Once your Comparison Shopping Engine campaigns are up and running, you'll quickly want to start evaluating your results. It is important not only to regularly measure your performance, but also to understand how the different metrics relate to each other as well as what options you have to improve your campaign performance.
The following topics should be reviewed before completing this task
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Now that you've seen the key subcomponents of the basic performance equation, you can explore the options available to influence those areas both in general and specific to comparison shopping campaigns. Below is information explaining the opportunities related to each of the metrics in the basic performance equation. Please note that this sort of optimization is focused on controlling costs and making campaigns efficient. Data feed enhancement is necessary to maximize exposure, and therefore traffic and revenue. For more information on this topic, please see the Merchandising section.
- Average CPC: Since CSEs have relatively high minimum CPCs, many merchants do not bid above these minimums. Only when a merchant is currently bidding above the minimum does the opportunity for lowering the average CPC existing. Moving product or category bid levels lower toward or to the minimum for each category can help lower overall marketing cost if the merchant's bids are currently above the minimum. In contrast, there may be instances where are willing to spend more to get more visibility and traffic to a particular category or product. Please see the CSE bidding strategy page for more information.
- Traffic: Each click contributes to marketing cost on that item as well the aggregate level. Removing from the provider feed products that incur traffic and therefore cost will lower overall cost.
- Conversion Rate: The conversion rate (orders/clicks) is a function of several things, including the attractiveness and usability of your e-commerce site. It is a general best practice across all channels to work to improve your conversion rate by optimizing your site landing pages. Specifically to CSE, there are some things you can do to ensure your conversion rate is as high as possible, such as correctly categorizing your products and including as much accurate information about the offering to the consumer through the comparison shopping engine. This includes not only clear and correct feed data but also updated information in the provider's merchant interface, such as customer service availability. In addition, make sure your value proposition is delivered to the fullest extent possible on the CSE, attracting users who are attracted to that value and are therefore more likely to make a purchase.
- Average Order Value: This metric is driven by the product offering in the feed as well as incentives offered to customers that encourage them to buy more items or upgrade to higher priced item. Filter out products with very low prices as a standard practice, and be sure to make visible promotions that drive up AOV, such as "save $X when you spend more than $Y."
- Traffic: Just as traffic impacts cost, it also impacts revenue. At a flat conversion rate, more traffic means more sales, so balancing bad traffic that generates cost against good traffic that generates revenue is an ongoing balancing act for most merchants who advertise on CSEs.
Learn about how to suppress items from comparison shopping feeds.