Comparison Shopping

Does Google Rank PLAs Differently On Google Shopping & Standard SERPs?

Google Product Listing Ads

Recently, Hannah, a Google AdWords community manager posted the following question on the AdWords discussion forum:

Is the ranking of PLAs on Google search different to the ranking of products on Google shopping pages?

This question was answered by Kat, a Google employee:

In some circumstances, you may notice differences in how your products are serving or ranking on Google with PLAs versus Google Shopping. For example, you may see your items showing/ranking on the former but not showing/ranking on the latter. This behavior may happen, and could vary, based on several factors. Reasons why this may happen can include:

  • The available real estate is different between the two properties. On Google.com, there is less space to show PLAs while the Shopping property has more space.
  • The auction dynamics can be different between the two properties and, as such, the results may also be slightly different.
  • For some queries, Google Shopping may present results via a catalog (specific product page) instead of individual merchant listings while Google does not display these catalogs.

Improvements are continually being made to the system and, over time, these improvements can help further unify the results between the two properties but, on occasion, differences between results may be seen.

Read More →

Google AdWords Announces New Shopping Campaign Type

Ever since Google Shopping transitioned to a paid model, Google has been releasing new features constantly. Yesterday, they announced that a new campaign type will be rolled out called Shopping Campaigns.

The new campaign type will give you the ability to better manage your campaigns from a product and category level. Some of the new features are:

  • Retail-centric way to manage your products
  • Advanced reporting to measure product performance
  • Competitive data to size your opportunity

Read More →

shop4

shop5

shop1

shop2

shop3

Shopping campaigns are currently available to a limited number of advertisers. It will be rolling out gradually in the US, with full global availability by early next year. API support will come in 2014 as well.

How do I get access? Fill out this form to request early access.

Shopping.com Holiday Pricing Update Goes Into Effect November 1st

ECN_Header_2

As we get closer to the holiday season crunch, the comparison shopping engines are getting ready to raise their prices. A few days ago NexTag lead the charge with their new tiered pricing and holiday pricing surcharge. Today, eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) sent out the following notice:

Dear Merchant,

With the holiday season approaching, we anticipate increased shopping activity across many categories. eBay Commerce Network will implement the following holiday pricing adjustment and temporarily adjust CPC rates only in select categories from November 1st to December 31st, 2013.

  • 79% of the rate card will reaming flat (no rate increase)
  • 6 categories will increase by 15%
  • 48 categories will increase by 25%
  • View updated Holiday Rate Card

We will automatically adjust your CPC bids during the holiday pricing period; therefore no action is required on your part. On January 1st, 2014 we will readjust your bids to your pre-holiday amounts.

While some rates are increasing, most campaigns will not see a significant shift in cost of sale as we will continue to leverage Value-based-pricing, our network management tool, to sustain your ROI goals. This allows us to more prominently advertise your offers on the highest performing publishers to increase sales.

We recognize this is an exciting time of year for your business and we look forward to our continued partnership.

Sincerely,
Kristy Troup
Director, US Business
eBay Commerce Network

NexTag Implements Tiered Pricing By Category

NexTag sent out a notification this weekend announcing a few changes to their pricing structure. Effective October 14th, 2013 the CPC rate will be based on the actual price of the item. See the tiered chart below for more information.

In addition, the annual holiday surcharge will go into effect at the same time. The holiday surcharge will be in effect from 12 AM Pacific on Monday October 14, 2013 through 11:59 PM Pacific on Sunday January 5, 2014.

Read the full email from NexTag below:

Dear Valued Merchant,

As the marketplace evolves, we continuously adjust our advertising approach to help maximize traffic to your site. As we enter into the busiest shopping time of the year, we wanted to inform you of two important changes to our pricing structure to help you optimize your traffic opportunity for this holiday and beyond.

  1. Tiered pricing by category: To be more responsive to your needs, we’re introducing a tiered pricing model that helps align CPC pricing with merchant cost of sale. Essentially, you’ll pay less for clicks on lower-priced products and more for higher-priced products. This change will go into effect on October 14, 2013 and will continue unless the rate card is subsequently modified. The new tiered pricing is shown in our Rate Card.We believe this change will improve your overall COS for lower-priced products and ultimately allow you to list more products. With this change, we’ll be able to bid more for valuable traffic, and so will you.
  2. Annual holiday surcharge: At the same time as our tiered pricing update, we will also rollout our holiday rates to help deliver expected traffic volume during the most critical time of year for traffic and sales. The surcharge for each category is shown in our Rate Card. The surcharge will be in effect from 12 AM Pacific on Monday October 14, 2013 through 11:59 PM Pacific on Sunday January 5, 2014.

You do not need to take any action for these changes to take effect. If you do not agree to the changes described above, you must suspend or terminate your account. Termination or suspension of your account will be effective two (2) business days after receipt by Nextag. Please contact your Account Manager or email our Seller Support team should you have any questions regarding these changes.

According to CPC Strategy, we remain the #1 independent comparison shopping platform for driving high volume and quality traffic. Wize Commerce is committed to helping merchants achieve significant volume of traffic and expected performance goals. We now offer a number of sites to maximize opportunity in the marketplace Nextag (with the widest selection of products) to Price Machine (for price-conscious shoppers) to Wize (with expert product recommendations) to ApplianceShopping (for specs-heavy product shopping).
We thank you for your business and look forward to a busy and productive holiday season!

Best wishes,
The Nextag team

Important Note:
For products where you currently are bidding the minimum: All minimum bids on active products will automatically be adjusted up or down to the new minimum rates for the appropriate tier on October 14, 2013. Should you wish to bid above the new minimum rates for products where you currently bid the minimum, you will need to manually adjust your bids.

For products where you currently are bidding above the minimum: Bids that are above the current minimum but below the new minimum will be automatically adjusted to the new minimum bid for the appropriate tier. For price tiers where the new minimum CPCs are equal to or higher than the current minimum and your current bid is above the new minimum rate, your bid will not be changed. For price tiers where the new minimum CPCs are lower than the current minimum and your current non-minimum bid is above the new minimum rate, your bid will be automatically reduced to the new minimum CPC.

The holiday surcharge will also be automatically applied. The price tier changes described above will be applied first, and the holiday surcharge will be applied to the adjusted, price tiered bids. The surcharge applies to your total CPC, which includes standard CPC plus any CPC increases you have selected for the Logo or Marketing Message programs.

Bing Shopping Launches Product Ads, Rich Captions & More

Bing announced some changes to Bing Shopping last week. First of all, they are now calling it Bing Product Search.

Integrated Results

One of the main changes is that you no longer need to click on the “Shopping” tab. Bing will automatically show product lists based on the intent of the search query. So if they think you are looking for a product, they will push out the info for you.

Product Snapshots

They are also bringing Snapshot technology to expose more of the details you need for a specific product, like specs and reviews, to make a decision without having to click to another page.

snapshot

Rich Captions

Rich Captions is a new free service which gives you an opportunity to provide information about your products directly on the Bing search result pages. Your product’s price and availability may be displayed below the search algorithmic results linking to your product’s page. This new experience will begin to roll out in the next month. To participate, you will need to submit your product catalog via a feed. If you are a Product Ads beta customer, this feed is the same as your Product Ads feed or you can create a new one.

2086.Shopping1.png-550x0

Product Ads

Like Google AdWords Product Listing Ads, Bing Product Ads will allow you to promote products directly on the search results page. The ads are delivered on both Bing and Yahoo! search result pages and will allow advertisers to include product details such as image, price and description within their ads, delivering key information about the product offers that will help users make informed decisions before clicking on the ads (which improves the conversions). This program is currently in Beta, so keep your eyes open for your invitation to join the program.

4375.Shopping3.jpg-550x0

Google Shopping Unique Product Identifier Requirements Deadline On September 16th

Google announced that they will be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. See the full reminder from this afternoon:

A few weeks ago, we announced that we’ll soon be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. These new specifications help us serve better results to users while creating more opportunities for merchants. We highly recommend making the necessary changes to comply with data quality requirements, as better data quality is a key lever to improve the performance of your Product Listing Ads campaigns.

Beginning on September 16th, all previously exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as all accounts in Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands will begin to be subject to these new requirements. By November, all violating offers will be rejected and will not be served through Product Listing Ads. These new feed specifications are already being enforced for all accounts in the United States and non-exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In September, we’ll also begin enforcing correct use of the ‘identifier exists’ attribute. To avoid disruption to your traffic, please ensure that you’re only submitting ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (for example, custom goods). Please review the latest product feed specification to learn more.

To help merchants with this transition, we’ll be broadcasting Google Shopping Office Hours via a Hangout on Air on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:30 am Pacific Time. We encourage you to join us to get advice about data feeds and unique product identifiers. If you already know what you’d like to ask, feel free to post it in the comments now. You’ll be able to submit questions during the Hangout on Air as well.

Make sure you don’t get dropped out of Google Shopping. Here’s what you need to do:

Include unique product identifiers in your data feed
  • Apparel categories: ‘brand’ is required. Additionally, for the categories listed below, you must submit at least 1 out of ‘gtin’ or ‘mpn’:
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing Accesories > Sunglasses’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Handbags, Wallets & Cases > Handbags’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Watches’
  • Media and software categories: ‘gtin’ is required
  • All other categories: at least 2 of the following 3 identifiers are required: ‘brand’, ‘gtin’, and ‘mpn’.
  • Exception: in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (e.g. custom goods), submit ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE.

If you don’t provide the required unique product identifiers, your items may be removed from Google Shopping. For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes (‘brand’, ‘mpn’, and ‘gtin’) where available.

Required Product Categories

Please note that it is possible that none of your products will appear in Google Shopping if your data feed does not include the required unique product identifiers in all categories, except for custom goods.

Custom goods: Custom goods are one-of-a-kind items for which no unique product identifiers exist, like vintage goods, collectibles, art, perishables, books published before 1970, and other special items. Custom goods can be in any product category.

Category Identifiers required for each product
Media (i.e., Music, Movies, Video games) UPC, EAN, or JAN
Books ISBN (Either ISBN-10 or ISBN-13. Exceptions apply for books published before 1970.)
Apparel (outside of the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categories)* Brand
Items in the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categories Brand and at least 1 of the following 2 identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • MPN
Custom goods The ‘identifier exists’ attribute must be provided with a value of FALSE.
All other At least two of the following three identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • Brand
  • MPN

*Definition of Apparel: To see the scope of the apparel category, please visit the ‘apparel and accessories’ section of the taxonomy chart.

eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) Launches New Merchant Center Interface

eBay Commerce Network

eBay Commerce Network, the backend Merchant Center for Shopping.com has just launched a new interface. It looks pretty great at puts a lot of additional information right in your dashboard.

Check out the full email from eBay Commerce Network below.

Hi Partner,

We are excited to announce the launch of our new and improved Merchant Center!

We refreshed this tool with a more intuitive user experience to help you make better data-driven decisions, improved the load times, and introduced new reporting.
check

Your New Home Page
The new Summary page helps you stay on top of key campaign information, including your latest performance trends. Now, when you log in, you’ll have instant access to an interactive campaign dashboard displaying your performance trends.

Enhanced Reporting Platform
Our improved reporting tools provide deeper insights into your campaign, helping you analyze and optimize performance on our network. You can now utilize a visually rich reporting dashboard, with key campaign trends by day, week, or month, YoY comparisons, and more.

Sophisticated new bidding tools
We’ve developed powerful bidding tools to help you increase product exposure, drive more traffic and grow sales. You’ll benefit from a more seamless and intuitive bidding experience as well as instructive videos and tips to help you bid smarter.

For more details on commonly used features check out our Help Center.

Sincerely,

Merchant Services
eBay Commerce Network

Commonly Used Features

5 Ways To Export Products From Magento For Comparison Shopping Engines

magento-export-products

Magento is a great platform with a ton of features. However, one issue a lot of merchant run into is exporting their products for the Comparison Shopping Engines (i.e. Google Shopping). I have tested a few different solutions over the years, and here are the top Magento Extensions.

 

Google Shopping   Magento Extension

#1 – Wyomind Simple Google Shopping

Although it is called Simple Google Shopping, you can use the output file to send to all Comparison Shopping Engines. The three main reasons to love this extension:

  1. It’s relatively cheap at €30 (around $40 USD)
  2. It works with every Magento product type (Simple, Configurable, Grouped, Bundled etc…)
  3. Great support team

When dealing with complicated products, most of the other solutions do not handle them well. Simple Google Shopping gives you the option to pull all child items with the parent URL but still use the child product image and price. It’s very versatile and can handle almost every Magento product mix that I’ve come across.

Download Simple Google Shopping

 

Data Feed Manager   Magento Extension#2 – Wyomind Data Feed Manager

If you are need a more complex solution with additional options, Wyomind also has a Pro version called Data Feed Manager. This version has many more features and can almost fully replace something like GoDataFeed. It is pretty cheap considering all the features it includes, the price is €80 (about $105).

Download Data Feed Manager

 

feed_exporter_icon_1

#3 – CPC Strategy Feed Exporter

This is a very simple feed export tool from CPC Strategy. Just pop in the Magento extension and follow the instructions here. This works well for simple products and best of all is free.

Download Feed Exporter

 

feedpro#4 – GoMage Feed Pro

GoMage has an extension that is similar to Wyomind’s Data Feed Manager. This is also meant to be used instead of software like GoDataFeed or SingleFeed. I haven’t used this one as much, but it work well and is reasonably priced at $189.

Download Feed Pro

 

Magento 1.6  Google Shopping   Products   Content   Stack Overflow#5 – Manually Export Products With PHP Scripts

If you are comfortable with PHP code, try this script. You just need to make a few changes and upload the file from your Magento server.

Download PHP Script

Get Listed On RobotOatmeal.com For Free

RobotOatmeal.com

Nothing beats free, right? Shopzilla just launched RobotOatmeal.com, a coupon code repository. They are currently pulling in coupon codes from all the major affiliate networks. So if you have an affiliate program on the one of the top affiliate networks, you should be listed already. However, there is a way to get listed for free if you are a Shopzilla merchant.

Free Listings

You can submit coupon codes directly to RobotOatmeal and their robot will eat your coupon codes for free so you don’t have to pay a commission on each sale. Just send the following info to snacks@robotoatmeal.com

  • Offer Description
  • Coupon Code (unique codes for Shopzilla should start with either “RO” or “SZ”)
  • Start and End Dates
  • Destination URL (landing page and any tracking you’d like to include)
  • Your Store Name and/or MID

Featured Listings

Aside from free listings, they are offering to feature your listing on the home page for free too!

We would love to include your coupons on RobotOatmeal.com; if you provide us with a unique coupon code, we’ll try to place you high on the home page of Robot Oatmeal, and give you coverage on our other sites. You’re not required to create a deal that’s unique to us; you can use your existing promos and just make the code itself specific to our sites (unique codes should start with “RO” or “SZ”). If you want to give us an exclusive deal, though, we’d love to have it!

Amazon Raising Minimum Bids Across 60 Categories

AmazonsNewLogo

FYI – We received the following email from Amazon Product Ads yesterday.

Minimum Bid Increases on August 27, 2013

Dear Advertiser,

On August 27, 2013, Amazon Product Ads will be increasing the minimum bids in 60 bidding categories. We will not be changing the minimum bids in the remaining 114 categories.

In the 60 impacted bidding categories, we will automatically set your category-level bids to the new minimums. We will do this for your category-level bids that are at or above the current minimums and below the new minimums. We will not change your category-level bids that are above the new minimums or SKU-level bids that you have set using your product feed. You should review and update all SKU-level bids in the impacted categories before August 27, 2013.

If you do not want us to set your category-level bids to the new minimums, you can opt out of this change in Seller Central. Just look for the “Minimum Bid Increases on August 27, 2013” notice at the top of any page.

Ads for products in the impacted categories will not be eligible for impressions as of August 27, 2013, if you opted out of automatic bid adjustment and your category-level or SKU-level bids are below the new minimums.

Please review the Setting Bids help page or contact our Seller Support team if you have any questions about adjustments to the minimum bids.

Thank you,
Amazon Product Ads

Page 1 of 41234