Digital marketing is key to many retail businesses, however at times we move too quickly to digital marketing goals such as return on ad spend (ROAS) or cost per click (CPC) without aligning with business objectives. With Google Shopping ads, you can take a more holistic approach; optimizing for business objectives and create a complete strategy for your retail business.

What is Shopping for Business Objectives (SFBO)?

Shopping for Business Objectives (SFBO) is a principle best explained by three components: strategy, feed and campaigns/bidding. Frequently when looking at feed and campaign/bidding, we ignore the business objectives in favor of return on ad spend or cost per clicks. However, this may not be the most favorable outcome for a retailer’s business. It is often noted that there are challenges with profitability and inventory when using that approach. The purpose of Shopping for Business Objectives is to address these challenges and more accurately aim at the ‘why’ behind your campaign structure, your feed and your bidding. Ultimately, SFBO is the strategy.

Find more valuable traffic

Shopping for Business Objectives helps you shift from a purely digital retail strategy to a more focused business strategy aimed at margins, inventory management, new audiences, customer retention, ROAS and even in-store traffic.

Shopping for Business Objectives combines your business intelligence data with automation to move beyond ROAS – helping your clients identify their business solutions and drive towards specific objectives to achieve business goals.

Four key ingredients

Well defined Goals

Align your Shopping Ads Strategy to what your business is trying to achieve.

This allows you to optimize campaigns to match your true business goals, better reflect your business’ KPIs, and optimize to what matters – like revenue, profit, or even customer lifetime value.

Integrated business data

Add unique Business data to optimize to what matter most to your business. With a value-based bid strategy, Google learns which potential customers are most valuable to you.

Marketing best practices

Use Google Marketing Best Practices to meet your goals.

Accurately tracked results

Measure commercial impact, rather than just the ROAS.

Best Practices

Now you have an idea of how to apply Shopping for Business Objectives principles and have a stronger understanding of how to use Shopping ads to maximize impact towards your business goals vs. return on ad spend. Now, let’s look at how some levers in feed management can help you to support your business objectives.

Feed Excellence

Confirm the right data is in your Shopping feed to support these objectives.

  1. Custom labels: You can create specific filters to manage your products and group them into different categories, for instance seasonal (e.g. summer/winter), clearance or selling rate as well as unit gross margin (i.e. low, medium, high margin).

  2. Supplemental feeds: You can provide additional information for your products that can be connected to the primary feed.

  3. Feed rules: You can use feed rules to transform your data and manage your feed more effectively. These rules can be used to apply conditions to your feed, for instance prioritize high margin products or only show products when the inventory is greater than a certain level.

Campaign Structure – Commercial Objectives

Set up Shopping campaigns with a structure that supports the objectives.


Optimize bidding to support these objectives:

  1. Takes history into account
  2. Adjusts to apply knowledge for future predictions


Measure Shopping performance against the defined success metrics,

Test & Reporting

If you are interested in testing this framework, be aware that the ROAS value could go down and the overall costs could increase as the new Shopping campaign structure will bid more aggressively on products that have a higher priority and are more incremental to your business. Therefore, it’s important to keep track of your KPIs and assess whether the “SFBO” framework is helping you meet your business objectives and maximise the impact of your Shopping campaigns.

It is possible to combine as many business goals as needed to implement an individual successful Shopping campaign structure. Other frequently used business KPIs – apart from margin and stock level – are return rate and new customer acquisition. There are a variety of possibilities depending on your internal data set and strategic business objectives.

Key tip!

We recommend you don’t over-segment the product portfolio and the Shopping campaigns’ structure, as the more data the campaign collects, the better it works.

If you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to our Google Shopping (CSS) team to discuss specific “SFBO” related recommendations for your company’s Shopping campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  1. Business intelligence can be used to strategically meet your business objectives within Shopping ads.
  2. By focusing on Shopping for Business Objectives, you can develop strategies that go beyond digital marketing objectives.
  3. By using your feeds, you can successfully adapt campaigns for increased optimization.