Bing Ads has rolled out its long-awaited answer to Google Shopping Campaigns, imaginatively titled “Bing Shopping Campaigns”. Snarky observations aside; given that a lot of advertisers find lower competition for their top performing keywords on Bing Ads than Google AdWords, shopping campaigns seem like an obvious opportunity for savvy advertisers to get ahead of the game, particularly as these campaigns are currently only available in Beta (outside of the US) phase to selected accounts.
The question is, what factors should be considered when migrating AdWords Shopping Campaigns over to Bing Ads? Well first things first, because this is currently in Beta, its best to reach out to your Bing account rep to discuss the technical set-up. In a more general sense though, what can you expect if you transfer over your Shopping Campaigns wholesale from AdWords to Bing?
The good news is, because Shopping Campaigns have been available to advertisers in the US for a while now, there is some data that advertisers outside of America can take advantage of when planning their entry to this new platform.
Carrie Albright from PPC Hero wrote an excellent post recently about the performance differences between Bing Shopping Campaigns and AdWords Shopping Campaigns for several brands she advertises on behalf of.
The key takeaway from the article is that brands that have a high CTR and convert well on AdWords Shopping Campaigns will not necessarily perform the same on Bing Shopping Campaigns. This is entirely logical when you consider the differences in demographics between Bing and Google users.
What was perhaps most interesting about Carrie’s article is the scale of performance differences in both CTR and conversion rate.
For CPC, she found the following results:
The biggest shock was the Brand 2 and Brand 3 distinctions. Brand 2 is a product brand that is generally speaking, our top performer. This is a household name that dominates our sales volume and is certainly the most competitive piece of our inventory. The fact that Bing actually had a higher CTR tells me that there’s a slice of the pie to be had in Bing. And if you’ll recall, this campaign also has an average CPC 12% lower than Google. Do I hear the makings of a customer acquisition? Yes I do.
Brand 3 also stands out, as it has a much stronger CTR in Google than Bing. This brand, while it’s a strong seller in our stores, seems to have either higher competition or just less competitive pricing than the other ads showing alongside ours. Either way, we definitely have some impression efficiency to build on with this Bing campaign.
For conversion rate, the results were also mixed:
Youch. Looks like Google is absolutely dominating on a few of these brands, while Bing holds strong one of the four.
In fact, let’s go ahead and look at the true conversion rate data between these two publishers.
The good news? None of these have completely miserable conversion rates. And from this account’s history in the world of PLAs, it’s easy to get them to click, with our flashy images, impressive promotions and fantastic prices, but helping them find the specific version of the product to compel them to purchase can be a bit tricky.
Upon examining this data, I see that Brands 2 and 3 are just not getting the same results in Bing as in Google. Brand 1 seems to spend more in Bing, at a lower CPC but also a lower CTR. We aren’t as efficient about who we show our ads to, however, we do get them to buy once they’re on the site.
Judging by Carrie’s research, anyone looking for a “set it and forget it” transfer of existing Shopping Campaigns to Bing will be in for a disappointment, but if you are prepared to export over a few brands/campaigns at a time, with careful monitoring and optimising based on results, Bing Shoppping Campaigns could be a great new platform to increase you or your client’s sales. This ties in with the findings of a recent Reef blog about how lower competition on Bing can make it worth a look for advertisers operating in ultra competitve spaces on AdWords.
Do you have any thoughts about the best strategy for how to start using Bing Shopping Campaigns? Please let me know in the comments section below.