Products tab allows you  to report and take action on these custom metrics, without necessarily committing to that organizational structure. More insights for all!

Can’t get enough of Shopping campaigns? Check out our webinar from April or our help center and keep an eye out on our blog and our feature releases page for more updates to Shopping campaigns.