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Google Introduces Goal Optimised Shopping Campaigns

In an interesting AdWords development, Google has recently launched Goal Optimised Shopping Campaigns.

It uses the term ‘micro-moments‘ to describe how Shoppers are looking for and researching products across all devices in more ways than ever before: searching online, watching product review videos, reading blog posts, browsing in apps, reading product ratings, etc. It’s important to be able to reach them at the right time across various channels, products, technology, and data, together with re-marketing to them.

The new Goal Optimised Shopping Campaigns (GOSC) are designed to manage this by encompassing automation and machine learning to maximise conversion values. e.g. if a conversion value has been defined by a business to be “revenue,” the GOSC will automatically optimise across networks to maximise “revenue” based on the business’s budget constraints.

The new Shopping campaign type also combines the channels previously available through separate Shopping and Display remarketing campaigns into one. So it’s possible to maximise reach while simplifying campaign management.

While standard Shopping campaigns will continue to provide a more manual option, the new Shopping campaign type offers a fully-automated solution to drive sales and reach more customers by driving conversion value with automation and machine learning.

It takes into consideration combined marketing signals like intent and context with the aim to deliver the marketing goal, whether that be maximising overall conversion value or maximising conversion value at a specific Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). It does this with machine learning, to predict the likelihood of a search query to convert. So it’s possible to make the most of a budget across networks, products, and audiences.

The new Shopping campaign type combines Shopping and Display remarketing campaigns to deliver ads across Google’s entire suite of sites and networks, enabling the capability to reach relevant and valuable potential customers while they’re viewing content across Google.com, the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail.

It’s no longer necessary to manage separate Shopping and Display remarketing campaigns, as this can be done with just one feed, one campaign, and one remarketing tag. The new Shopping campaign type claims to automatically optimise bids, identify the right audiences and determine where the ads show to maximise the particular preferred conversion value.

Google cites a couple of cases of results from GOSC, where Brazil-based Newlentes achieved 57% more revenue at a 61% ROAS and the n11.com e-commerce platform saw 23% more revenue at a 9% higher ROAS.

These cases sound ideal, but there’s some well-founded scepticism in the Search Industry. For most businesses, Google Shopping and Google remarketing serve two very different purposes. Google remarketing does a great job allowing to re-engage customers and bring them back to a site to purchase, whereas Google Shopping is a tool for capitalising upon brand equity and driving new customer acquisition. By merging these two channels and leaving the decision making to Google’s automated systems, advertisers lose a tremendous amount of control over where to invest, when to invest, and where the biggest impact can be made.

There are other more technical issues to also consider. Such as, negative keywords can’t be used directly (and can only be added by Google Reps). Importantly, there’s no individual bids, no search term reports and no control over remarketing creative. Also, an attribution issue prevents how much data is actually from Shopping (new customers) vs remarketing.

So the best strategy to go forward is to compare GOSCs vs separate Shopping + remarketing campaigns to better determine whether there is real value being added by this campaign type, or if Shopping numbers are just getting boosted by remarketing attribution. Doing that would provide the clearest data to determine which works best.

You can read more about GOSC here.

If you want more information about the optimal Shopping campaign for your business, contact us now.