Performance Max unifies the consumer experience of Google Ads, but even this upcoming rollout leaves quite a lot to be desired. Apprehension amongst the online retailer space of this mandatory ‘upgrade’ is palpable. The general market view of Performance Max campaigns has not been very positive so far, further fuelling concerns.

However, there is no mistaking the fact that Performance Max will bring the latest technology to Google Shopping. It is certainly an improvement over Smart Shopping. It comes with certain benefits lacking in its predecessor — but online retailers can not easily capitalise and get the most out of this new technology. Their product and business performance data is not used to inform Google’s new tech better and optimise it to achieve performance targets.

Upp is what you need to bridge the performance gaps of Performance Max. Powered by machine learning and AI, Upp is a third party platform that not only optimises your Performance Max campaigns but also helps you to formulate and automatically execute the best possible strategies with the help of data-driven insights.

We don’t believe that Performance Max is something to be feared and from our early testing with customers, the improvements are impressive. Rather, we’ll be using this blog to cover the data gaps to be expected from Performance Max and how you can use Upp to fill those gaps to derive maximum efficiency and growth. 

Suggested reading: Get greater insight into what the Performance Max rollout spells for your business by reading up on our blog What Does Performance Max Mean For Retailers?

Upp fills the gaps

To the majority of the online retailers, Google Shopping as a whole can be tricky to tackle, and yet their business heavily depends on it. You decide the campaigns, you set the targets, and still have minimum to no clue about how Google promotes your products and spends your budget. 

According to our internal research, 88% of products advertised on Google Shopping received minimal visibility and up to 40% of ad spend generates negligible revenue, which means there is a considerable data gap between what retailers see in terms of their product performance, how their campaigns structured and what they are actually getting.   

Demystifying Google Shopping and Performance Max is how you can ensure that your campaigns are well-aligned with your product performance and customer acquisition strategy. Upp’s AI-driven platform does a perfect job in clarifying and optimising Performance Max Campaigns. An all-inclusive dashboard with easy options to categorise and manage gives you a clear and comprehensive view of your total campaign performance and trending products so that you have control and transparency where it matters.  
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Increased visibility across your entire product range

To understand and align your campaigns according to your product performance and business goals, an in-depth understanding of your campaign performance is a must. But when it comes to visibility at the granular level, Performance Max does not offer anything that can help inform decision making . Assessing product marketing performance at the campaign and category group level — which is what Performance Max offers — means leaving out any issues with individual products in campaigns that might have limited visibility.   

Performance Max Campaigns (PMCs) on their own are slow to learn what an online retailer’s best performing products are, due to Google not utilising other data points to accelerate and inform this learning. This further makes it harder to understand how effective your ad spending is and how you can maximise product visibility across your entire product range. Also, you have no granular level data to ensure that your budgets are being channelled in ways that are best suited to your strategies and goals. Having SKU-level insights can considerably improve product visibility and profitability, but Performance Max will not help you to venture into such intricate details.   

Collating and interpreting SKU-level information can be difficult unless you are using an advanced platform like Upp. Upp automates the process of gaining SKU-level data across your entire retail ecosystem. As a result, you will have a clear picture of SKU level performance which will help you to better understand how each product is performing and what you should do to improve performance.

Upp automatically structures your products based on SKU level performance data, optimises campaigns and places ad spend in the right products. On average this has led to a 54% increase in product visibility, ensuring campaigns are optimised to achieve the best conversion value.  

Suggested reading: Find out more about how Upp seeks to optimise Google Shopping experiences across the board for online retailers with our blog How Upp Removes Manual Processes and Unlocks Hidden Opportunities in your Google Shopping and Performance Max

24/7 automated actionable insights

Performance Max only uses Google-specific data for analysis and completely leaves out valuable data from other sales channels. This means any insights provided by Performance Max won’t cover your entire sales ecosystem.

For example, Performance Max may be able to provide actionable insights on products of yours that are performing well but cannot focus on finding you solutions to bolster your underperforming products so that you can see more overall success. The siloed insights provided by Performance Max are hardly sufficient to formulate a winning strategy. Let’s see how Upp bridges this gap.

Upp integrates your datasets into the Upp platform with 70+ business and product performance data points via Google Ads API, Merchant Centre API, Product Data API, and Upp’s Order API. This means data from every source is included in the analysis giving you a comprehensive and clear insight into the product-wise performance, which is essential to draw a strategy that will lead you to success.

Upp’s actionable insights help you get accurate seasonality changes and predict the trends over time. All relevant data and metrics presented on Upp’s insights dashboard give you a clear idea of what’s impacting your performance. Your data is analysed and refreshed every 15 minutes, so the insights used for automated campaign optimisation are always up to date.

Data mining at the SKU level, 24/7 data analysis across all retailer data points, immediate implementation of actionable insights and more — performing all these tasks manually, even with the help of a team, can be overwhelming. Upp’s market-leading AI-driven automation is the only way to perform these tasks efficiently and quickly. Performance Max further enhances automation to Google Shopping, but it does not deliver much on these aspects.

On the other hand, Upp explores the true power of AI and machine learning to deliver complete automation, exactly where it’s needed. Upp automates data mining, analysis, and learning, as well as product grouping, campaign structure and optimisation, and SKU-level changes to increase product visibility and exposure. Upp continuously optimises, manages, and scales your Google Shopping through best-in-class automation enriched with your product and business performance data.

By connecting operational, ad, product, and market data, Upp identifies opportunity patterns to help you formulate data-driven strategies and automatically unlocks the true potential of Performance Max.
Winning strategy                                                                               

Control and transparency where it matters

Performance Max Campaigns will replace Google Smart Shopping by September 2022, which leaves online retailers with two options: switch to PMCs or go back to Google Standard Shopping if you want to retain control. However, there’s no doubt that Performance Max is the future and that going back to Standard Shopping has its disadvantages.

But even though Performance Max is an upgrade, online retailers have reason to worry that PMC will take away their control over their Google Shopping strategies. Even previously reliable third party app solutions are limited in the scope of their help as they only optimise on Standard Shopping, competing against Google’s Smart Shopping and Performance Max technology. It’s prime time for online retailers to consider a new approach for their Google Shopping Campaigns.

Upp brings this control back to you while boosting your overall Google Shopping performance across all Google’s existing and latest technology. Unlike other tools on the market, Upp is not held back by developments in Google Shopping — instead, it uses these evolutions to enhance its capabilities further. Its powerful automation engine takes care of all the intricate repetitive tasks, ensures control and campaign transparency where it matters for your business objectives, and leaves you free to focus on your strategy. 

Suggested reading: Want to know more on how Upp uses the power of AI to drive optimisation? Check out our explainer for more information.

Upp works with Google’s latest tech to optimise the Google Shopping experience

Upp is the only solution for online retailers looking for better control and clarity of Google Shopping campaigns powered by the latest AI and Automation technology for automated retail performance. It offers an easy-to-use interface to understand your performance with data-driven insights to inform decision making whilst automatically managing and optimising PMCs to be aligned with your short and long-term business goals.

Upp’s connected retail performance platform is the only efficient choice to get the best out of your PMCs and Google Shopping experience. Online retailers using Upp have seen a leap of 62% in their rate of transactions and a more than 27% increase in revenue growth per client. Book a free Google Shopping consultation with us today to optimise your Google Shopping performance.
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