A Programmatic Approach to Google Shopping Management

By Tinuiti Team

How Automation Empowers Google Shopping Management

Most retailers and brands agree that every product deserves to be treated as it’s own business, but managing hundreds or thousands of SKUs manually isn’t feasible for Marketing Managers today.

The investment of time would greatly outweigh the net improvement in performance.

If you’re product catalog is relatively small – automation might not be necessary, but for retailers managing a large number of SKUs or seeking to expand their product offering, automation will play a critical role in the management of your campaign bids.

Having an advanced marketing strategy on Google Shopping that incorporates programmatic bidding, budget pacing, search term harvesting, and negative keyword grouping is essential to keep up with the channel’s competitive landscape.

Fortunately, there is a tool available to alleviate the threat of inefficiency, without having to sacrifice the attention of product level bidding.

We spoke with David Weichel, Paid Search Director at CPC Strategy and the mastermind behind our new CAPx Shopping Platform to talk about the value of integrating technology into Google Shopping management.

Why is technology necessary for Google Shopping management?

Working within the Google Shopping space for the last 5 years – even 7 years before it even went paid, we’ve had a lot of time to iterate on the process to figure out how to scale and optimize bids across variant product catalog sizes – ranging from 500 to over a million products.

There are a lot of nuances associated with managing a large catalog and there is not a one size fits all approach.

A lot of the work that we’ve done over the past two years has been developing our own internal technology, so that we could most effectively scale the management of large Google Shopping accounts.

Automation can alleviate the guesswork associated with Shopping campaign management and rules or algorithms can be applied to your campaigns to meet specific business objectives.

If applied correctly, automation technology, which is largely operated by programmatic rules, can help retailers streamline their bidding process, save time, and optimize product-level campaign management and efficiency.

What options do advertisers have for integrating automation?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to PPC automation: Algorithmic-based bidding and Rule-based bidding.

An Algorithmic Approach:

Algorithmic bidding is based off a retailer’s financial objective(s). Due to it’s “hands off” appeal, it is a popular management tool among practitioners today.

We’ve found that with an algorithmic approach, advertisers sacrifice control and customization in exchange for a more passive approach.

Although we understand the appeal of automated “machine-learning” services that claim to provide intelligent bid adjustments to fit your Shopping campaign goals, automated algorithmic solutions have a steep learning curve.

Many of these platforms don’t understand the intricate components or competitive metrics that make your company tick.

At the end of the day, nobody knows your business better than your Shopping manager, who is working intimately within your campaigns on a regular basis.

This is why we believe it’s critical for advanced Shopping practitioners to implement programmatic  rule-based bidding for the management of their Shopping campaigns.

A Rule-based Approach:

With rule-based bidding you can be very specific and customize your inputs, as opposed to algorithmic bidding – which can be a ‘cookie cutter’ type software that has to be able to work for businesses of all different shapes and sizes.

Your business is unique and marketing managers should have access to the ability to build their own customized rules to fit their business needs.

What is the CAPx Shopping Platform?

A lot of the success that we’ve had with Google Shopping can be attributed to two key abilities:

We teamed up with our Paid Search team to create a powerful tool to empower Shopping managers with the same technology we use to execute on both of those abilities.

The CAPx Shopping Platform allows us to extend our methods out to other practitioners who:

With the CAPx Shopping Platform, practitioners can use programmatic technology to customize bidding strategy, monitor campaign vitality, and analyze product-level data at scale.


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