How To Use Custom Labels In Google Shopping

If you’re running shopping campaigns and you’re not using custom labels you’re missing a big trick.

What Are Custom Labels?

When you upload your feed to Google you have the option of defining multiple ‘custom label’ attributes.  These are fields you can add to your feed to record any data you like relating to your products.  This is not required and many merchants just don’t bother with them.

Why Would You Use Custom Labels?

The main reason you’d use custom labels in your product feed is to give you additional ways to organise your products in your AdWords campaigns.  More importantly, you can organise products in any way you choose, depending on what you have in your custom label fields.

With a ‘normal’ product feed, you can organise products in your campaign by Brand, Category, Product Type etc – not very inventive and not always the most helpful way when it comes to bidding.

With custom labels you can define other attributes by which to sort your products.  For example, you could define ‘custom label 0’ as price ranges: <£50, £50-£199, £200-£499, £500-£1,000.  Now it stands to reason you’d want to bid more on a product that’s £650 than you would for one that’s selling at £16.50 right?  By categorising your products by price range you can group them in your campaign and adjust your bids accordingly.

Another similar option would be to divid products with different profit margins.  Assign a custom label accordingly and then your bidding can be adjusted depending on how much money you make for those products.

There’s no limit as to how you can use this.  Another very popular method is to add a custom label to sale items or products on special promotion.    You might even want to exclude such items from your campaigns if the margins are very low.

What Does It Look Like In AdWords?

You can see below that we’ve already got our products sub-divided by brand.  To break them down further you’ll click the ‘+’ symbol on the right as usual.

This opens the dialogue box shown below, which I’m sure you’re familiar with from when you sub-divided your products by brand or product type and such.  You can see here I’ve selected ‘Custom label 1’.  In this example the feed has been categorised using ‘price buckets’, from low  to high and various options in between.  You can now add these by selecting the right arrows and you’ll then be able to bid and optimise according to the price range of your products.

I’m sure you can see the potential for using custom labels: it gives you much more control and flexibility within your Shopping campaigns.

Here are some other examples of great ways to use custom labels:

  • Best Sellers
  • Sale Items
  • Margin
  • Brand
  • Seasonal
  • Gender
  • Special Shipping
  • Push Label
  • Colour, Size, Weight

The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination but think of how you can use these to make a real difference to your Google Shopping Campaigns and ultimately to your company’s bottom line.

How To Start Selling Online

So you have a great product and you want to start selling online?  What are your options?

There are a few ways of doing it:

  • Build your own website using ecommerce software
  • Sell your products on a third party platform (like Amazon or Etsy)
  • Use a hosted ecommerce platform

Building Your Own Ecommerce Website

If you decide on this option you’ll need to set up a web hosting account and then install whichever eccommerce package you choose.  This is only going to be an option if you’re comfortable with setting up and managing a web hosting account and have the confidence to deal with problems if they occur.  It’s NOT an option for the novice as you are responsible for keeping the software up to date and ‘glitch’ free.

There are lots of open source shopping carts available – open source is free to use and is developed by the combined efforts of programmers and users that form a community around the project.   They also have active support forums where you can go for help and advice for installing, settin up and managing your online store.

A few of the most popular and robust are ZenCart, OpenCart, Prestashop and osCommerce.

Sell On A Third Party Platform

Thirdy party outlets are sites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy. You generally pay a monthly fee to list items and then pay a comission when a product sells.

The advantage of selling on sites like these is that you have instant access to their huge customer base and many of them have a faithful following.  From a practical point of view there’s also the advantage that you don’t have to worry about things like payment processing and site security, which of course these days is of utmost importance.

The downside is that you are at the whim of such sites and it’s not unheard of for changes in their policies or site to affect your sales, making you rather vulnerable and lacking in control.  Most of them are also very customer centric which of course is not a bad thing in itself but many customers can use this as a form of bribery, knowing that threatening a seller with a negative review can sometimes mean they take advantage and make unreasonable demands!

You also have to pay commisions which can be as high as 20% of the selling price so you have to make sure you take this into account with your pricing.

Using A Hosted Ecommerce Platform

From the outside this looks just like the first option – you have your own website on your own web address but this is where the similarity ends.  You don’t have to set up the hosting or install the shopping cart, that’s all done by the shopping cart themselves.  All you have to do is create your account and you’re good to start setting up your shop.

There are plenty of shopping carts to choose from, each varying in functionality and price but my two favourites have to be Shopify and Bigcommerce.  They’re both very easy to set up and have lost of great functionality like being able to have product options (sell a shirt in different colours and/or sizes in one product).

Both have some good looking free templates so when you’re starting out you don’t need to pay a designer a fortune to get your shop looking decent.

Not sure which to choose?  Both offer a free trial so set one up and have a play!

Image: Pixabay