3 Reasons to Manage Your Product Feed with Your Shopping Campaigns

June 13, 2017

Search advertisers are having an increasingly common conversation around the importance of product feed optimizations in the context of overall Shopping performance. Truly, you can’t maximize results of your campaigns by only managing campaign-side efforts or only tweaking the product feed.

To get the most out of your Shopping endeavors, it’s important to know what’s happening on both sides of the fence. This post explores a few scenarios to demonstrate why.

1. Inventory

As long as they’re “in stock,” your products will continue to show on Shopping ads. This poses an issue when “in stock” means “only four left” or extremely limited sizes or colors. At some point, the product is no longer competitive. Be proactive by optimizing based on back-end inventory (excluding products in low supply) as opposed to waiting for performance to drop.

2. Image

A product image can have as much impact on how a product sells online as its respective bid does.

shopping ads

If you’re only looking at CTR on the campaign side and notice a shift, perhaps it’s due to an image change on the feed side. It takes a unified approach to understand product attribute testing (like an image change) and the resulting impact on performance. Note that having multiple variables will blur results and make a test inconclusive—a proper test has a single variable.

3. Attribute Change

In a worst-case scenario, a change in the feed can cause products to go offline. For example, think of an advertiser who has five product groups, all mapped out to Brand = definitions. These run for a few weeks and then, unbeknownst to the campaign manager, the Brand values for the products are all changed to something new.

This means the existing Brand = product groups would stop showing ads because there are no longer products in the feed that match that criteria. The same could apply to SKUs or any other criteria that depend on a product match in the feed itself.


Understanding that a feed attribute change can have a realized impact in a Shopping campaign is very important. Keeping this in mind allows you to test things like image variations (what’s the impact on clickthrough rate of a side image vs profile?) or titles (does adding brand name improve conversion rate?). Make sure that all the campaign-side optimizations (bids) are consistent, and you’ll get data-backed insights on what works and what doesn’t.

Andrew Todd

Marin Software
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