Google Smart Shopping Campaigns – What Is It and Where to Use Them?

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This article on Google Smart Shopping was submitted and is sponsored by Uplers as part of my partnership program. 

Search engines, primarily Google among them, is the starting point for 20% of all product searches

Okay, now 20% seems a small figure. But, consider this… 

Google handles 4.5 billion-plus searches daily. Now, 20% does become a lot, right? 

And you can effectively capitalize on these 4.5 billion-plus searches. With Google Shopping Campaigns. 

However, using Google Shopping Campaigns to get desired results requires skill and patience. 

Now, what if we told you that your Google Shopping Campaign could run on its own?

You just have to create an updated Product Feed. And that is all. Google does all the heavy lifting for you. 

And well, this is possible with Google Smart Shopping Campaigns. 

Let’s delve deep into what it is, how it works, and how to use it in the best possible way. 

Google Smart Shopping Campaign – What is It?

In 2018, Google launched Google Smart Shopping, which is an automated machine learning-based technology for running ads. Revolutionizing Shopping Campaigns, Google Smart Shopping puts Google in the driver’s seat.  

It is an updated version of the Standard Shopping Campaign. And it makes it easy and affordable for small businesses to run ad campaigns. Don’t have the resources to manage and optimize your Google Shopping Campaigns? Don’t worry; it is possible to run ad campaigns without having to manage or optimize anything with Smart Shopping. 

Defining Features of Google Smart Shopping Campaigns –

  1. Smart Shopping Campaign uses machine learning and automation technology. This means bids for the ads, and their placement is automatically optimized for the best performance. Contrarily, bidding strategy, and ad placement have to be manually adjusted in the Standard Campaign.
  2. Google Smart Shopping Campaigns can surface at several locations. These ads get placed across Google Display Network,  YouTube, and Gmail.
  3. Early tests have revealed that Smart Shopping Campaigns are more effective than manually managed ads. The former has a 20% higher rate of conversion than the latter.  

Now that you know the basic details about Smart Shopping Campaigns, here is how you can set up your Smart Shopping Campaign…

Getting Started with Smart Shopping Campaigns

Google Shopping Campaign uses your Product Feed to run ads. This means if you already have a Standard Campaign running, and your Product Feed in the Merchant Center is updated, you don’t need to do anything else. 

For those who are new to the world of Google Shopping Campaigns, here is how you can get started –

Prerequisites

To run a Smart Shopping Campaign, you need to have the following –

  1. Google Ads account
  2. Google Merchant Center account
  3. Updated Product Feed in your Merchant Center account.
  4. Your website should have a conversion tracking pixel.
  5. A global site tag and a dynamic remarketing tag should be set up on your website. If you have a Google Analytics account, you can set up the global site tag there as well. 
  6. A remarketing list with over 100 users.

Note: You can run your campaign without a remarketing list and conversion tracking. But that would limit ad spend. Experts and Google itself recommend setting up conversion tracking and a remarketing list.

Launching a campaign

Launching a Smart Shopping Campaign is easy. In just 5 steps you can set up your campaign.

  1. Start by visiting your Google Ads account and create a new campaign. 
  2. Then select the right Merchant Center account. 
  3. In the campaign subtype, select Smart Shopping.
  4. Next, you will have to set up the budget.
  5. Then select the product group and upload ad copies for the same. 

With that, your campaign is set up and ready for launch. 

Once your campaign goes live, Google will try out the different product and text combinations to maximize conversions. 

While Google does most of the job, you can also take certain steps to optimize results. 

How To Optimize Google Smart Shopping Campaigns?

Our top tips to optimize Google Smart Shopping Campaigns from your end – 

  1. If you have a running Standard Shopping Campaign, pause that. If both the campaigns are run together for the same products, Smart Shopping will gain priority. There is no point in running two campaigns for the same products. 

However, if you are trying out Smart Shopping with only a few products, keep the Standard Campaign running for other products.

  1. Be patient with Google Smart Shopping Campaign. As it is a machine learning-based service, it takes time to optimize ads and yield conversions. Give Google a minimum of two weeks to test the different product and text combinations. Do not change or stop your campaign soon, even if you aren’t getting immediate results. 
  2. Use separate campaigns for products with separate targets. If you have different Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) targets for different products, it is best to keep them in separate campaigns. 
  3. Optimize your Product Feed. Your Product Feed is the basis on which Google shows your ads. And to make sure your ads stay relevant, optimize your Product Feed. It is more important to optimize your Product Feed for Smart Campaigns than Standard Campaigns. This is because the Smart Shopping Campaign does not let you add negative keywords. 
  4. Homogenize your Campaign Groups. If you have products with different price ranges, make sure products with similar prices are grouped together. If you keep $100 and $20 products in the same group, $20 products are likely to convert faster. And this will make the machine learning algorithm give more visibility to those products. To ensure equal ad space for all products, it is best to keep campaign groups homogeneous. 

Where to Use Google Smart Shopping Campaigns – Best Use Cases

Not all strategies work for all companies. The same is the case with Google Shopping Campaigns. It is not a one-size-fits-all option. The best way to make sure Smart Shopping Campaigns work for you is to know where to use them. 

You can spend all your time optimizing your Feed, but you’ll get no results if you are using it in the wrong situation.

Here are the best use cases of Google Shopping Campaigns – 

  1. When conversion history is available. If you have the product KPIs’ historical performance available, this data can be used by the AI technology for better decision-making. 
  2. When you don’t want to optimize campaigns or track performance manually. Businesses that don’t want to spend time tracking campaign performance and optimization should go the automated route with Smart Shopping Campaigns. 
  3. When you have multiple products with different priority levels. In this case, you can run Standard Campaigns for high priority products. And automate the ad campaigns for low priority products with Smart Shopping Campaign. This way, you will have more time in hand for important tasks. 

Once you have identified the right situation to use Smart Shopping Campaigns and know how to use them, it can yield great results. 

Getting Experts Onboard

These campaigns are, no doubt, highly automatic. 

But they aren’t the set-it-and-forget-it types. You need to keep updating and optimizing your Product Feed regularly. 

Moreover, these campaigns yield the best outcomes when used in sync with other strategies. 

And the experts at Uplers can help you do that with ease and efficiency. 

We have helped businesses from across the globe increase conversions (both online and in-store). With our SEM services, we can duplicate those results for your business as well.

We have a team of global professionals with relevant skills and experience. And we also have the necessary resources that help yield the required results.

Contact our experts for a consultation today.