Optmyzr Blog

Q4 2020 & e-Commerce: Optimize Google Shopping with Supplemental Feeds

Oct 01, 2020
Shopping Ads

Ashwin Balakrishnan

Senior Marketing Manager


Note: Smart Shopping campaigns have been upgraded to Performance Max in September 2022. We suggest you refer to these links below to know more about Performance Max.

Performance Max Campaigns Guide for 2023

Performance Max Guide: How to Diagnose Your Ecommerce Campaign Performance in 2023

Performance Max Campaign Tips for Retail and Ecommerce

How to Manage and Optimize Your Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max: 5 Effective Ways to Safeguard Your Campaigns in 2023

In the past couple of months, more and more retailers have gone online to reach wider audiences. To get (or keep) an edge over newfound e-commerce competitors, businesses need to make the most of their proprietary data to optimize their Google Shopping campaigns.

One way to do that is by using a supplemental feed to complement the primary feed.

Supplemental feeds are an excellent way of managing your product listings with added information. Essentially, it’s secondary data that can be used to update a Google Merchant Feed without tampering with the primary feed.

One example is using a supplemental feed to temporarily adjust sale pricing, without having to undo the standard price categorization that’s built up in a primary feed. So while you can’t use supplemental feeds instead of a primary one, they can provide helpful layers of data that can optimize your shopping campaigns.

Why search marketers should consider using supplemental feeds

While the primary feed contains basic product details, supplemental feeds can be used to enrich that with more detail or alternative ones. They’re the perfect way to update listings without messing with your primary feed. And you can also avoid any extra client-developer work, as practically anyone can deploy them.

You can layer additional information in the form of custom labels, promotions, or even altered descriptions and titles. All you need to do is provide the additional information with the product IDs in Google Merchant Center, and it enriches the product data in the primary feed.

A supplemental feed can only be used with primary feed and cannot be added to the Google Merchant Center as the main data for products.

Let’s take a look at how to use supplemental feeds during the rush of holiday e-commerce that’s headed our way.

Use cases for Q4 Shopping campaigns

1. Announce promotional items.

During the Holiday season, you would want to advertise some items exclusively as on ‘sale’ or ‘New Arrivals’. As smart shopping campaigns don’t allow inventory filters, you can use a supplemental feed to add additional details about the product like promotional messages using custom label field. 

Once you identify the items you need to highlight, use a custom label field to mark them. Now, use the supplemental feed with the product IDs with the custom label field you created to set up a new campaign! 

Let’s say you sell different types of sweaters and other winter clothing. During the holidays, you notice that customers are using search terms like “Christmas sweaters” or “Christmas pullovers”.

If your product titles don’t contain these keywords, your ads may not be getting the traffic they should. To maximize exposure without increasing bids, you can alter your product titles to include the word “Christmas”.

Use the supplemental feed to create a new custom label and upload a list of product IDs with the updated titles, replacing earlier keywords and creating a new campaign. Once your promotion ends, you can simply remove this field, revert to earlier product titles, and your feed goes back to the previous setting.

3. Fix errors in Google Merchant Center.

Google Merchant Center often flags your products and disapproves them due to missing GTINs or Google Product Category. Imagine if this were to happen in the weeks before the BIGGEST sale of the year. Your developer will need loads of time to fix these issues and may not get it done in time.

However, if you have the details required by Google Merchant Center, you need not wait that long. Use a supplemental feed to add the necessary information and not only will you have your whole inventory live, but also avoid account suspensions during the holiday rush.

Using supplemental feeds with Optmyzr

We all know how Smart Shopping campaigns provide almost no control over product ads. You can try optimizing them by clubbing together products in different campaigns based on profit margins, high-selling products, or even ROAS goals. 

The additional details for customizations can be fed to the merchant feed as a custom label. From there, you can use Optmyzr’s Shopping Campaign Builder 2.0 for each separate custom label value and create different smart shopping campaigns.

Also, check out this article where we busted some common Smart Shopping myths to show you the path to better optimization.


As businesses start gearing up for Q4 and the holiday season, marketers need to be mindful of changing shopping behaviors and be ready to pivot quickly. Considering the scope of e-commerce in the next few months, optimizing your product listings using supplemental feeds feels almost like a must-do.

While seasoned PPC experts might turn to feed management tools, taking a look at supplemental feeds for quick and easy fixes is still a good idea. Start with these, improve the feed with new data for seamless campaigns, and maximize reach.

If you want to try Optmyzr and experience our Shopping capabilities for yourself (get a new campaign live in as little as 5 minutes), sign up for our 14-day free trial. No credit card required, and full access to all our features!