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Ecommerce Shopping Bid strategy-National brands-Low bids=Higher ROAS-Thoughts??

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# 1
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Hey guys, 


Wanted to share an observation and some thoughts about correct bidding strategy for ecommerce stores selling national brands such as Nike, Oakley etc. And see if anyone else in here agrees or is seeing similar results. 


I am running a few Shopping campaigns with more or less 4000 products all split up into brand product groups. I have  been experimenting with higher bids vs lower bids over the past few months and have found that lower bids seem to be advantageous by far for the following reasons. 


1. Higher Bids: Despite getting more impression share and more clicks, higher bids  increase the frequency that our products appear in search results that are triggered by much broader search terms or more irrelevent search terms.  In other words higher bids seem to attract much more top of the funnel traffic = Bad ROAS. 


2. Lower bids seem to make our products ads more relevant to the search query. In other words lower bids are attracting much more relevant bottom of the funnel traffic and weeding out the irrelevant traffic thus increasing CTR% and ROAS. 


I know this might seem very obvious to some since in an auction scenario, the higher the bids the more auctions our products take place in which leads to more and more traffic that is less qualified.


In the e-commerce store I am working on, most all 4000 or so products are National brands such as Nike, Oakley, Mountain Hardwear, Vans, Toms, Ray-Ban etc.... In this store's context It is pretty improbable that a customer would type in the search query ''tent'' and end up buying a Mountain Hardwear Optic 3.5 Tent - Grey.


I could understand a clearance ecommerce store selling generic discounted products such as frying pans wanting to show up for broad search terms such as ''Frying Pans'' since this potential customer may not be in the market for a specific model but more in the market for a decent priced frying pan regardless of the model. Rarely the case in our store. 


Having said this, my observations lead to thinking that e-commerce stores that carry National brands that have specific model names and colors are not advantaged to bid highly on their products and should rather bid as low as possible as long as the product ads continue showing up when close search queries are executed.


Thoughts and comments are welcomed. 






2 Expert replyverified_user

Ecommerce Shopping Bid strategy-National brands-Low bids=Higher ROAS-Thoughts??

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# 2
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Hi Jason,


It is a common strategy (for your scenario) to run 3 shopping campaigns.


Brand Names

Product Names



Each contains the entire product catalog but uses negative keywords (so the brand names are negatives in Product Names and Generic)


You can then set campaign priorities so that the keywords that convert best are high priority (some online articles say to do this for Brand, but Brand doesn't convert best for everyone).


And finally you can adjust bids for each.



Re: Ecommerce Shopping Bid strategy-National brands-Low bids=Higher ROAS-Thoughts??

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# 3
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Hey @RobSkelton


Thanks for the suggestion,what you are talking about is kind of what motivated me to write that last post.


Just seems like the general strategy for setting up shopping campaigns is opposite of what i have found. ex: Bid low on campaigns that contain lots of negative keywords based on brands or model names and bid higher on campaigns that allow branded/model name search queries. 


I had tried running campaigns based on this structure in the past using priorities and neg keywords for brands, but ended up not seeing any positive results.


I think in our case the probability of a customer searching for ''Snowboard'' and having one of our High priority/neg keyword campaigns show ads based on a broad keyword such as ''Snowboard'' was simply not profitable for us.


I understand the logic behind the priority based campaigns, but cant seem to translate that logic into our situation as I am seeing that simply lowering my bids makes our products ads to show up for more precise search queries. 


General campaign priority logic states that we should split campaigns up into priority buckets and use neg keywords to exclude branded traffic right?, So.. 


High Priority would have really low bids with branded neg keywords, a good way to get cheap top of the funnel traffic generally speaking. General strategy also states that we should bid higher on the Low priority campaigns that contain less to no neg branded keywords. Lets call these ''Branded Campaigns''. But from my experience this seems to be nonsense as it seems to be more profitable to bid less on these ''Branded Campaigns'' that contain no negative keywords since it permits our products ads to only enter in auctions that have search queries that are a very near match to the product title/brand/model name. It is almost like bidding lower in shopping makes your products more similar to an exact match keyword like we would see in a search campaign. 


I am curious if other consultants or e-retailers selling branded national items are seeing the same thing? I am also curious as to what campaign structures have been successful for others? Priority based? Using RLSA lists, splitting campaigns up in devices. I know there is not 1 proper set up and each situation may require a different strategy but i am curious and open to suggestions and ideas. 





Ecommerce Shopping Bid strategy-National brands-Low bids=Higher ROAS-Thoughts??

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# 4
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Each niche and merchant is completely different, not every setup is identical. The concept you mention and allot of other industry experts explain is the foundation of a great setup. Do not take everything letter by letter, if someone tells you to bid 50 pence, than don't bid 50 pence but do the research and base your bidding on your actual data.


Your bidding should be based on return of investment, so if you sell brands where the ROAS is low, than you need to decrease the bidding or make other adjustments. When someone says bid higher, it does not mean you have to bid extremely high where there is no profit.


Along side campaign setup, data feed quality and landing page + checkout play a big role in your profits.


When I have a new client, I always start with the data feed, check the website for basics, than improve the campaigns than go back to the website and improve in more depth. This cycle is a continues effort.


Every advertiser is improving, when they are doing something good, you will feel it in a negative way. And visa versa. A successful business always improves every aspect that plays a part of selling a product.


I hope the suggestions help you guide your business to success.

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