Long-Term Bid Management, Promotions, and Data Feed Updates
Bid Management and Optimization
Each comparison shopping engine’s tracking pixel metrics will allow you to pull and analyze reports on both the product and category levels. You should pull these product reports at least once a week. Obviously this benchmark can vary depending on the retailer, and you may end up updating your bids daily or even once every 2 weeks. Remember, bid higher on products that have high conversion rates and zero-bid/penny-bid those that are doing very poorly.
However, be wary of how qualified the traffic is that you’re receiving from each individual CSE. A good tip is to raise your under-performing products’ bids a few cents above the minimum bid allowed, so as to get a leg up on the many retailers bidding at the minimum without spending much more. You can refer to Chapter 2 for a more detailed explanation of the bid process. In case you haven’t visited your CSE merchant pages in a while, just remember the old Back to The Future adage: “We have to go back!”
The reality is that when a shopper is looking for a specific product on a
CSE, their decision oftentimes comes down to overall price, so any leg up you can gain here is great. If you’re offering any promotions, you need to make them well known, and ideally before a customer even visits your site.
Thus, it’s key that you sync your promos up with your CSE campaigns so that they appear on your CSE product pages. For a detailed explanation on how to set up coupons on PriceGrabber, check this out. For more general promotional listing info, find out each CSEs different guidelines here.
Data Feed Updating
A product that receives 250 clicks and produces 0 sales needs to be cut. It’s a reflection of unqualified traffic and is literally wasting your money. You will need to assess products like this regularly. Remember to employ the 30/30 rule mentioned in Chapter 3. If a product doesn’t convert after 30 days or click, it’s time to penny/zero-bid or remove that product. Also, check out each CSEs own version of a data feed error- checker (available in merchant login) to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Update your data feeds at least once a week but most retailers need to update their feeds daily. This entails referring to your tracking pixel metrics to determine how well your products are performing and potentially cutting some products from your feed. I know the prospect of removing a product entirely from your data feed may be unnerving, but it’s good business.
When a product needs to be removed from a feed is also dependent on your product category, be it furniture or electronics, your products’ AOV, and also how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re in a high AOV product category like furniture, you can wait a little longer than 30 days or clicks for a conversion. These are products where people usually like to weigh their options a little before purchasing, and so the high rate of clicks or time elapsed is expected.
If you’re in a low AOV product category like small electronic accessories, you may want to consider lowering your click/day threshold. Additionally, how long you wait before cutting depends on your budget. The more you’re willing to spend, the bigger window you have to wait, and vice versa.