Let’s be clear: Bing Product Ads is still the (much) smaller brother to Google Shopping. Bing Shopping has been the kid that dreams big and does his best to follow his big bro’s lead, but is just too small to make the varsity squad.
Bing Product Ads will never be Google Shopping, we’re not making that claim. However, Bing Shopping is showing some fight – making moves to get out of big bro’s shadow and growing enough to stand toe to toe with other referral ad programs.
Bing Product Ads: The Numbers
In December, 2014, Same Store Sales grew by 119% YoY across CommerceHub’s client portfolio on the Bing Product Ads channel, marking the fourth consecutive month of triple digit growth for the program. While this is not as blistering a rate of growth as in prior months, it represents a larger set of mature programs that are well past the honeymoon stage of exponential growth. For Q4 of 2014, Bing Product Ads overtook Shopzilla, becoming the 6th largest contributor to overall demand-side CommerceHub GMV.
And what about performance efficiency? That’s looking pretty good too these days.
For Q4 of 2014, Revenue-Per-Click on the program was more favorable than that of NexTag, Pricegrabber, Shopzilla, and TheFind – five of CommerceHub’s top six comparison shopping engines by volume – coming in at 144% of NexTag’s figure. Using this performance efficiency metric, Bing Shopping still lags slightly behind Google Shopping and significantly behind Amazon Product Ads.
Across CommerceHub’s client portfolio, Q4 2014
Conversion rates and revenue-per-click stayed roughly flat YoY on Bing Product Ads. This is not particularly surprisingly; if anything, it is encouraging to see a channel with such torrid growth rates maintain strong efficiency as programs mature and stabilize across our client base.
Google continues to set the pace with respect to product ads innovation. The appearance of new targeting parameters, beefed-up extensions, competitive benchmarking and other new tools are commonplace. This won’t change either, as AdWords programs are the cornerstone of Google’s revenue strategy and thus an area of major ongoing product investment.
That said, Bing Ads is making significant strides to provide advertisers the same kind of audience-defining capabilities retailers enjoy on Google Shopping.
In the past few months, Bing has released auction insights, made improvements to quality score and added tools for benchmarking and trend analysis.
None of these features alone will make Bing’s Product Ads offering a powerhouse for retail marketers. However, with a growing set of tools available, Bing Product Ads presents an opportunity for granular targeting and smart campaign building that is largely absent from Comparison Shopping Engines.
Our recommendation: get involved if you aren’t already. Bing Product Ads does not offer the scale of Google Shopping. But, the program has grown to formidability versus older referral-based retail marketing channels, and only seems to be getting stronger.