Is it Time to Switch to Google Shopping Campaigns?

Google Product Listing Ads has been an absolute home run for Google; however, managing and analyzing the data behind the ads was never a simple process.  Shopping Campaigns is Google’s answer to help make PLAs more manageable.  But for those of us who spent an extensive amount of time managing and building out campaigns, ad groups, and auto targets, is it the right time to switch?

If you are one of the many advertisers that are only utilizing the All Products target or have a few broken out auto targets, Shopping Campaigns is a fairly easy transition and a useful tool.  Shopping Campaigns offers a variety of new tools and insights into your PLAs.

Breaking out categories, products, brand, condition, product type is all available within Adwords under your Product Groups.  No longer will you have to reference your feed to lookup categories or products, everything is available in Adwords when creating Product Groups, which replaces your traditional Ad Groups.

Along with easier breakouts, Shopping Campaigns provides more insight into your competition.  Shopping Campaigns provides impression share reports along with benchmark MAX CPC and estimated average CTR to help further optimize your PLAs.

However, not everyone is ready to make the move to Shopping Campaigns yet.  Without the support of the third party APIs, a lot of marketers will not be able to utilize their third party feed and bid management tools.  Therefore, everything will have to be completed within Adwords.

Even if you break out by product ID you will still have to reference your feed and perform a vlookup, since the PID product group only lists the ID without the actual product title.  Therefore, making product group hierarchies based on IDs are very difficult to report and optimize on.  Amongst other challenges, for original PLA campaigns that have been extensively built out, there is no easy way of transferring your campaigns over to Shopping Campaigns.  In short you would have to start from scratch when starting Shopping Campaigns and another drawback is Adwords Editor is not supported by Shopping Campaigns.

There is no definite date when all advertisers will have to switch from the traditional PLA management to Shopping Campaigns.  All we know is that sometime in Q3 of this year you’ll have to make the change.  But for those advertisers that use third party feed and bid management tools, it might be wise to wait until Google supports third party APIs.

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