Google Shopping Campaigns: Overview
Google Shopping Campaigns (GSC) are a new way to list merchants' product inventory on Google Shopping and Google Product Listing Ads. The overall architecture of the system is still very similar: merchants send inventory feeds to Google, create an AdWords campaign that specifies bids/budgets, monitor results, and adjust bids/budgets as needed.
Auto targets > SubdivisionsGSC changes how you create the AdWords campaign to set bids/budgets on your items. Instead of auto targets and AdGroups, merchants "subdivide" their items into "Product groups" based on criteria like SKU, brand and category. Merchants can then set bids on each subdivided product group including the "everything else" product group (which includes any items not specifically subdivided).
For many retailers with basic setups, this change is superficial. Instead of setting up an auto target for say, brand "Nike", you would simply subdivide your products on brand and set a similar bid for "Nike". However, for clients with many auto target bids, negative keywords, and promotions, the changeover may be more complicated.
Increased performance metricsGSC also enables significantly more powerful performance tracking features. Merchants can track ROI, revenue and other sales metrics for individual SKUs, brands, and categories. In addition, GSC displays competitor insight by showing your impression share and the average CPC and CTR of "similar products" (Google's wording).
The futureGoogle is promoting Google Shopping Campaigns as the future of Google product advertising. VersaFeed expects Google to eventually retire the current Google Shopping/PLA architecture and require retailers to switch to the new Google Shopping Campaigns sometime in Q4 2014 or Q1 2015 (this is speculative and is not stated by Google).