Supplemental Feed For eCommerce: 5 Great Use Cases

By Ted Parry 6 June 2024 3 minute read

One tool greatly underestimated in Google Shopping feed optimisation is the Supplemental Feed. The supplemental feed allows you to have the changes applied only to your product feed. It can totally revamp your performance if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few ways a supplemental feed can help:

  1. Completely Rewrite Product Titles 

Very often it’s the case whereby rewriting the product title within the CMS like Shopify or Magento is a no-go. This means you’re left with a very clean but non-descriptive product title. Google primarily uses the product title to inform them which terms you should be showing for within the auction. So with a less descriptive product title, you’re simply not going to show for a lot of high-value long tail searches.

The supplemental feed enables you to tell Google to display a specific title in the feed, while keeping your original title in your CMS. You should ensure your feed title is as descriptive as possible. Elements to include may be material, colour, size, type, gender etc. The best place to research your titles is either from your current data (Google search console, or Google shopping search terms).

If you do it right, I have seen an increase in click volume and revenue after reworking the product titles. 

  1. Update Images To Lifestyle Imagery/Remove Watermarks

A lot of retailers on popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento prefer a cleaner look on their collection/category pages. This is fine, however the problem occurs when you are competing with dozens of other retailers who are using a similar white background ecom shot in their feed. The feed primarily pulls the first core image, so you can often get left with a sea of sameness and not stand out in the search results.

The supplemental feed enables you to effectively swap your primary image out with a lifestyle image. This can mean you stand out, get clicked and ultimately convert that customer. We are currently solving an issue with a client where a lot of their products are watermarked onsite due to competitors stealing their images. However, this means they are getting a lot of disapprovals and ultimately not showing. The work we are doing will ensure they can still protect their images, while getting their products approved within Google Shopping.

  1. Remap Product Categories

Having your product categories grouped properly means you can subdivide your product groups more effectively, and see performance on a much more granular level. A lot of retailers use plugins to generate the shopping feed, some plugins are not the most effective at subdividing these categories. The supplemental feed ensures you can do this without having to pay for a new plugin and redo the whole feed again.

  1. Fix Disapproval Issues Inc GTINs/MPNs

Many Google Shopping campaigns suffer from a plight of dissaproval issues they are not even aware of. This can be suble but gradually whittle away at your shopping performance if you’re not careful. In a lot of cases using a supplemental feed can be a quick and efficient way to update the campaigns. This is especially true if you keep a lot of your product data on excel/sheets as it can be quickly transferred over. 

Personally areas like this and product categories are best sorted at the core within the ecommerce platform, but can be great ways to get changes implemented quickly.

  1. Label Products By Margin

Some retailers have such a wide margin discrepancy it can sometimes be hard to set your bidding targets correctly. By labelling your products with their margin range you can keep a closer eye on their performance. For example if your baseline margin for most products is 60% but you have a few lower value accessories with 10% margins, you can label these products and remove them from the auction. This can improve your spend efficiency, and improve the overall contribution margin from your campaigns.

The below are a few tasks I’ve recently helped clients complete:

  • Totally revamped a fashion retailers product groups for more refined targeting within Google Shopping.
  • Updated a babywear brands images from plain ecom shots to nice lifestyle images that catch the eye in the search results.
  • Rewrote product titles for a luxury USA accessories retailer to improve visibility and show for more relevant terms (their campaigns are now flying).
  • Currently assisting one of my automotive parts retailers to show Google shopping images with a clean non watermarked image.

At Amore Digital we are an e-commerce-focused performance marketing consultancy with a specialist focus on Google Shopping, Pmax, search marketing and paid media. If you’re having feed issues or think you would benefit from anything mentioned in this article, request a free growth plan on our website.

Google Shopping Title Optimisation: The Importance of a Strong Relevant Title

The title of a product is the first thing that a potential customer sees when they search for a product on Google Shopping. It's the most important aspect of your product listing and can make all...

3 minute read

Best Practices for Dynamic Search Ads

Not got time to create a keyword campaign but still want an effective ad strategy? Dynamic Search Ads are great way to put your organisation in front of a large audience. Amore Digital are a paid...

2 minute read

How Much Should my Brand Spend on Google Ads?

One question I get asked a lot is ‘how much should my business spend on Google ads to get started?’ This is obviously a question that is extremely open-ended with a lot of variables, however th...

2 minute read

Subscribe for the latest PPC tips

Our newsletter contains the best tips and analysis on PPC - ready to jump in?
No spam, ever!