Kenshoo, the San Francisco-based digital marketing software provider, has launched new Product Listing Ads (PLA) functionality as part of Kenshoo Enterprise 4.8 and Kenshoo Local 2.8, which it claims will help marketers manage Google Shopping placements more effectively and efficiently.
Kenshoo's PLA enhancements include comprehensive management, tracking and reporting for Google Shopping as well as a custom PLA bid policy that it claims has increased return on investment (ROI) more than 50% for some advertisers during a beta period.
One of those advertisers was Gaiam, best known for their yoga videos (with a thriving accessories business on the side). Jordan Levy, search-engine marketing manager at Gaiam believes "Kenshoo keeps us ahead of the curve and its latest PLA functionality gives us even more confidence that we're working with the best. Google Shopping will have a big impact for retailers this holiday season and we're excited by what Kenshoo has to offer."
Kenshoo’s PLA functionality is designed to eliminate the need for search marketers to manage tracking within data feeds. Product Listing Ads and Product Targets can be managed and tracked directly within the Kenshoo user interface. The Kenshoo algorithm clusters data based on historic performance and predicts PLA revenue per click to set bids.
New reports such as the Fusion Report for Product Targets provide marketers with a holistic look at the performance of each PLA placement and its impact on sales conversions. Finally, a path-to-conversion report details the interplay between PLA and other channels for optimal attribution and bidding decisions.
All of that becomes necessary as marketers still grapple with Google Shopping, believes William Martin-Gill, general manager, Kenshoo Enterprise and Kenshoo Local. "The sun-setting of Google Product Search in favor of PLA-based Google Shopping platform changes the game for retailers. The paid Google Shopping model creates new opportunities for retailers to control the way they capture demand for their products but requires a new approach and capabilities. When it comes to PLA, campaign management, bidding, and tracking all have different requirements than regular keywords and Kenshoo's PLA capabilities, the most advanced among SEM management platforms, will help clients maximize results during the critical holiday period."
With campaigns running in more than 190 countries, Kenshoo clients include CareerBuilder, Expedia, Facebook, KAYAK, Havas Digital, Hitwise, iREP, John Lewis, LendingTree, Resolution Media, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Kenshoo has 16 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance.
Google Shopping is still in its relative youth. It went into general release on July 12 this year, when the company launched a simplified setup flow for Product Listing Ads. Ranking in Google Shopping is based on a combination of relevance and bid price. Google added some Amazon-like functionality with its Google Trusted Stores program, which offers data on merchants including ratings for on-time shipping and customer service; and pledged to stand behind trusted merchants with a $1,000 lifetime purchase protection guarantee per shopper. Finally, Google introduced commercial formats to make it easier in searches to find and compare products. These include larger product images that give shoppers a better sense of what is available and also the ability to refine a search by brand or product type.