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Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I've been using Product feeds for years. Shopping Campaigns for a few months. There is one problem that happens with Shopping Campaigns, that doesn't happen with Product Listing Adverts - and I think it's arguably a design flaw.

 

If I have had a previously read feed, and I update the feed, usually I can continue working in the Shopping Campaign. Sometimes it takes a day or two for the feed to pass through Google's systems. In the time that this is happening, Google continues to deliver impressions and clicks against the old feed (I assume - since the new feed hasn't been accepted, I'm guessing that the previous feed is the resource it is usuing).

 

The problem with not having accepted the new feed, is that when I go to select products, or modify them, I can't. As the system is waiting for a new feed, which has noy yet been processed, I have products whose bids I can't set, whose product attributes I can't change - even though impressions continue to be delivered. 

 

I feel out of control.

 

Would it be possible to retain the effective feed for use in AdWords, until such point as a new feed has been fully accepted? That way, I have control over the feed that is being used, and when the new feed arrives, I can take advantage of it. I won't have gaps where I can't do anything useful with attributes (that's the Brand, Custom Labels, etc - they're all unusuable when the Shopping Campaign insists that there are no products at all in the new feed, yet)

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jeremy C
September 2015

Re: Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Community Manager
# 4
Community Manager
Hi Jeremy,

Really appreciate your feedback on this. I've passed it along with your other thread. I'm sure other folks have similar configurations to yours, so we want to make sure we're making things easy for everyone.

One thing I did want to make sure you know:
When you're subdividing products by ID, you can click a link at the bottom to "bulk add values manually." You could add in products that haven't yet populated for selection in the product drop-down because of data reconciliation. And then you could exclude "Everything else." That way, these new products don't show lumped together as "Everything else" and you can actually control the bid for them.

Not sure if that will help you at all; just wanted to toss it out there, in case it does. Again, thanks so much for this valuable feedback, Jeremy.

View solution in original post

Re: Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for taking the time to detail what's happening with your feeds.

Honestly, it shouldn't be taking longer to upload a feed for use in a Shopping campaign than it did when you were using a PLA campaign. Have you been in touch with our support team yet, to see why you might be experiencing this in your account? If you haven't, let me know, and I'd be happy to escalate your case so that someone reaches out.

Re: Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
HIya, and thanks for the reply.

The problem isn't so much the time taken, as what happens when a new feed
is supplied.

With the old PLA's, it didn't matter how long the process was, and how many
steps there were. I entered things like Product Ids to identify the
proucts. I could do that whether or not a product was in the feed. When the
product was approved in Merchant Center and then in AdWords Editorial
Review processes, it would run. But the key was that I could control it at
all points. There was no point when I couldn't even find the produt, much
less alter the bid.

With Shopping Campaigns, when a new feed is detected, the Shopping Campaign
might say, for all AdGroups, that there ar no products in the feed. Yet it
wil still deliver impressions, and charge for clicks.

I think it is not reasonable that Impressions and Clicks are delivered,
when I can have no control over the bid. If I discover that the price is
too high for a product, I have to wait an indeterminate time (the AdWords
staff I spoke to said that it was normal for feeds to take 24-48 hours to
be processed) before I can drop the bid - because until the feed is
processed, I have no control.

With the old PLAs I didn't actually care much about the Merchant Cntre and
AdWords Editorial checks. I knew they happened. They happened on a schedule
that I couldn't really affect, but I was always in control of the bid and
presentation.

With Shopping Campaigns, I *only* have control after all the checking is
completed. But in the interim, Google is using (I guess) the old feed, and
delivering impressions and clicks - and I have no control over which
products are in that AdGroup, and what the bid is for those products -
because Shopping Campaigns tell me that I have no products in the feed,
during processing.

I think the model should be that the Shopping Campaign uses the *actual*
feed - the one that results in Impressions and Clicks, *until* the new feed
has been processed and is in use. That way, I don't ever have the feeling
that Google is delivering impressions that I can't control, at prices that
are not right.

Why this problem is now significant is that I have been working on four
websites with feeds fo the sam client. Each week they revise products
(though it is sometimes scattered through the week). We do a weekly
scheduled update to cover removed products, and added products and changed
products. For about 15 months this has been fine. We added Shopping
Campaigns to these accounts pretty much as soon as Shopping Campaigns were
announced and as we developed understanding. And until last Monday, even
with quite large feed changes (up to 10% of products, and with entirely new
Custom Labels added and removed), we were still getting control of the
Shopping Campaign in a matter of a couple of hours. Scheduling the feed for
Monday morning at 8, meant that by 10, I could be working on changes.

Last Monday, we updated, and I couldn't work on the Shopping Campaign until
the following day. While that's painful (it means re-scheduling periodic
activity, and has rippling consequences on other clients), it pales to
insignificance compared to the fifth website... which we would like to have
daily feeds, not monthly (too many products with changing availability and
price, for a weekly feed to be effective). If we have a daily feed, then we
face the prospect of being completely unable to control Shopping Campaigns,
when Google chooses to prolong our feed intake process - something we have
no control over.

I understand your points about the process of accepting a feed being no
different. But since the User interface is now tied to the state of a new
feed, the interaction model is different.

I suppose the core problem is this:

"It is not appropriate to be charging for impressions and clicks when the
user interface insists that the feed has no products at all."

At one extreme - stop delivering impressions to the products in the old
feed. At the other extreme, make the UI represent what Google appears to be
doing - use the old feed to inform the UI until such time as the new feed
has been fully processed. But don't mix the two cases, please.

Hope that helps to clarify the issue.

Cheers, JeremyC.
--
Jeremy Chatfield -
Skype: jezchatfield, Mobile: +44(0)7780 607613
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jeremy C
September 2015

Re: Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Community Manager
# 4
Community Manager
Hi Jeremy,

Really appreciate your feedback on this. I've passed it along with your other thread. I'm sure other folks have similar configurations to yours, so we want to make sure we're making things easy for everyone.

One thing I did want to make sure you know:
When you're subdividing products by ID, you can click a link at the bottom to "bulk add values manually." You could add in products that haven't yet populated for selection in the product drop-down because of data reconciliation. And then you could exclude "Everything else." That way, these new products don't show lumped together as "Everything else" and you can actually control the bid for them.

Not sure if that will help you at all; just wanted to toss it out there, in case it does. Again, thanks so much for this valuable feedback, Jeremy.

Re: Shopping Campaign Feed Update Design Issue?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank - I spotted the "Bulk Add Values" was a route to add product criterion that weren't active in the feed yet. I think there may have been some changes, already. I saw yesterday that I had a new feed ("Custom Label 1" had been changed radically, separating what had been 100 products into 6 groups of no more than 20 products), and that I had still appeared to have access to the old feed characteristics, until this morning, I saw the new label values appearing. So at least there's no point where I don't have anything apparently in the feed, while still serving impressions and clicks. That's a helpful improvement.

Add some clarity on "new feed has been submitted and may appear soon", and your tip on using "Bulk Values" to sidestep the otherwise helpful UI until the feed is accepted and approved, and we're close enough.

Thanks, JeremyC.