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10 new ways to improve your Microsoft Shopping Campaigns

As the leaves start to change color and you feel a brisk fall breeze in the air, that means it’s almost time for the retail holiday season. Our retail customers are getting ready for the rush, and Microsoft Advertising has been hard at work on new features for your Shopping Campaigns. We have been developing new ad experiences, looking for new ways to drive more ad volume, and improving our reporting and user interface to make campaign optimizations easier. These are the top 10 new features to improve your campaigns.

1 - Flyers

Perfect to help you stand out this busy holiday season, flyers lets you promote your products in a few different ad formats — as an extension to your text ads, in the flyer carousel at the top of the SERP or below the mainline text ads block. With flyers, you can increase your traffic from broad queries like weekly deals or weekly sales. These visual ads give your customers more information before they click and can help you stand out from your competition. There are several types of visual assets you can display as your flyer, including weekly flyers, store circulars, catalogs or look books.

Product view of a view flyer ad in the search results.
View flyer example, top right.

2 - Local Inventory Ads

If you have brick and mortar stores, Local Inventory Ads are a fantastic compliment to your existing Microsoft Shopping Campaigns. While online retail sales are growing faster, brick and mortar locations still account for almost 90% of US retail sales. Local Inventory Ads are a way to bridge the gap between online searchers and in-store purchasers. You can easily enable your existing Shopping Campaigns to display Local Inventory Ads. And we have new experiences for Local Inventory Ads to display within the Shopping tab, within the map view on Bing, and in the Store Intent task pane. Launch your Local Inventory Ads today to capitalize on these new experiences. Check out our Local Inventory Ads help content to learn more about setting up Local Inventory Ads.

Product view of a local inventory ad in the search results.
Examples of Local Inventory Ads.

3 - Product Audiences

Product Audiences are a hyper-targeted way of remarketing to your customers with Product Ads.  Product Audiences shows those customers the specific products they previously viewed on your site. 92% of first-time retail site visitors don’t complete a purchase and 75% of cart abandoners have intent to buy. Product Audiences is a way to bring these shoppers back to your site, reminding them of the specific products that they were viewing, and turning them into buyers. To participate, retailers must update your Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag with 2 new parameters, Product ID and PageType. This is a great way to bring holiday shoppers back to your site to purchase. Read more about Product Audiences in our Help section.

Product view of a product audiences ad in the search results.
Product Audiences ad example on the right, based on previous search (left).

4 - Installment feed pricing

If you sell products that are sold under an installment plan, like tablets or mobile phones, Installment feed pricing allows your Product Ads to accurately display that installment price. For these types of expensive personal electronics, the installment price is a much more accurate way of displaying the cost to your customers. 

Product view of an installment feed pricing ad in the search results.
Installment feed pricing examples on ads.

5 & 6 - Auto Bidding including Maximize Clicks and Target ROAS

Understanding what to bid can be overwhelming, particularly during busy times of year with big increases in traffic and competition. With automated bidding strategies from Microsoft Advertising, bidding becomes easier and smarter. These bidding tools leverage Microsoft’s advanced technologies and extensive data resources to meet your goals, and we’re constantly improving these features as our systems become smarter. Enhanced Cost Per Click (Enhanced CPC) is available for Shopping Campaigns in US, UK, FR and DE markets with a pilot running in CA. Enhanced CPC increases or decreases your CPC based on the likelihood a click will convert.

Other automated bidding strategies that are coming soon for Shopping Campaigns are Maximize Clicks and Target ROAS. Maximize Clicks will help retailers get as many clicks as possible on their Product Ads while the Target ROAS bid strategy will allow retailers to achieve a target return on ad spend goal for their campaigns. Read more about Auto Bidding in our Help pages.

7 - Improved time to go live

We often hear from retailers that they want their product feeds processed faster so ads can be serving quickly and updated even quicker. You asked and we listened. Our shopping elves have been hard at work improving our offer processing systems to decrease those processing times by 40-60%. Customers can see these improvements with offers appearing within the products tab faster and see their Product Ads serving more quickly. These processing improvements apply to new product offers and updates to your existing product offer feed.

8 - Product negative keyword conflict report

Have you ever wondered how negative keywords in your account may be limiting how your Product Ads are being served? Well wonder no longer, we have a new report to help shine some light on this question. The product negative keyword conflict reports show you which of your Product Ads are being blocked by a particular negative keyword including the match type and level details. This new report gives you a better understanding of how your negatives are impacting your Product Ads traffic volume and if you may want to review or edit your negative keyword lists to help boost traffic and performance for your Shopping Campaigns. Learn how to run a product negative keyword conflict report in our Understanding negative keywords help page.

9 & 10 - Improved product groups grid and reporting updates

Updates to our Product Groups grid make bulk operations easier. Coming soon you will have a flattened view of your Product Group. This will allow you to view all Product Groups under an account, campaign, or adgroup. This new view enables quick searching, sorting, and filtering of Product Groups. You can also edit bids across all Product Groups in an account, including by % bid updates.

Product view of the edit bids for multiple product groups interface.
Edit bids for multiple product groups interface, enabling bid editing across multiple groups.

Other helpful reporting updates the team is working on include filter Product Group capabilities and a new Product Group hover. The new filter options allow you to view your product group details by minimum or maximum clicks and other performance metrics. The Show Products hover allows customers to hover on a Product Group to get a quick view of how many products are in that Product Group and some example Item IDs and Product Titles within this group. It also includes a link to view the full list of products within that group.

Product view of the product groups filter interface.
The Product Groups Filter interface.

As you can see, the Microsoft Advertising team has been hard at work to deploy new experiences and tools, to make this upcoming holiday season a merry one for you and your business.