Bing Shopping Campaigns (BSC) was launched in the US market on July 14 and, in August, we opened it to a few select advertisers in other markets. We are now pleased to announce that BSC has been launched in the UK and Australia as well! This launch marks the arrival of much awaited Product Ads capability in these two markets.
Why Product Ads
Product Ads are proven to be a highly engaging ad format that drives stronger performance than traditional text ads. With Product Ads, most customers are able to bring down their average cost per click, improve conversion rates, and significantly improve the ROI of their search spend.
How to get started
Setting up BSC consists of four simple steps. The first two are only required for the initial setup and the remaining two are ongoing campaign management activities.
Step 1: Claim your domain
Sign in to the Bing Webmaster tool to claim your domain by using your Microsoft Account credentials; this is the same information used to sign in to your Bing Ads account. The tool enables you to add your website and learn ways to verify ownership. You may need to seek help from your IT representative in order to complete this step.
Important: If you have not migrated your Bing Ads managed credentials to a Microsoft Account yet, please do so prior to logging in to the Bing Webmaster Tool. The same Microsoft Account should be used to login in to the Bing Webmaster Tool, as this account will be linked to both the website and the merchant store created in step 2.
Step 2: Create your store
Once you have added your website in the Bing Webmaster Tool and verified ownership, proceed to step 2. For this step, you need to sign in to the Bing Merchant Centre (BMC) store. The BMC store is a tool where the advertiser’s product catalogue is managed and housed. To go to BMC, log in to your Bing Ads account, click on Tools, and select Bing Merchant Centre as shown below. This opens the BMC store page.
From the BMC, you need to create a store by filling in a brief form as illustrated below. When creating the store, please keep in mind the following:
- The Store name will be used in your ad creative to identify the Merchant; this name cannot be edited once the store is created.
- The same URL added via the Bing Webmaster tool in step 1 should be used in the Destination URL box.
After you click Save, your request is sent to Microsoft Support for policy compliance review, which typically takes 1-2 business days. The requests will be rejected if the website does not comply with Bing Ads policy. The most common reason a store is rejected includes a login and/or checkout page of an advertiser’s website that is not set up as a secure page (i.e. http as opposed to https). Make sure your website complies with this requirement. You can check the status of your request by visiting the Store Summary Tab in the BMC tool. You will also receive an automated email after your request is reviewed. If your store is rejected, changes can be made to meet the policy requirements and your request can be resubmitted. Once your store is approved, go to step 3.
If you already have a BMC store set up, you can use your current store & feed for Bing Shopping Campaigns by simply checking the Product Ads box, located in display options on the settings tab for your store.
Important: If you have not already linked your Bing Ads credentials to a Microsoft account, you should do so prior to logging in to Bing Ads. Use the same Microsoft account that was used in the domain verification workflow. This account will be used to match your domain verification to your product ads store.
Click here to learn more about this step.
Step 3: Upload Catalogue
Step 3 consists of uploading your product feed. First, create a catalogue in the BMC, which enables you to organize your feed data, group your product inventory and manage each group independently. One feed file for each product group should be created and uploaded into the catalogue. Depending upon the size of your inventory, many options are available for uploading the feed. Google Shopping Campaigns are also compatible, so it’s not necessary to create a different feed file for the BMC. Once you have uploaded the feed, monitor the progress in the Catalogue summary tab.
- Several factors determine the time required to process your feed file. The first time usually takes 24 hours. If the feed file is large, it may take between 2-3 days to complete the processing. Updates to an existing feed e.g. price, availability etc. are processed much faster.
- Your feed expires after 30 days, so ensure that you schedule a periodic refresh of the file.
- If the feed file is missing one or more required product attributes, the entire feed will be rejected. Make sure the file contains a header row, as this is a common reason for rejection.
- Additionally, your feed might get rejected if the URL included in your product feed does not direct to the item's page. If the link redirects the user to a page that differs from the product offering, it will get rejected.
Step 4: Create Bing Shopping Campaigns
After you have uploaded the feed and it has been processed, you can move to the next step: setting up your Bing Shopping Campaigns. For more information, chck out this blog post, which provides a detailed overview. You can also find performance and optimisation tips for BSC here.
We will be expanding this offering into other Bing Ads markets over the next few months. Stay tuned to our blog for further announcements.
For more information on BSC or if you encounter any issues when setting up your Bing Shopping Campaigns, reach out to your Account Manager or Microsoft Support. We’d be happy to assist.
As always feel free to ping us on Twitter, or if you have feedback related to specific features you'd like to see improved or added, visit our Feature Suggestion Forum to add or vote on your top priorities for upcoming releases.