Microsoft announced some coming improvements to Bing Merchant Center, which merchants use for creating stores and catalog feeds for Shopping Campaigns and Product Ads on Bing.
There are changes to feed structure, which the company says it made so advertisers can manage all their feed programs across platforms more seamlessly. It explains in a blog post:
Delimiter rules on product_category and product_type columns are changing. Soon we will only be accepting “ > ” (with a trailing and leading space) as a valid delimiter. Any other value will be treated as invalid and we won’t split the terms .
Accept Unicode characters in the ID (merchant product ID) field. Previously the ID column would only accept alphanumeric characters, now we are starting to accept all valid Unicode characters in that.
Updating Taxonomy for product_category . We are revising our taxonomy to be in line with your other feed programs. Please take a look at the below links as some of the categories have changed quite a bit. With this revision we will also be supporting IDs instead of string values. For example: The use of “305” will be supported instead of “Electronics > Video > Computer Monitors”.
There's a new graph that lets you view the status of all your items within a store. It shows colors for active, rejected, expiring, and awaiting review. You'll be able to see the status for all ads within a store for the past 30 days. There will also be graphs for the total number of impressions received and the total number of clicks received by all your ads within a store in the past 30 days.
They're also expanding historical data to show the past five catalog feeds and corresponding reports.
Finally, they're adding dual upload support using the Content API. In the past, you've been able to either provide product data with the API or via TP upload/Manual Upload/Automatic Download methods. Going forward, you'll be able to do both.
Microsoft talks more about all the new features here.
In semi-related news, Amazon is suddenly retiring its Product Ads. It sent an email informing advertisers that the'll be retired on October 31.
Images via Bing