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4 things Shopping Ads managers need to prepare for in 2020

As we look ahead to 2020, the Shopping Ads practitioner is likely wondering what the upcoming year has in store for them. Here are four things to watch as we see the advertising platforms pick up steam with automation and creating efficiencies.

Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) – Let’s get automated with Google

We were all thinking it, so we might as well get that out of the way first! Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) are certainly the elephant in the room aspect of Shopping Ads 2020.

As a quick recap, Smart Shopping is a campaign type in which Google controls a bit of the process of showing Shopping Ads across multiple channels such as Display, Gmail, Youtube and Search and maximizes conversion value (or targets a specific ROAS) as much as possible. In October, I attended a seminar at Google LA in which we were told that 60,000 accounts are currently using Smart Shopping… and we should expect that number to rise in 2020.

However, here is what I expect to also change in 2020 with the increase in Smart Shopping usage – increased communication from Google demonstrating a desire to get Smart Shopping working the best that it can be with retailers and brands. I am hopeful.

We have seen the Black Box nature of Smart Shopping begin to be rolled back specifically in location control with a new customer acquisition focus (coming) and possible segmentation, and negative keywords (albeit, only through your agency representative at this point).

In this regard, I expect to see additional control handed over to advertisers as we help guide the machine more to our specific business / account goals, and with this machine’s obvious ability to hit ROAS targets there could be some truly great things in store in the future for this campaign type. Let’s cross our fingers here.

International shopping – Let’s get global

While much of the focus of the past 18 months in Shopping Ads has been on Smart Shopping, we’ve seen International Shopping Ads continue to become a simple reality in Google because of Google’s Currency Conversion as well as Multi-Country Feeds.

Get your international product shipping attributes figured out because you can get advertising on Google Shopping in another country in an astonishingly short time frame.

While this has been around for a while, I think it’s still not fully on advertisers’ radar. I expect that to change as e-commerce continues to grow with more retailers and brands going global in 2020 on Google Shopping than ever before because of this.

Feed-free product data – Let’s get structured… markup

I discussed structured data markup in my 2019 Shopping Ads prediction piece last year, and we’ve seen Google continue to make strides in this direction.

Nothing much has changed with what I wrote last year, other than that we’re definitely continuing to move in this direction and I would expect small businesses in late 2020 to have a serious option within their Google Merchant Center feed setup to simply allow Google to crawl their site and submit any data edits through Feed Rules.

Microsoft Smart Shopping Ads – Let’s get automated with Bing

Finally, don’t expect Bing to remain out of the fray when it comes to Smart Shopping. I have not received specific news on this from a Microsoft representative, but I would be shocked if they’re not working hard on their own Smart Shopping solution. My prediction is that we will have a Smart Shopping Microsoft Ads campaign type by late summer (at least in beta).

Perhaps it will be the best of both worlds, using their machines to make great decisions but giving advertisers helpful data to assist in a symbiotic machine-human world. Sigh, one can only hope!

What do you think is coming for us in 2020 with Shopping Ads? Feel free to reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn and let’s continue the conversation!

More predictions for 2020

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero the past 4 years and is known for his Ecommerce PPC articles across various industry publications. He is one of the revolving hosts of the weekly #PPCChat on Twitter, as well as an international conference speaker presenting on all things Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads). Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, 5 children, books, and little sleep.

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