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What Is Smart Shopping?

In 2018, Google launched multiple new products, alongside these products is Smart Shopping. Smart Shopping is a type of campaign that utilizes Google´s machine learning alongside your product feed and assets. This type of campaign is intended for E-Commerce business owners who don’t have the time nor the knowledge to manage a regular Google Shopping Campaign. Google´s machine learning combined with automated bid strategies will be focused on bidding higher across different intent signals. Throughout user search queries Google will show your product ad and bid accordingly to a relevant search; Google will also show a personalized ad to users who have engaged with your website throughout the Display Network.

Reach

47% of total global purchases are made online. In the United States, 84% of Americans are shopping for something. If you are interested in reaching a highly engaging market you should consider to opt-in to Google Shopping. Whether your product is sold online or you are looking for people to visit your store, you should be advertising through Google. Take into consideration that 59% of shoppers use Google prior to making a purchase online or making an in-store visit.

With the intent to show your products across networks, Smart Shopping campaigns combine Standard Shopping and Display Remarketing within a single campaign type. Smart Shopping campaigns will allow you to advertise your products through Google Search Network, the Display Network, YouTube and Gmail.

Google Shopping Feed

Your product feed will be responsible to a great extent in whether you have a great, regular or poor performance. This applies to a Standard Shopping Campaign or a Smart Shopping Campaign. How you set up your feed will determine your Feed Quality. Whereas you’re creating a Standard Shopping campaign or a Smart Shopping Campaign you need to take into consideration how you would like to segment this and also what kind of relevance you would like to have. The higher the relevancy, the higher the likelihood to receive positive results.

When creating a Shopping Feed you need to take into consideration multiple variables. Initially, you need to make sure how you would like to segment your campaign. By doing so, you will have a clear idea of what specific product groups you would like to advertise. Furthermore, you need to take into consideration multiple variables such as profit margin, sizes, seasonality, material, etc.

I emphasize on this stage of your Smart Shopping Campaign creation as this stage is critical for your success. Smart Shopping Campaigns have pros and cons (which will be weighted below) as any other type of Google campaign. Therefore, take this into consideration if you are starting from scratch and would like to launch your first Smart Shopping Campaign. It is imperative for you to understand how you will be optimizing your segmentation since this is only a few of the liberties that Smart Shopping Campaign allows.

Custom Labels

Custom Labels are a must to any shopping campaign, Standard or Smart. If you have a large feed or even a small feed, custom labels will make your life easier when segmenting your Shopping Campaign. For example, let’s say you have an E-Commerce website where you advertise over 2,000 products, and within those products, you have between 20 to 30 brands. You want to make sure that the segmentation of your products is well established to make sure you have control when optimizing at the product level.

Custom Labels allow you to go deeper, not only creating different product groups based on the brand but will allow you to create different segmentations based on profit margin, sizes, seasonality and some other elements mentioned above. You can have up to 5 custom labels so you need to make sure to know what is important to you and your business and segment your campaign accordingly.

Smart Shopping Campaign Set-Up

Prior to starting a Smart Shopping Campaign, you need to make sure you have conversion tracking set up correctly and transaction-specific value. Furthermore, you need to make sure to have at least 100 active users in your remarketing list and they need to be associated with your account.

Following up you need to create your assets for your Local Inventory Ads. As mentioned above, this campaign will advertise your products through different networks and by setting Local Inventory Ads you want to make sure to create relevant assets. Then you need to set your mind on what type of bid strategy you would like to utilize. Smart Shopping Campaigns only allow 2 different bid strategies:

  • Maximize Conversion Value
  • Target ROAS (Return On Ad-Spend)

Each bid strategy works differently and this is defined by your goals. Both of them work but this depends on your marketing goals, inventory of products and other unique variables that only you as a business owner knows.
Segmenting Your Smart Shopping Campaign

Once you have completed the process above, you are ready to segment your Smart Shopping Campaign. Right here is where all the work done during your feed creation process will take effect and make your life easier. As mentioned above, having your goals in mind will facilitate your campaign creation process. By knowing the products you would like to advertise the most and which you don’t, you will be able to easily segment your campaign.

Segmenting your campaign is all about details and reporting. Depending on how granular you want your reports to be, the segmenting process should be accordingly. Moreover, during this process is where you will be able to utilize all custom labels created in your feed. For example, if you have multiple products that will serve only during the winter season such as winter clothes you can make sure to easily activate this product group during that specific season.

Let’s say you are focused on a combination of products that have a high-profit margin, you can segment a product group based on these prices. Even though your feed has over 2,000 products and 20-30 brands (as mentioned above) this product group will facilitate your advertisement efforts on such products. Last but not least, within each product group you can add each product and exclude specific products when optimizing your Smart Shopping account. Take into consideration that this is one of the most important optimizations you can do to Smart Shopping and by having the ability to do so, you are set for success.

Pros & Cons

All things considered, there are pros and cons you need to take into consideration. Below you will find some we have encountered. This is not a parameter on whether using Smart Shopping is right or wrong, these are just facts.

Pros

Outstanding reach (Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail).
Shorter optimization process/time.
Easy setup.

Cons

Not able to accrue search terms data. (Highly important in my opinion)
Negative keywords are not available in Smart Shopping.
No audience data.

Know More

At Top Floor Marketing we specialize in Standard and Smart Shopping Campaigns alongside other Google products that can help you and your business meet your marketing goals. The latter is just a glimpse of our knowledge on Smart Shopping. If you want to know more, feel free to reach out to one of our specialists to start a no-obligation conversation. We are always enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge (within reasonable boundaries).