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Hosted by @PPCKirk, this week’s PPCChat session focused on getting Shopping Ads ready for the coming holiday season with different ways, additional budget, smart bidding solutions and more.


Q1: What are things in your Shopping campaigns you can (should) be doing right now to prepare for the upcoming holidays?


Some for us: Be having convos with clients/teams about expected promos. Creating and prepping sales price fields or promotions. Getting a handle on sales promo & creative in SSC/Showcase campaigns. ++ more! @PPCKirk

So many things! but first I’d check your product feed and ensure everything you need is in there. Images, descriptions, category page links, check your setup before your promo. @JuliaVyse

Not making any major changes after halfway through October. @SEMFlem

I am always surprised to see when i audit accounts how many people do not have separate shopping campaigns for desktop and mobile. That should be a minimum move. @RyBen3

Smart Shopping is the only thing you have to do right? I want to be rolling in $$$ this holiday season. @raysawvell

To add a little garland to this tree, start setting your targets. was last year a landslide or a drought? what is success this year? did you launch a new product yesterday? what’s your target for it? Set expectations & goals. @JuliaVyse

Lining up promotion extensions and perfecting your taxonomy. @JonKagan


2. Calculate your seasonal bid adjustments. @SEMFlem

I would say make sure the product feed is of high quality. But then I would say that any time of year. @danbarbata

For me, as one of those on the dark side (internal), working with our merchandisers to ensure all products that need to be shown for for sales are organized and built out in high-priority campaigns with start and end date, etc. settings ready to go. @DumkeBallZ

Looking at what worked and sold last year. Plus talking with clients to figure out which brands they want to focus on or bought tons of product for. Plus budgets and credit card limits. @duanebrown


Q2: Are there any ways your Shopping campaigns will be different this holiday season than in previous holiday seasons? What? Why?


We have more Shopping campaigns running on automation than we ever have in the past across accounts (still testing, and still using manual bidding *GASP* at times). It will be interesting to see how the system does with seasonal upset for TROAS or SSC. @PPCKirk

This is year two on Amazon search for one of my clients. the difference this year is that it’s proven! (for them. delivery in Canada is still….getting there.) @JuliaVyse

Calling the entire flight a single black friday effort. @JonKagan

Using Smart Shopping for top seasonal products for a big box retailer. @SEMFlem

We’re going to test our best-seller collections (and highest driving traffic) products via Smart Shopping, then keep the rest in regular Shopping campaigns. A balance of extended reach but at scale. @BrookeOsmundson

Some campaigns will be consolidated in prep scaling faster. Some brands broken out as we know they sell mostly just at Christmas as it’s a high ticket toy. @duanebrown

First year running smart shopping. The results thus far have just been too good to not run. Nervous about what it’ll do with the huge amount of BF/CM volume/data etc… BUT I’M FEELING RISKY! @markpgus

Personally, we saw one incredibly large huge massive competitor…(guess) come into the space heavier than ever so we are focused on where we can beat them efficiently. We aren’t as small as David, but Goliath is bigger than ever. @DumkeBallZ


Q3: How do you determine additional budget for the holiday season for planning purposes (specific number examples encouraged!)?


The easy way: the client gives us our new targets.The other way: use change in last year’s budget before/after holidays to estimate % holiday growth. Then we translate that to this year’s current spend and shift around based on current competition. @PPCKirk

I tend to look YoY to start with for seasonality. Then, I take into considerations any large business shift changes through the year (conv. rate, AOV, etc.) Then calculate addtl. budget based on goals.@BrookeOsmundson

A mix of what we spend last year and made money off of. Where we see opportunity for growth and new things we want to try in Q4. Plus what is the client comfortable spending. Money don’t grow on trees. @duanebrown

I look at what happened last year, what I want to happen this year, the rise in CPC/changes in conversion rate, and do some math (if I could emoji on Tweetdeck I’d put the nerd one here) #ppcchat Also disclaimer, this is not shopping specific. @amaliaefowler

This plus some extra… I like shopping for discovery/fueling retargeting in other platforms. The pre BF/CM spend here is. @markpgus


Q4: 2-Part Question: How have you seen Amazon in your Shopping Campaign Auction Insights Lately, and how do you expect them to act during the holiday season?


I’m really really curious. Because remember, they dropped totally out of SERPs for Prime Day: (cc @PronouncedAhndy @Tinuiti). Buuuut… they’ve been AGGRESSIVE in virtually all of our clients so I’m expecting them hot this Season. @PPCKirk

Yes. today, yesterday, and for always. In terms of how we expect them to behave, this is their moment! Holiday is THE TIME for grabbing marketshare, so I expect aggressive bids. @JuliaVyse

See my A2, they have come in hot and heavy for us. IS% upwards of 30% compared to 5% last year without any huge notable changes on our end (in terms of offering, spend, etc). How to beat them? Working on it but Home Decor is where they have beat us the most. @DumkeBallZ

IDK WTF AMAZON IS DOING BUTTTTTTT If I was them I’d take over all results on google and force us to use Amazon. I think this would be really interesting to inject real interest in Amazon Advertising. Show us you can ruin us if we don’t use you! pls don’t tho. @markpgus


Q5: How are you thinking about smart bidding solutions in Shopping Ads for the holiday season? Do you already have planned adjustments you will be making?


Not qualified to answer, but definitely building our customer audience profile, which in turn will lead to bid adjustments. @JuliaVyse

They make me uncomfortable, to even get them to adjust to seasonality, and then boom it is over. But the robotic overlords kinda make it hard not to use them. @JonKagan

The seasonality bid adjustment from Google is promising, but with all things, will need to be tested…. For FB… expect CPMs to climb through the roof! @_GilHong

We’ll pull reduce our ROAS targets (to be more aggressive) 7 days before sales hit so the system has some time to adjust to the new targets once the next change in behavior (the sale) hits. @PPCKirk


Q6: Will creative play a role in your Shopping campaigns over the 2019 holidays? If so, how?


Yes, having Creative is a big change from previous holiday years! Showcase / SSC now have text/images, so you can change it out. JUST MAKE SURE NOT TO FORGET IT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS (guilty). @PPCKirk

The answer should be yes! We ignore creative WAY too much. Also, stay tuned for my 2020 conference talk series on the importance of images and why we need to be considering them more carefully. @amaliaefowler

Yeah, we’re planning on using it. We’ve used it on 1-day sales for an account with tons of data, and it’s done well. But, I would be more leery with a smaller account. @SEMFlem

One THOUSAND PERCENT yes. The creative doesn’t start and end at the product feed. You need to show videos of people enjoying the product, questions answered about it, images of the product in your home….and plenty of proper, clear, fun, copy. @JuliaVyse

Differentiating yourself in the SERP will still be important to boost CTR. Change up your imagery compared to the rest, or better yet, aim for multiple shopping ads to rank in the SERP to tell a story with different creatives. @_GilHong

Push out video content to support down stream effort. @JonKagan


Q7: Are you running Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) over the holidays this year in any accounts? What steps are you taking to prepare them/think about them during the flux of the season? TALK ABOUT SSC.


We are actively testing Smart Shopping in our accounts. We see it perform well sometimes and struggle others (Googlers would say that’s solely an implementation issue, of course). We’re definitely not switching everything over solely to it! @PPCKirk

Given the additional placement options that are ONLY available via SSC, it’s certainly worth considering… but at the end of the day search/purchase intent on the SERP is king. @_GilHong


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