As you likely already know, traditional Shopping campaigns appear on Google Search as well as Search Partners, and are intended to put your product in front of consumers looking to purchase.

Smart Shopping, however, functions differently. Smart Shopping campaigns select the right bid for every user and each auction to maximize sales. All you need is a feed and one remarketing tag and then your set budget is automatically allocated to optimize performance. Smart Shopping ads show across Search, Display Network, YouTube and Gmail.

The Benefits of Smart Shopping

If you’re not already sold on the benefits of Google Smart Shopping (clearly you haven’t read our Saltrock case study) then let us wax lyrical for a moment.

Put simply, Smart Shopping is awesome. Leveraging the power of Google’s machine learning algorithms it reduces greatly the time you need to spend optimising Shopping campaigns, while also doing more with that time.

Implemented correctly, Smart Shopping offers far more bang for your buck. In fact, we’d be surprised if you didn’t quickly see better results from Smart Shopping.

4 Steps to Smart Shopping Success

1. Review your shopping feed and make sure it includes accurate data, sales columns and merchant center promotions

2. Lower your Smart Shopping campaign ROAS target to drive more sales volume and achieve a higher net profit

3. Set uncapped budgets to allow smart bidding to work to its full potential and make sure you don’t miss any opportunities to increase profit for your business

4. Seasonality adjustments are currently in Beta for shopping campaigns. This feature lets you record how much conversion rates are likely to change during peak time and automatically update bids before the sale begins. Best practice is to use Seasonality adjustments for a time when conversion rates are up by at least 10% and are only set to run for a short period of time (between 1-7 days)

Things to Keep In Mind Before Set Up

Establish a Business Goal

Establish your campaign goal. A lot of advertisers want to maximize revenue, but you might have other goals specific to your business.

Pick Products to Include

After deciding what your business goal is, it’s important to understand the principles of machine learning - the more data you can leverage, the better your results will be. Best practice is to build your smart shopping campaigns with product groups that historically have had at least 50 conversions per month.

How To Set Up Smart Shopping

Best practice says to set up one Smart Shopping campaign that includes the entire product feed and one shared budget if the goal of your business is to maximize revenue.

However, there are some situations that would warrant a more granular Smart Shopping campaign structure. For instance:

  1. If you want to achieve different profitability targets for different product groups, you can create separate Smart Shopping campaigns with different ROAS levels for different product groups.
  2. If you have different marketing strategies for your product groups (i.e. new releases).

Learning Timeline

It can take up to 14 days for your Smart Shopping campaign to ramp up and collect enough data. During this learning period it is important not to make any changes to the campaign during that period, allowing Google to learn and collect information.

On the third and fourth week after setting up your campaign it should now start performing as usual and seeing impressions and clicks. Allow a few days for conversion lag.

When looking at performance, compare the third and fourth week to any two-week period (before smart shopping was set up) that makes sense for your business.

With peak season coming up, if you are interested in testing Smart Shopping for your business, it is best to get started now as you shouldn’t start Smart Shopping at a time that is crucial to your business.

Google Smart Shopping Betas

Smart Shopping is the future for ecommerce brands. Since its launch last year, Google has launched two new betas.

New Customer Acquisition

To use the new customer acquisition beta, start by calculating how much a new customer is worth to your business. Then, when a new user converts this will inform the bidding system that the new customers are worth X amount, and will start to optimize towards acquiring new customers and driving online conversions.

Store Visits

Start by calculating how much a store visit is worth then when Google detects that they have driven a user to visit a store, they upend the store visit value to your overall conversion value. This informs the bidding system that a store visit is worth X, and then optimize.

Final Thoughts

Only time will tell what Google will release next to help businesses achieve their goals. For now, our experience has shown that Smart Shopping has a lot to offer businesses still running traditional Google Shopping campaigns.

Of course, if the above feels too far out of reach and you’d like to test Smart Shopping for your business, just get in touch and one of the team will be able to help >>>