Product bidding in Comparison Shopping Engines takes a different approach than keyword bidding. Every engine is going to be a little different on what works best, but here are a few high level strategies to consider when placing bids.
Overstock / Limited Quantities
If you have an abundance of products, you may want to stagger your bids on these products to increase their visibility, thus hopefully driving more sales. There is a balance to be struck with this strategy. Raise the bids too high and your ROI won’t benefit from the increased visibility. The reverse of this is also very helpful. Say you have a handful of a particular product left. Maybe it’s a shirt that is extra small and in a color that hasn’t been as popular. In this case you don’t want to bid too high, but still want to make sure the products have a chance to show.
This tactic is beneficial for retailers that have only a few items available for a particular product or product variant. This lowers your spend on these items that may take a while to convert the final quantities. Also, penny bidding is great to implement for large, known brands. The reason for this is similar to paid search campaigns in that your cheapest clicks are on your brand name since you are highly relevant.
Events / Seasonal
Depending on your products, having a bid strategy for seasonal items or those that would benefit from increased bids due to particular events is something all merchant should consider. For example, winter season or particular sports season, you’ll want to test and see if increasing bids on particular items helps to increase your ROI.
There are many strategies that can be taken with product pricing such as segmenting pricing tiers then adjusting bids to be more cost effective in relation to how they convert.
Brand vs. Non-Brand Campaigns
Breaking out campaigns between branded and non-branded searches by using negative keywords drives brand vs. non-brand search queries to the appropriate campaign bids. The brand campaign can then have lower bids and save on your CPC’s for branded search queries.
These are just a handful of strategies that can be implemented to product listing campaigns. Not all the strategies work for every retailer nor product set, so whenever attempting a new strategy make sure to analyze the results from before and after. Also, ensure your feed is optimized and that your aren’t running a new feed optimization test on the same set or products that you are testing a new bid strategy on or the impact may not be as measurable.
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.