Are You Using Custom Shopping Feeds?

Google shopping is the biggest opportunity for e-commerce businesses right now in 2020. In 2019 Google ad spend grew in shopping by 29% YoY vs 13% in search ads

Many retailers and e-commerce businesses are now spending up to 80% of their budgets on shopping alone and surprisingly a large part of that budget is not branded terms.

Over the last year or 2 we have noticed that shopping ads now dominate the SERPs with ads usually placed at the top of the page above any search ad, and increasing on non-product related queries such as brand names that don’t contain a product query.

If you are an e-com retailer you most likely are already using Google Shopping (if not, why not!) but are you really making the most of this opportunity? With the explosion in ad activity over recent years it is imperative you give yourself an edge over your competition.


How to get a competitive edge using Custom Shopping Feeds

Whether you use Shopify, woo-commerce, or a bespoke platform your probably familiar with having to create a feed file of your products that you would then upload to Google Merchant Center. This is the basic setup to enable you to leverage Google Shopping.

Most feed files we come across are basic in nature and do not supply enough information to successfully [a] setup a winning product group structure within Google Ads [b] provide an easy platform for optimization.

This is where custom shopping feeds come in, essentially, we take the basic feed file and create a supplementary feed to power up your Merchant Center and ad campaigns.

Using custom feeds, we have seen traffic, revenue and ROAS increase up to 100% vs the standard feed almost from the get-go!


What can you do with Custom Feeds?

With a custom feed it makes optimization much easier than having to rely on your developer to make changes. Lets say you want to test different product titles this is very easily done via a custom feed, not only that but you can completely change product titles, here is an example,

Feed File: Nike Air Max 97

Custom Feed: Nike Air Max 97 in Black/White for Men – Size 9

Next you need to make sure you are making the most of using the product type fields available. There are 5 for every product. The best way to think of these are meta descriptions. We use them to help Google identify the product vs a query. Here is an example:

Product Type: Running Shoes > Nike Air Max Sale > Black and White Nike > Air Max 97 in Black > Nike Air Max Size 9

The idea here is to use relevant key phrases to the product that drive impressions and sales, this alone will ensure your product enters way more auctions than not using this feature.

Next up we also need to think about how best to structure your ad groups and product groups. The best way to do this is to use the custom labels available, there are 5 slots available to help you structure your campaigns that make the most sense according to your business goals. Here are some ideas for segmentation:

Price Grouping – segment products by price
Margin – Segment products by margin
Category – Segment by product category (Shirts, Polos, Jeans etc)
Sale or Full Price

Segmenting your products within a campaign will enable you to drill into these segments, set different ROAS targets and fine tune the campaign for maximum performance.

Quite often we see campaigns set up like this,

Ad Group > All Products

That is it! Now let us look at how it could look and how much easier it will be to drill into your data:

Ad Group>All Products>Price Group>Category>Item ID


Are you using custom feeds?

Richard has worked with global brands overseeing huge growth in the shopping sector across all countries (where shopping is available)

Get in touch to discuss a plan to ignite your sales!