Add inventory rules to an existing campaign

After you Add your Merchant Center account to DS, you can add inventory features to an existing campaign by following these steps:

  1. If you want to update ad copy based on attributes from your inventory account:
    1. Create a new ad group in your campaign.

      An ad group can contain either regular ads or ads that have been generated by inventory rules and ad templates, but not both.

    2. Create ad templates. If you've already created ad templates for other campaigns, you can reuse them instead of creating new ones.
  2. Create inventory rules as described below.

Create inventory rules from the UI

  1. Navigate to an ad group.

  2. Click the Inventory Rules tab above the table.
    A table appears with the list of existing rules.

  3. In the Action column, click the Add button for the type of rule you want to create.
    For example, to create a rule that changes landing page URLs based on changes in the inventory account, click Action in the Update KW landing page column.

  4. In the settings that appear, name your inventory rule.

  5. Refine the list of products in the Product selection section. For a description of many of the inventory attributes you can use to select products, see Inventory attributes.

  6. If you're creating a rule that:

    • Updates ad copy, select an ad template.

      DS will delete any regular ads that already exist in this ad group when you create an inventory rule that updates ad copy. An ad group can contain regular ads or ads generated from ad templates but not both.

    • Pauses the keywords in this ad group, specify criteria that will cause the keywords to pause. Use the Add attribute or metric list to insert inventory attributes into the criteria.
      See Inventory attributes and template functions for more information.
    • Changes landing page URLs, create a URL that changes based on attributes from the inventory account. Use the Add attribute or function list to insert inventory attributes and template functions into the URL.
      See Inventory attributes and template functions for more information.

You can click the Preview matching products button to see a preview of the products that will match your updated rule before you save it.

To edit existing rules, navigate to a campaign or ad group and click the Inventory Rules tab. In the Action column, click an Edit button.

Upload inventory rules from a bulksheet

  1. Navigate to a campaign or ad group.

    The Inventory Rules tab should appear next to Campaigns, Ad groups, Keywords, etc. If it doesn’t, please contact your Technical Account Manager to ensure that your agency is enabled for Inventory management.

  2. Click Download in the toolbar above the table to open the download panel.

  3. In the download panel, use the Scope dropdown to select the level at which you want the downloaded report to be based on.

    • If you don’t change this option, DS will download a report based on your current scope in the UI.
    • If you want to update a few inventory rules, select the check boxes next to the rules and select the Current selection in table option.
  4. Use the Format dropdown to select the file type for your report.

  5. In the Columns dropdown, select Editable columns (for re-upload).

  6. The Segment by dropdown is not applicable.

  7. Next to Include types, make sure Inventory rules is selected.

  8. The Include rows with no impressions check box is not applicable.

  9. Click Download.

  10. Update the file based on the desired actions as described under Column values for specific inventory rules.

  11. Upload the file back into DS.

Overview of inventory rules columns

Row type column:

In this existing column, two new options define how to manage inventory via upload:

  • Inventory ad group rule: A rule that is triggered based on an inventory event.

  • Inventory ad template: Template that DS will use when generating new ads.

 

Required Inventory rules columns:

In addition to the following columns, you must enter the IDs and names for the agency, advertiser, engine account, campaign, and ad group.

  • Inventory rule ID: (Required when editing a rule) This DS-internal ID follows regular DS ID conventions.

  • Inventory rule type: Defines the action type of the rule:

    • KEYWORD_STATE: Pauses all keywords or individual keywords when items go out of stock.
    • KEYWORD_URL: Updates the landing page URL per a field in the inventory account.
    • AD_COPY: Generates a new ad copy when product properties change in the inventory account.
  • Inventory rule: (Required when creating a rule) Name of the rule as it will appear in the Inventory rules UI.

  • Inventory rule product map: See Product mapping columns section below.

 

Inventory account ID column:

For any inventory rule, if the advertiser has more than one inventory account (not common), this column is required. To see how many inventory accounts your advertiser has, and find the Inventory account ID:

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.

  2. Click the Inventory management link in the left nav, and then click the Inventory accounts tab.
    The table displays the inventory accounts associated with the advertiser.

  3. Above the table, click the Columns button.
    The column selection tool appears.

  4. Under Available columns, click Names and IDs.

  5. Select ID and click Apply.
    The ID column in the table will display the Inventory account IDs.

 

Product mapping columns:

The Inventory rule product map column defines which items the Inventory management system needs to examine when determining whether to execute the inventory rule. These columns use a powerful-yet-simple language that is similar to Excel’s. Learn more about the available operations in the Product mapping operations section.

For example, you might want to pause all Android devices when they run out of stock. You would pause all products where BRAND equals Google and CATEGORY contains one of these strings: tablet, mobile phone, or cell phone.

Therefore, the expression to enter in the Inventory rule product map column would be:

AND(BRAND = "Google", CATEGORY CONTAINS("tablet", "mobile phone", "cell phone"))

Best Practice: To better identify problems, start with product mappings that match only a few products.

IMPORTANT: Click here to learn about cases that require consistent values for all matched products

The following cases require consistent values for all products that you want a rule to match on.

1. For a "pause keyword" rule, as long as the number of products that can be sold is greater than zero, keywords will be active and ads will show. Once no products are available, DS will pause those keywords. For example, for a "pause keyword" rule that matches on the following products, keywords associated with these products would be paused:

Product name Availability
Wool sweater NOT_AVAILABLE
Cashmere sweater NOT_AVAILABLE
Cotton sweater NOT_AVAILABLE

However, for a "pause keyword" rule that matches on the following products, keywords associated with these products would NOT be paused, because one of them is marked as AVAILABLE:

Product Name Availability
Kenmore Compact Portable Washing Machine NOT_AVAILABLE
Maytag Front Load Steam Washer AVAILABLE
General Electric Stainless Steel Capacity Washer NOT_AVAILABLE

2. Ads that use ad templates will only display correctly if all of the products that govern this ad group have the same value for the field specified in the template. For example, for an "ad copy" rule with template "Buy sweaters for [PRICE]" that matches on the following products, the template would apply to all correctly:

Product Name Price
Wool sweater 39.99
Cashmere sweater 39.99
Cotton sweater 39.99

However, for an "ad copy" rule that matches on the following products, the template would not be able to apply correctly, because one of the prices is 45.00, and not 39.99 like the rest:

Product name Price
Wool sweater 39.99
Cashmere sweater 45.00
Cotton sweater 39.99
Bulksheet syntax for Inventory rules

The following describes the column values to enter after you download an inventory rules file. Enter the required values as described under Overview of inventory rules columns (such as the IDs and names). Then enter the task-specific values as described below and upload the file back into DS, as described under Steps to upload inventory rules.

Columns that appear under each rule type should only be used in conjunction with that rule type. Also, adding values under extra columns could cause the upload to fail.
 

Pause and unpause keywords:

Follow these steps to pause keywords when products go out of stock, and reactivate them when they’re available again:

  1. Add a row in the downloaded file.
  2. Set the Row type column to inventory ad group rule.
  3. Set the Inventory rule type column to KEYWORD_STATE.
  4. Set the Inventory rule product map column to the correct set of products for your advertiser.
 

Change landing page URLs:

Follow these steps to change a landing page URL based on an inventory account parameter:

  1. Add a row in the downloaded file.
  2. Set the Row type column to inventory ad group rule.
  3. Set the Inventory rule type column to KEYWORD_URL.
  4. Set the Inventory rule product map column to the correct set of products for your advertiser.
  5. Set the Inventory rule keyword landing page URL column to reflect the dynamic URL:
    http://www.google.com/[PRODUCT_ID]
 

Generate ad copy:

Review your Inventory rules, items, and accounts

You can use the DS UI to see a summary of your Inventory rules, items, and accounts. For each of the pages described below, you can look at the Inventory management section in the column selection tool to manage the columns that appear.

Inventory rules:

In the DS UI, navigate to a campaign or ad group and click the Inventory Rules tab. In the reporting table, you’ll see the properties for the inventory rules, including the last time the rule resulted in a change.

Inventory accounts:

In the DS UI, click the Inventory management link in the left nav, and then click the Inventory accounts tab. If needed, your Technical Account Manager can manage the Google Merchant Center accounts that appear here, or add another account.

Inventory items:

In the DS UI, click the Inventory management link in the left nav, and then click the Inventory items tab.

What do In Stock and Out of Stock mean?

These are fields in the Google Merchant Center:

  • In stock (or available for order or preorder): Items are available for sale or pre-order. This value maps to AVAILABLE in DS.

  • Out of Stock: User has run out of an item and can no longer sell it because the inventory is at 0. This value maps to NOT_AVAILABLE in DS.

Pause, resume, or delete inventory rules

Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to a campaign or ad group and click the Inventory Rules tab.
  2. Select the check box next to the rules whose status you want to change.
  3. Above the table, click Edit status, and then select Pause, Resume, or Delete.