A Look at Bing Product Ads and Its Impact On Your Ecommerce Business
This past summer, Bing announced that Bing Shopping would be no more. In its place would be a new Product Search, including the new Product Ads, which are in closed beta through the 2013 holiday season.
Product Ads are a pivotal part of Bing’s new and encompassing Product Search Experience, which integrates both product and search results onto one single page. Sounds a lot like Google, sure, but Bing vows that it’s different as, to this day, it still offers both paid and free product listing ad placements for online merchants.
But Product Ads does more than just list your items in a rather unattractive text-only format. It puts your products on display in a “visually rich and impactful format.” Bing’s Product Ads include image, price, and advertiser name. They offer your ad more space on the crowded search page, and provide visitors real-time product information, retrieved directly from your store catalog uploaded to the Bing Merchant Center.
A simple search on Bing’s engine for the term “Canon SLR Camera” will demonstrate, visually, the impact of the Product Ads placement. Atop the search page results, as with any search results, you’ll find the text-specific ads related to your search (below these ads are the organic results). However, to the right of the results are image-heavy ads that clearly display the item the searcher is looking for, as well as price and seller.
Why is this important for you to know?
It’s no secret that banner blindness impacts online sales. Web surfers turn a blind eye toward flashy, colorful ads more often than you’d like. And eye-scan studies show that we spend far more time navigating through the organic results of a search page than the paid search results.
Bing’s Product Ads service aims to combat this blindness behavior by offering consumers a far more straightforward, yet enriching ad that, to be honest, at times doesn’t even appear like an ad. Rather, the images shown alongside Bing’s results pages are reminiscent of pages from a catalog. Psychologically speaking, we’re more open-minded and receptive of what we find in catalogs than with advertisements we feel are forced upon us.
The layout, placement, and appearance of the Product Ads encourages and helps consumers to make purchase decisions before they even click on your ad. Thus, this likely increases your conversion rates.
Is Bing’s Product Ads the solution to Banner Blindness? Only time will tell, particularly once the beta program is opened up to the masses.
How Do You Create A Bing Product Ad?
Product Ad campaigns are made once you create a Bing Merchant Center (BMC) store and have uploaded your product catalog. The ads and images come directly from your catalogs. You simply navigate to your Campaigns page, and click on the Ads tab. Once there, click on Create an Ad, and then select Product Ad for your ad type.
You have the option of adding promotional text to your Product Ad as well; however, the text won’t show up on results during the beta program.
You can also condense all of the steps outlined above into one simple step by going to your Campaigns tab, clicking on Create campaign, and clicking the Product Ad campaign. Either will lead you to the same result.
While It’s In Beta, Get Your Ducks In Order
Unless you’re one of the merchants who can participate in the beta program, you have to wait out this pilot program process through the holiday season. However, this provides you enough time to get your Bing ducks in order. What exactly do we mean?
The accuracy and effectiveness of your soon-to-be Bing Product Ads hinges entirely on the organization and accuracy of your product catalog. Are your images optimized for this new display? Is your inventory up to date?
Furthermore, do you have a schedule put into place that keeps your product catalog up to date regularly?
Next is this promotional text component. While the beta version doesn’t display promotional text, now is the time to try to solidify the right kind of consumer-friendly promo content that will complement your image and pull readers in. You don’t have much space to work with, so concise, action words are key.
Bing is introducing many new and exciting programs for advertisers in an effort to not only compete with Google, but to differentiate itself from them. Underestimating Bing can be costly to your 2014 numbers, which is why it’s worth the time to invest toward Product Ads as they roll out. OperationROI can help you determine how best to use this latest Bing feature to your advantage. Call us now at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form to find out how we can help you with Bing’s Product Ads and other product search components.