Brian Roizen – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Sat, 28 Aug 2021 01:10:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Facebook Marketplace is open for businesses selling new products /facebook-marketplace-is-open-for-businesses-selling-new-products-335287 Wed, 27 May 2020 19:04:14 +0000 /?p=335287 The Marketplace used to only be a C2C platform but now there is a major B2C opportunity for US retailers.

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There is an old misconception that Facebook Marketplace is still only a C2C platform similar to Craigslist. That is no longer true.

In its initial stages, Facebook Marketplace was only offering individual users the opportunity to list and purchase items locally. As the Marketplace grew in popularity, Facebook added new features, like the ability to process a transaction through checkout, and the option to offer shipping. Now, Facebook Marketplace is open to US-based businesses selling new products. 

According to Facebook’s internal data from 2019, one out of three Facebook users also utilize Facebook Marketplace, which means there is a major B2C opportunity for US retailers.

Here are four reasons why sellers should get a jump on Facebook Marketplace. 

1. Facebook Marketplace has low selling fees

With commission rates of 5% or a minimum of $0.40 for transactions under $8.00, Facebook currently offers some of the lowest selling fees among marketplaces. As of today, the commission rates do not change based on product category, unlike other major marketplaces. On Facebook Marketplace, there are also no listing fees, which means you can upload unlimited inventory, and there are no subscription fees or tiered selling plans for signing up as a retailer. 

As marketplaces grow in popularity, they tend to increase their commission rates. Amazon’s recent increase from 15% to 17% for apparel categories is a prime example (pun intended). Although Facebook has given no indication that they intend to increase their commission rates in the future, supply and demand dictates that it’s better to get in early. We highly recommend establishing a strong seller history now, when commission rates are low. 

2. Getting on Facebook Marketplace can be a simple transition 

Since the B2C opportunity on Facebook Marketplace is still in beta, you must meet certain criteria in order to list on Marketplace. Facebook prefers that retailers work with an approved listing partner, like Feedonomics, to get their items on the Marketplace. This is because listing partners have already gone through the onboarding process several times and have contacts at Facebook who can help with any tricky situations. 

The onboarding process consists of the usual marketplace setup: input your business information, adjust your shipping and tax settings, link accounts for payments, and select your data feed source. My company has been helping many clients get live on Facebook Marketplace, and the timeframe for going live on Facebook Marketplace usually depends on how quickly a merchant can provide the information above. 

Source: Facebook screenshot

If you already use data feeds to list ads on Facebook or Google Shopping, then transitioning to Facebook Marketplace is fairly simple. Typically, the main additional requirement for selling on a marketplace is that you include your inventory quantities in your feed. It’s important to create inventory rules that prevent you from overselling products that exist on multiple marketplaces. 

In a Facebook Marketplace case study, the e-commerce company Daily Steals opted into deals on Facebook and ran a promotion on their Sony PS4 controllers. They reached 6.4 million people and had a 5x faster sales rate than similarly-priced deals that were not promoted on the Marketplace. To see if Facebook checkout resulted in more conversions, they conducted a split test, and found that shoppers converted twice as often if they used checkout directly through the Facebook app, compared to going through checkout on their website.

If you are somebody who already runs ads on Facebook, note that Facebook Marketplace will need to use your child-level SKU as the product identifier. This is because a successful order integration requires a child-level SKU to be associated with a customer’s order. When it comes to product ads, merchants may often choose to use parent-level IDs for Pixel tracking—this makes sense when you want to show a display ad for a parent product, instead of showing an ad for every size of a product. However, when listing your products on a marketplace, using child-level product identifiers is the only way to make sure your order integration links to the correct product data for fulfillment. 

3. Facebook Marketplace is a package deal 

Listing your inventory on Facebook Marketplace opens the door to using the same catalog for checkout on Instagram. Instagram and Facebook are the two most widely-used social media networks in the US, and the 5% commission rate stays the same across both apps. 

This can give you access to significantly different audiences, without requiring much additional setup on the integration side. According to the Pew Research Center, Instagram captures a younger demographic and Facebook trends toward an older demographic, with significant overlap in the middle. 

Before you list your products on both sites, consider which channel fits in with your business strategy. Instagram Shopping does require more curating, since the products are primarily promoted through the creation of shoppable posts; if you have a strong visual focus and social media resources, you can be very successful on Instagram. You have the ability to opt-in only your best sellers on Instagram, to make sure you’re being efficient with your posting. While the integration is fairly simple, the strategy for selling with checkout on Instagram should be different.

Source: Instagram screenshot

However, if you don’t feel as social media savvy, Facebook Marketplace has the infrastructure to handle most of the product exposure for you, as explained below. Facebook Marketplace is a little more “set it and forget it” than Instagram – though we’d never recommend a “set it and forget it” approach for ad campaigns or data feeds in general. 

4. Facebook has the ability to make shopping highly personalized

Facebook uses the data about its users to help connect them to products that they’ll like. As a user interacts with Facebook Marketplace over time, customers will experience a more tailored feed based on variables such as products that their interests or what they’ve clicked on. This results in a data-based, personalized shopping experience, where the products find the customers.

Your products on Facebook will show up in multiple places – Newsfeed, Marketplace and Page Shops. 

Newsfeed listings appear between posts, as suggested products. 

Marketplace listings will appear among other Marketplace products, but each user will be shown the products that they are likely to purchase. Because of this, no two users will have the same Marketplace feed. 

A Page Shop will show all your products grouped together, in what is classically considered a store. The Page Shop will make your products visible when a customer uses the Marketplace and browses through the “Stores,” and will allow customers to purchase products directly from your Facebook page. 

In a Facebook Marketplace case study, the e-commerce company Succulents Box saw a 66% average increase in total purchases after listing their products on the Marketplace. They found that Facebook’s targeting brought new audiences and increased engagement on their Page. They also saw a 19% average increase in monthly revenue from Marketplace.

If you have a Facebook Business Page, you will be able to set up a Facebook Page Shop. It’s relatively easy.

Source: Facebook Page Shop screenshot

You will need to be logged onto a computer, then go to your Facebook page and click the Shop tab. From there, you will be directed to your Commerce Manager, where you will need to link your accounts, set up your business policies, and set up payouts. Once you link your catalog and publish it, you should be good to go! 

There is also an additional beta program in the works. Select sellers will be able to utilize the checkout function for their Dynamic Product Ads and Instagram Shopping ads. Essentially, customers will be able to click on a product ad and then checkout directly from the ad. Combining the visual features of Facebook’s Creative Hub, the targeting ability of DPAs, and the frictionless experience of checkout will give you a lot of potential to convert quickly.

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Why set it and forget it doesn’t work with feeds or campaigns /why-set-it-and-forget-it-doesnt-work-with-feeds-or-campaigns-316490 Tue, 07 May 2019 12:25:52 +0000 /?p=316490 Create a checklist to regularly test and review search terms, manage errors and analyze custom label usage to make sure you're not losing revenue in your product feeds or campaigns.

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“Why are my products not showing up on Google?” is one of the most continually recurring questions asked by online retailers. While most successful advertisers intuitively know that a set it and forget approach doesn’t work for Google campaigns, we find that many take exactly that kind of approach for feeds. There are a few categories where this kind of approach fails, namely in changing products, ongoing error management and missed opportunities in product data improvement. We’ll go through each of these in detail.

The importance of relevancy

One of the most critical aspects of Google Shopping is how your ads appear in Google search results. The way you structure your product attributes should be as similar as possible to the actual phrases people are using in Google searches. The title, description, image and all other attributes that make up the product listing will play a large role in the overall performance. This may seem manageable when you only have a few products, but it’s rather daunting to try to optimize thousands or tens of thousands of SKUs.

What does that mean practically in terms of best practices for product feed optimization? It means you should always include relevant keywords you anticipate users will be searching for. Instead of your product title being “Air Max,” you should include brand, color, size and descriptive nouns and adjectives. A better optimized title would be “Nike Air Max Running Shoes Size 11 Black.”

Split testing best practices

    Best practices are definitely the guiding force behind improving relevancy, but they don’t answer questions like if it’s better to include the brand at the beginning or at the end of your product title. Is it better to normalize your color to “brown” or keep it as “coffee?” As you make changes in your product feed, such as adding a specific color or moving the position of key attributes in your title, you’ll want to understand the performance effects of those changes. One way to analyze this is to A/B test different titles.

To A/B test effectively you need to be able to randomly subdivide your products into test and control groups, and run the experiment for a set time interval to get statistically significant results. What we’ve found is A/B testing for titles can result in up to 60% better performance in key metrics like return on ad spend and cost per click.

Ongoing error management

For many online retailers, not only are product prices constantly changing, but new products are also being added. The idea of setting and forgetting your product feed is risky as you’ll put your account in jeopardy of receiving feed errors, disapprovals or at the very least warnings. We often find that some best-selling products or even between 10 to 30% of your entire product set could be completely disapproved inside Google Merchant Center, meaning they are ineligible to be advertised in Google Shopping. Checking your Google Merchant Center account at least once per day manually (or building automation to do so) is imperative to succeeding.

Looking at converted search terms

After you’ve ensured that you are A/B testing best practices and frequently resolving any errors that crop up in Google Merchant Center, is there anything else you can do to get better performance? We borrowed and applied a common practice from Google Text Ads to Google Shopping – looking at converted search terms for keyword ideas.

While the following can technically be done manually, we automated the construction of the report below, by combining the following data sources on a per-SKU level: An optimized Google Shopping feed, Google Ads performance report, Google Analytics converted SKU report and an n-gram analysis.

For example, let’s look at the Eileen Fisher dress in the first row of the table above. Although the product title is, “Eileen Fisher Silk Shift Dress Size Medium” – people are actually searching for “V-Neck” and “With Pockets” which are missing from the title feed. As you can see, not only are they searching for these keywords, they are also converting after clicking on ads. These are great terms to A/B test for product titles.

Shopping campaigns can’t be created-and-forgotten either. Even if you launch with a solid feed and sound structure, factors such as shifting consumer patterns, changes in your product catalog and seasonality necessitate frequent and ongoing optimization.

Reevaluating custom label usage and strategies

Google hasn’t changed its feed requirements for custom labels in a few years, but that doesn’t mean that the values in your custom labels should be static. The flexible nature of custom labels makes them a powerful tool for Shopping management that should be questioned and revisited regularly. Attributes that were important to your business, like margin, may no longer be a primary KPI or perhaps a custom label for inventory filtering is no longer needed. Ensure that your custom labels effectively support your Shopping campaign and contribute toward your current business priorities. A few of the most useful label segmentations include clearance items, price buckets, margin buckets, dynamic performance-based labels and labels for easy data pulls on those A/B tests we outlined above.

Understanding and reacting to traffic volume

Unless you’re using a structure that relies solely on item ID, it’s important to look at high-traffic product groups often and break them into more granular segments. Let’s say you have a product group for Men’s Short Sleeve T-shirts that received 1,000 clicks in the last 30 days. Applying a singular bid to that much traffic is not ideal, as there are likely particular styles or items that perform differently from the product group as a whole and should be broken into their own product group.

Similarly, many strategies include an All Products campaign that serves as a catch-all for products that don’t fit into an existing product group in the core campaigns. Ideally, this product group should receive little to no traffic. Check this product group regularly for any items getting impressions – assuming a mature Shopping campaign structure, it’s likely these products need an updated brand or product type in the feed or fall into a new category that needs to be added to the core shopping campaigns. Having too many products serve from this catch-all product group can hinder effective bid and negative management for those products.

Auditing search terms for negatives

Search terms aren’t just useful for enhancing title relevancy; they’re also important for blocking unwanted traffic. Strong product data goes a long way in helping Google appropriately match your products to relevant user queries, but it doesn’t prevent all unwanted traffic. While you’re mining search terms for title enhancements, keep an eye out for poorly-converting or irrelevant search terms too and add them as negatives. This task is critical for minimizing unwanted spend. Additionally, if you’re using negatives to funnel brand or other high-value queries to specific campaigns, check search terms on those campaigns to ensure that traffic is filtering as expected.

Check the value of your traffic segments

Advertisers have more options than ever to segment performance and bids. Even if overall performance looks great, there’s likely additional opportunity to be had at the device, audience, or location level. As with most things in digital marketing, drastic shifts in traffic levels and performance can happen quickly and bid modifiers should be evaluated at least quarterly.

For example, Merkle’s recent Digital Marketing Report shows that mobile spend in Q1 was up a whopping 46% YOY on Google Search, with non-brand shopping on mobile seeing a 12% YOY improvement in revenue per click. The bid modifiers you set last year probably aren’t optimal anymore.

The product feed and Google Ads campaigns both contribute to the overall success of your Shopping program. Approaching either with a set-it-and-forget-it mentality will cause data quality headaches and performance nightmares and will ultimately lead to missed revenue and profit. Consider using this article to create a checklist and throw some reminders on your calendar to complete these tasks on a regular basis. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Melissa Reilly, senior manager of SEM and feeds from Merkle, co-authored this article.

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Google Shopping Actions vs. Google Shopping: A real-world case study /google-shopping-actions-vs-google-shopping-a-real-world-case-study-313688 Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:00:12 +0000 /?p=313688 This non-Google case study on Shopping Actions examines what happens when exposing GSA ads for low funnel searches and PLA ads for high funnel searches (hint: it works out quite well).

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While Amazon has rapidly become more like Google with sponsored ads, Google has been quietly becoming more like Amazon with its Google Express marketplace, which is exposed via Google Shopping Actions (GSA).

With the launch of Shopping Actions, Google has made one of the broadest product changes since Google Shopping began. Online retailers have been wondering if they should stick to Google Shopping, try the new marketplace, or try both.

Will Google give preference for a Product Listing Ad (PLA) otherwise known as Google Shopping or will the giant prefer a cost per sale model with Google Shopping Actions?

As one of Google’s approved Shopping Actions partners, we have been testing out GSA for hundreds of online retailers over the last few months.

The below case study is the first non-Google case study done by Feedonomics (my company) on Google Shopping Actions, and includes real performance data from a retailer eager to try the new marketplace.

A case study on Shopping Actions

Google has previously released its own Google Shopping Actions Case studies showing:

  • 68 percent of shoppers are net new (meaning they would not have bought from a retailer who was not on Google Express)
  • 35 percent increase in Average Order Value (AOV) for Ulta Beauty
  • 20 percent increase in basket size for Target

With Ambush Board Co., we wanted to study the direct impact of GSA on PLA performance as well as the combined performance of running both in parallel.

Case Study Objective

  1. Observe the impact on PLA performance by running GSA at the same time.
  2. Observe the overall gains and losses by running PLA and GSA at the same time.

The study took place over four months.


We optimized a feed for both Google Shopping and Google Shopping actions, provided orders from Google Shopping Actions back to Ambush Board Co., and then sent tracking numbers back to Google Shopping Actions.

Costs increased by 80 percent when running both campaigns in parallel. However, the conversion value went up by a whopping 104 percent. Conversions also increased by 115 percent.

Results and takeaways

  1. The best option to maximize sales is to combine PLA and GSA.
  2. After using Google Shopping Actions, the PLA cost increased by 16 percent.
  3. Overall PLA performance dropped by 20 percent, but that’s okay because TOTAL conversion value (revenue) increased by 104 percent.

The results are exactly what we initially expected based on the fact that Google is exposing GSA ads for low funnel searches and PLA ads for high funnel searches. The result was more clicks at a slightly higher Cost Per Click on Google Shopping alone, due to slightly worse performance and fewer conversions in PLA’s.

Having higher funnel search queries direct potential buyers to PLA’s (and ultimately back to the sellers website) is also a good thing, as this is where buyers can gain a better understanding about a retailer’s brand and other information that may make purchasing from that brand more compelling.

The fact that PLA cost increased is surprisingly good for agencies, which typically charge a percentage of ad spend.

Overall, the total revenue for the company more than doubled, which is very exciting for retailers looking to try Google Shopping Actions in addition to Google Shopping.

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