Bing Shopping:

Whilst Google shopping is something most retailers are already using, Bing shopping isn’t. Why should you be using Bing shopping? The same reason you should use Google shopping. The buying intent is higher and therefore the conversion rate is as well.

Merchant Centres & CSS:

Before you can even use shopping your products do need to be on a merchant centre. This is an area of paid search that has changed quite a bit in the past few years. Historically retailers had just one merchant centre which was the Google one which is where you added your feed in order to have shopping ads. Since then Google have made quite a few changes. They initially launched a % discount and a kickback if you used another CSS (comparison shopping services) merchant centre. The kickback has since been taken away and now you just have a % discount. At Circus this coincided quite well with a software which allows us to edit the feed without relying on a third party. Shoptimised therefore was our perfect partner and they have shared their thoughts on this blog as well:

Local inventory ads – applicable if you have bricks and mortar stores
Stock countdown ads – only works if you have a good stock management system
Dynamic Remarketing with promotions – this can be very useful and one to definitely implement as is relevant to everyone


For retail analytics is going to be your best friend, there is a lot of data you can pull on analytics which will help you take the account to the next level. For example, the Product performance report is very useful to see which of your products are actually converting.


As with a lot of areas of PPC automation performance is much better. This does need to be done in a controlled manner however. 2 of the strategies which seem to work really well are:

  • Target ROAS
  • Max conversion value

A key thing to remember however is different priced products can mean different strategies required for these products. Seasonality also has an important say in automation however Google have launched something to help with this with seasonality adjustments.

Other tips:

Devices perform differently:

One thing that gets overlooked is device performance and more specifically device performance by campaign. Even with automation you can still apply device adjustments just be careful as this will increase your targeted CPA or ROAS.

Steps in checkout journey and any difficult obstacles:

If conversion rates are low, this is a journey you need to take. By going through the site and understanding the obstacles a consumer may face (which may seem obvious to an avid user but not to a typical user), you can improve your conversion rate. Whilst this is done more by developers through conversion rate optimisation some aspects of this can be quite obvious and ties in to the devices performance.

Seller ratings:

To allow Google to explain this in detail: if you are unfamiliar with seller ratings. From our experience, seller ratings have always led to an increase in conversion rate and performance as you are a more trusted brand.

Price extensions:

A great way to give your from prices for your different products without having to use all of your site links for this.

Affiliate location extensions:

This is more for the manufacturers or brand owners who may sell directly but also sell through other stores. By giving the locations of you affiliated stores, you essentially get more orders for your products from these stores.

Compare top product prices against competitors:

Some tools do exist that allow you to do this. If the performance on your top selling product has dropped off overnight this may be a likely reason so to be able to track this is essential.

Tips on what not to do:

  • Do not just accept recommendations by the engine without testing
  • Do not let the engines make changes in your account without you even realising