Google Shopping Campaigns – The Future of Google PLA

In late 2013, Google announced Shopping Campaigns: a new campaign structure for product listing ads that offers a better way to manage the unique challenges of scaling Google PLA ads. With many retail-specific features, Shopping Campaigns presents a new phase in the development of Google’s feed-driven shopping ads.

For many advertisers, the new structure will present cleaner, more intuitive methods of building out campaigns across catalogs of all sizes. For experienced advertisers with sophisticated campaign structures already in place, some features may be limiting. If built correctly, Google Shopping Campaigns will afford more discoverable views of performance by individual products, brands and categories. The primary advantages and drawbacks of Shopping Campaigns, in its present state, are detailed below. Please note that Google is likely to make changes as they refine capabilities and user experience.

We predict that the new Google Shopping Campaigns paradigm will eventually supplant the current feed-centric methods of designating ad groups and product targets. Much like Enhanced Campaigns in mid-2013 replaced the previous AdWords campaign structure, we expect Google Shopping Campaigns to ultimately be the required mode of management for these retail-focused ads.

We anticipate these new features to provide retailers the ability to more precisely target top performing products and ultimately better optimize for online and local conversions. We expect these new controls to have a major impact on Google Shopping performance in holiday 2014.

While the emergence of Google Shopping Campaigns is an exciting development for advertisers, there are several near-term drawbacks

In preparation for Shopping Campaigns retailers should focus on the following: