The Christmas holidays have been and gone, and so too have the Christmas shoppers. This is not without a myriad of new online advertising features, to make life easier for the advertiser in promoting their goods, and the online shopper or the ROPO (research online purchase offline) shopper in sourcing a product or service.

Here’s a summary of the key product updates and news from December 2016. If you’ve just heard about them for the first time, now is your opportunity to put them in place for your next key shopping period.

Google AdWords

Amazon spotted testing Product Listing Ads on AdWords

Amazon have recently been spotted testing PLAs on Google Search. The change is a bid to appear for home goods retailers and they are said to be trending up to a 25 percent impression share, according to Merkle’s Mark Ballard.

Amazon in Google Shopping

Amazon in Google Shopping

Image Source: Search Engine Land

Amazon have not previously used Google Shopping and this is a huge change for them and will affect a number of existing shopping advertisers. If you think you might be up against Amazon, keep an eye on the Auction Insights tool over the coming months.

Promoted Places in Google Maps Beta

In December past, some lucky stores got the opportunity to trial Promoted Places in Google Maps to showcase special offers and announcements with the ultimate goal of driving more foot traffic to their physical stores.

Promoted Places in Google Maps

Promoted Places in Google Maps

Images Source: Inside AdWords Blog

With this beta, places of interest are visually marked with icons to help users position themselves and explore their local surroundings. With Promoted Places, advertisers can raise awareness of their stores by branding their location icons with their logo. Clicks on a business logo will expose promotions such as in-store sales or new products and services to help consumers decide where to go. They can also view the business place page to see store hours, get directions and more.

Connect To High Value Shoppers with Customer Match

Google have launched new and improved functionality to help you manage your customer match lists. It’s now much easier to replace your existing list, add and remove email addresses to keep your list and your targeting up to date. This handy customer match guide from Google AdWords Support outlines all the basics.

Google have even partnered with Merkle, Sailthru, LiveRamp, PMG, Neustar, Epsilon and others to make the upload process smoother and provide functionality to expand customers and improve match rates.

Google also partnered with Salesforce and Adobe to make it easy for you to upload customer lists directly from their CRM platforms.

Apply Audience Lists at Campaign Level

It’s all about ease of update with Google in December. They’ve also updated the functionality of the Google AdWords interface to make it even easier to add audience lists to campaigns for search remarketing and customer match. This can now be done at campaign level making it easier to manage this and bid adjustments at scale instead of trawling through ad group after ad group.

Automate Video Campaigns with Scripts

AdWords scripts provide a way to programmatically control your AdWords data using simple JavaScript coding principles. They can be used to automate common procedures or interact with external data.

Google have now made it even easier to manage TrueView video campaigns and six-second bumper ads with scripts.
Programmatically create and manage video ad groups, targeting and other campaign features alongside Search, Display and Shopping campaigns. The new script support is available for standard YouTube ad campaign types like TrueView in-stream, TrueView discovery and bumper ads and they’re hoping to extend functionality to further campaign types such as shopping.

Bing Ads

Edit your Expanded Text Ads on the go

Bing Ads have recently launched an application to let you edit your expanded text ads on the go.

Bing App

Bing App

Image Source: Bing Ads Blog

The app also has a number of other features and lets you:

• Monitor your campaigns and get performance data on the go
• Quickly make changes to update your status, budgets and bids
• Get notified to know when your automatic rules have ran or credit cards are about to expire
• Visualise how your account or ads are performing and compare metrics side by side

This app is available today to download on iOS and Android.

And that’s our round-up of the top online advertising updates from December 2016. If you think we’ve missed anything, let us know in the comments section below.