Easily respond to real-time holiday demand with Smart Shopping campaigns

October 22, 2020

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Last holiday season, U.S. shoppers used Google for shopping more than any other source.1 As more people are already shopping for the holidays, we’re offering ways to help you capture real-time holiday demand with Smart Shopping campaigns.2 These new features will help boost your visibility to new customers, showcase your brand and products in rich creatives, and uncover meaningful insights from your performance.

Get in front of new shoppers this holiday season

58% of U.S. holiday shoppers bought at least one brand last holiday season that they hadn't bought before3. In July, we introduced improvements to Smart Shopping campaigns to boost your visibility to new customers. Now, you’ll be able to optimize for new customers by setting a new customer acquisition goal. Let us know how much a new customer is worth to your business by adding a conversion value target in your campaign for new customer acquisition. Your Smart Shopping campaign will then optimize for new customers as an additional goal to maximizing your conversion value from your online sales.

Customers continue to see success when using Smart Shopping campaigns for reaching new customers. Merkle, a performance marketing agency, was able to drive new traffic to more than 36% of in-stock inventory and increase revenue by 13 times in the dresses category for a large multi-category retailer by switching to Smart Shopping campaigns.

Highlight your brand and products in rich creatives

Of people who shop online, 85% say product information and pictures are important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. You can engage holiday shoppers by creating more compelling creatives for your Smart Shopping campaigns. Recently, we rolled out a new modernized look and feel in dynamic display ads to showcase your top products. These polished formats now display your company name alongside your logo to help clearly differentiate your brand. A short headline is more visible in most ad sizes, which can be used to highlight a holiday promotion message. If your ads must strictly align with brand guidelines, you can also use HTML5 to fully customize how your ads look and feel from Smart Shopping campaigns.

Example dynamic display ad
Example of dynamic display ads from COSMEDIX

This month, we’re adding a layout that dynamically curates a carousel of your most relevant products in a new immersive, browsable shopping experience. There’s no action required to take advantage of these updated ad layouts, and you can preview them when creating or editing your Smart Shopping campaigns. 

U.S. example of new layout with product carousel in new immersive, browsable shopping experience     U.K. example of new layout with product carousel in new immersive, browsable shopping experience
1) U.S. example and 2) U.K. example of new layout with product carousel in new immersive, browsable shopping experience

Starting today, you can also add videos to your Smart Shopping campaigns or, if you don't have any, use videos that are auto-generated from your product data to help bring your display ads to life. With more rich creatives, you’ll be able to improve your performance and capture the attention of holiday shoppers as they browse across the millions of sites and apps across the web.

Get the full picture of your performance with more insights

Last month, Performance Planner expanded to Shopping campaigns to help you plan your budgets more effectively throughout the peak season. Within the next month, we’re introducing more reporting features to help you evaluate your overall performance. Target and budget simulators will become available for Smart Shopping campaigns so you can estimate how changes to your return on ad spend (ROAS) or budget will impact your metrics based on your historical data from the last 7 days.

In addition, we’re bringing auction insights to retail category reporting for your Search and Shopping campaigns in the Google Ads Report Editor. You can assess your impression share, overlap rate and outranking share for specific product categories compared to others in the same auction. For example, if your impression share is higher than your competitor's for the “Seasonal & Holiday Decorations” retail category, it means that you're winning more auctions than that advertiser, as a proportion of the auctions in which you were both eligible to show. This information can help you make strategic decisions about bidding and budgeting by showing you where you're succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities for improved performance.

New auction insights within Google Ads Report Editor, available for retail categories

In Merchant Center, you’ll also be able to use the new Report Editor and see additional metrics, like impressions and click-through rate, across your free listings and ads.  Soon, using these tools, you’ll be able to get the full picture for how you’re performing so you can adapt and adjust to holiday traffic changes.

Finally, to make it easier for new retailers to get started, we’re reducing the eligibility requirements for Smart Shopping campaigns. Though a remarketing and conversion tag are still needed for optimal performance, you’ll be able to create your first Smart Shopping campaign now and take care of these tags later. Get started with Smart Shopping campaigns today.

Posted by Tom Beyer, Product Manager, Shopping



1. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.
2. In Europe, Smart Shopping campaigns can be used with any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) you work with. The ads will show on general search results pages and on any other surfaces the CSS has opted in to.
3. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.

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