If you are currently managing a large Google Shopping catalog, then you need to check out this new granular management feature – available to brands who want better, faster and more detailed control over their current campaigns.

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 (on a one product per ad group campaign architecture) isn’t feasible.

As you can image, the investment of time would greatly outweigh the net improvement in performance.

This is just one of the many reasons why our experts at CPC Strategy are leveraging a new automation feature called PGx (Product Group Expander), available in our CAPx technology to achieve “Optimal Granular Management” of Shopping campaigns.

Optimal Granularity Management is the Future of Shopping

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and her troubles with porridge? One bowl was too hot, the other was too cold, but eventually she found the porridge that was “just right”.

Now picture this, Goldilocks is a Google Shopping account manager (ha),  she’s trying to figure out the best way to manage her catalog and she’s got 2 options:

1. “Too Granular” – She doesn’t want to manually manage thousands of SKUs on a per product per ad group campaign structure. Not only can it be extremely time consuming and make scalability nearly impossible, it can also limit the amount of data she can harvest on a product level and make it more difficult to manage performance across various groups.

Pro-Tip: Data scarcity is a major down side to breaking out all SKUs. With bidding automation tools, we can manage any number of product groups, but there does have to be actionable levels of data in to make good bidding decisions.

2. “Not Granular Enough” –  On the flip side, she also doesn’t want hundreds or thousands of her products all lumped into one large campaign. She can’t effectively manage her catalog if she is treating every SKU exactly the same, and she definitely doesn’t want to bid on her best selling items the same as her poor performing items. Inevitably, she knows this strategy will result in wasted clicks and ad spend.

Luckily, there’s a third option and it’s likely the best one.

3. “Optimal Granularity” – Welcome to the “just right” of Shopping management. Optimal granularity is what we call the balance between granular management without sacrificing time and resources.

At CPC Strategy, we invented a new feature that is constantly running in the background to ensure your campaigns are always operating at their “optimal granularity” called PGx.


How to Reach Optimal Granularity with PGx

To explain how PGx works, here’s an example of Kyle (a fictional account manager) who is in charge of a Shopping catalog of 5,000 SKUs:

Kyle is managing a large account and one of his product groups has 43 items in it.

It’s pretty likely that within those 43 products there’s going to be a few outliers.

Examples of outliers could include:

  • A product that is spending little but driving strong ROAS (lost opportunity), or
  • A product that is not spending enough but driving a strong ROAS

 
Whether it be strong or poor performing products, Kyle knows he wants to bid on those outliers differently than the rest of the items in the product group.

The problem is whenever he applies bid rules or bid changes, it impacts all 43 SKUs in his product group and he just doesn’t have the time to go into the account each day, find all the outliers, and put them in their own product group (to bid on separately).

This is where our PGx feature comes into play.

PGx has the ability to identify products that meet a certain criteria or threshold and place them in a separate product group.

 

In this example, Kyle decides he only wants to bid up on products that are driving more than $1,000 per week.

He sets this input using PGx automation and voila! One of the SKUs meets the criteria. The item is automatically broken out into its own product group and now Kyle can easily bid (or set bid rules) on that item differently than the other 42 products (that are not driving as much revenue).

“PGx will look at how a product, or group of products, is performing and if it meets a specific criteria (aka item ID spending over $100 or driving over $1,000 in revenue), it will find those item IDs and break them out instead of having them manually placed into a brand or custom label segment,” Roman Fitch, Lead Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy said.

roman gmail ads

 

“This ensures those specific outliers are being managed properly by the rules that you set up,” Josh Brisco, Senior Manager, Retail Search Operations at CPC Strategy.

“It is extremely difficult and time consuming to manually comb through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of product groups to most effectively break out your product groups.  PGx not only saves us time, but it ensures the campaigns are constantly being optimized.”

 

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Benefits of Granular Bidding with PGx:

  • Improves Account Efficiency: Automatically expands product groups by identifying outlier products.
  • Improves Time Management: Can save hours of manual Google Shopping campaign management (especially for large catalogs).

 
This new iteration is using purely performance metrics and it’s looking at the entirety of data within AdWords,” Chris Mah, Technology Specialist at CPC Strategy said.

“Thresholds can be set to identify products that are performing well & products not performing well. Right now, we only have cost and conversion value available but we’re looking to add more metrics as interest grows.”

 

 

“Because you are able to single out specific products rather than trying to apply a single optimization to an entire group – PGx allows you to be more targeted with your bidding strategy.”

“The tool is the definitely useful for larger catalogs but you can still apply it to smaller catalogs – although it probably wouldn’t be effective on a catalog of like 20 SKUs.”

More on Rule-based Bidding

Keep in mind, under no circumstances should businesses hand over 100 percent of their campaign management to automated solutions. We believe in the hybrid approach of using advanced automated bidding tools in combination with a human element (the practitioner).

One of the main benefits of leveraging automated rule based bidding is the ability to set thresholds. Threshold bidding is just one example of how retailers can set customized rules based on conversions, impressions, ROI, and trends, allowing them to make product-level changes to the account at scale.

Another benefit is transparency. This allows advertisers to identify which rules are working and which ones are not and make adjustments as needed. Unfortunately, most black box solutions do not allow for transparency and customization.

If you would like to learn more about rule-based bidding and granular management for Google Shopping, check out “Programmatic Bidding for Google Shopping Advertisers” or email tara@cpcstrategy.com

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About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.