Google has begun an overhaul of its Google Shopping service for online retailers, by launching a new “goal-optimised” campaign type that aims to maximise customers’ conversion value by using automation and machine learning to manage how products are displayed across searches. Creating a goal-optimised campaign for your business will automate bidding and ad placement, significantly lowering the amount of work needed to maintain a Shopping campaign.
The new campaign type will also combine current Google Shopping campaigns with display remarketing campaigns, meaning that Shopping campaigns will be synchronised to reach across Google.com, the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail without a need to run separate campaigns.
While this update will roll out to Google Shopping customers over the next few weeks, existing customers who don’t want to move to the new automated campaign type will still be able to create and manage their campaigns manually.
Customers will be able to define the specific conversion goal value that they wish to pursue with any new campaign, and Shopping’s machine learning software will automatically place ads in a way that maximises their chosen conversion goal value, based on the budget constraints for the campaign. Google gave the example of “revenue” as a possible goal, and also said that customers would be able to set a conversion value goal at a specific target return on ad spend (ROAS).
Google’s support page for the new campaign types advises customers starting new goal-optimised campaigns that the machine learning systems will need to run for around 2 to 3 weeks before the effectiveness of campaign can be accurately evaluated, as the automation will take some time to test bidding strategies and optimise. They also advise customers to take other outside factors into account when assessing a new campaign, and note the possibility of conversion delays as well as an initial decline in clicks.
When also considering the updates to Shopping actions made in March that created a universal express shopping cart for all products bought through Google Shopping, there’s no doubt that Google’s updates to the service this year have been regular and game-changing, showing its importance as a key element of Google’s suite of business-facing services. According to Google’s Tom Beyer and Roy Baharav in the blog post announcing the new campaign type, goal-optimised campaigns are “the first of many steps to empower retailers with tools to reach more customers”, meaning that we can almost certainly expect more updates and changes to Google Shopping in the near future.9 May 2018