About Smart Shopping campaigns

Simplify your campaign management, maximize your conversion value, and expand your reach with Smart Shopping campaigns. This campaign subtype combines standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns, and uses automated bidding and ad placement to promote your products and business across networks. This article covers the basics about how these campaigns work. For set up instructions, go to Create a Smart Shopping campaign.

How it works

With Smart Shopping campaigns, your existing product feed and assets are combined with Google’s machine learning to show a variety of ads across networks. Link to a Merchant Center account, set a budget, upload assets, and let us know the country of sale. Our systems will pull from your product feed and test different combinations of the image and text you provide, then show the most relevant ads across Google networks, including the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail.

To help you get the best value from each ad, Google also automates ad placement and bidding for maximum conversion value at your given budget.

Requirements

Before you set up a Smart Shopping campaign, you’ll need to set up conversion tracking with transaction-specific values. Conversion tracking lets you keep track of when your ads lead to sales on your website. You need to have at least 20 conversions over the last 45 days across existing Shopping campaigns before you can set up a smart campaign.

You’ll also need to add a global site tag to your website and have a remarketing list of at least 100 active users associated with your account. This will allow your ads to be used for dynamic remarketing, which lets you personalize ads for people who have visited your website before. If you use Google Analytics, you can link to your Google Analytics account and set up tags there instead of using the global site tag. You aren’t required to tag any non-commercial pages of your site.

Finally, you’ll need to meet the requirements for Shopping campaigns and follow the Shopping ads policies. Note that you can’t use sensitive interest categories to deliver relevant ads to people or to promote products or services. To learn more, read the Personalized advertising policy.

We recommend using a standard Shopping campaign with a maximize clicks bidding strategy to fulfill conversion and remarketing requirements. These requirements ensure that Google can deliver the performance you expect. If you do not have these requirements in place you will not be able to run a Smart Shopping campaign.

Types of ads and where they can appear

Smart Shopping campaigns feature both Product Shopping ads and display ads (including remarketing ads and Similar Audiences), which are eligible to appear on the Google Search Network, Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail.

Automated ad creation and placement means that your ads will appear in the ad spaces where they're relevant and that your bids will be set to maximize your conversion value.

On Google Search, users’ search queries and predicted intent is used to determine which product from your feed should be shown. On the Display Network, ads are personalized based on user engagement with your website. For example, if the user has previously visited and shown interest in products on your site, your product feed will be used to automatically create a relevant ad.

Campaign reporting

Conversion value and ROAS reporting help you to evaluate your campaign’s performance. You can also see predefined reports segmented by specific product attributes, such as category, product type, and custom label by clicking the reporting icon  at the top of the page and selecting Predefined reports (formerly dimensions), then Shopping. Click the report you’d like to see from the Shopping drop-down menu.

Typical reporting, like clicks, conversions, and impressions, are also available.

Best practices

Follow best practices to get the most out of your campaign.

Budget

In order to maintain a similar overall spend, use the combined historical daily spend of your current standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns to set a budget for your new campaign. Keep in mind that for the same product, Smart Shopping campaigns take priority over standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns for the same account.

Target ROAS

Smart Shopping campaigns automatically maximize your conversion value within a given budget. If you have a minimum return goal for your campaign, you can also set a target return on ad spend (ROAS). For example, if your target goal for your campaign is $5 worth of sales revenue for each $1 you spend on ads, you can set a target ROAS of 500%. When you set a target ROAS, your bids will be optimized to hit your target within your daily budget. If your ROAS is too high, some of your budget may not be spent and your overall sales may decline.

Note: Setting a target ROAS is the inverse of setting an ERS (Effective Revenue Share), which is a measure of spend divided by revenue. Your actual ROAS might vary from your target ROAS.

Products

Get the most out of your campaign by adding as many products as are applicable to your campaign. To make sure that your spend and sales are the same or better, it is recommended that the selection of products for your new campaign is comparable to historic campaigns. Because dynamic remarketing ads often show multiple products from the same campaign, the more products there are to pick from within a campaign, the better the performance will be.

Assets

Use a high-quality logo and image assets that showcase your business. (Your logo should already be set in your Merchant Center account). Along with text, these assets will be used to create responsive remarketing ads, which will show on the Display Network and YouTube to users who have visited your website, but who haven’t expressed interest in a specific product yet. When a user indicates interest in a specific product (based on their interaction with your website), Google will use the relevant product information provided in your feed.

Custom parameters

Custom parameters allow Google to gather insights about which products on your website visitors have shown an interest in. Although you may run a Smart Shopping campaign without them, it is recommended that you set up custom parameters for retail in order to get better performance for your campaign.

If you do not set up custom parameters, machine learning will be used to match products from your feed based on insights provided by your Google Analytics or global site tag, such as your page titles and landing pages.

Assessment

Allow time for machine learning to optimize. Consider giving the bid strategy for a new campaign 15 days to run before you start evaluating its performance. Allowing this time to pass gives the strategy time to adapt. It will also account for conversion delay.

Get adequate data. Make sure you have enough data to evaluate the bidding strategy’s performance. Typically, 2-3 weeks after the learning period is enough time for an advertiser to evaluate performance.

Take outside factors into account. Multiple factors may affect your results over a period of time, including holidays, weekends, special events, changes to your product data, and your competitors in the auction.

Consider conversion value, not clicks. You may initially see a decline in your number of clicks. This is expected since the the bid strategy for these campaigns reduces bids for clicks that don't maximize your conversion value. The money you save is then used to bid higher for clicks that are more likely to drive conversion value. For the same reason, your cost per click may fluctuate.

Account for conversion delays. Some conversions take more time than others, in some cases days or even weeks. If you compare recent campaign performance with past performance, your recent performance might not look as strong because of conversion delay. Learn how to find a report on your conversion delay

Pausing other campaigns

For the same products or groups of products, Smart Shopping campaigns take priority over standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns for the same account. This means that if you have the same product included in a standard Shopping campaign and a smart campaign, the ads from the smart campaign will be eligible to serve rather than the ads from standard Shopping or display remarketing campaigns. It is recommended that you pause these other campaigns in order to minimize the interference on the machine learning of Smart Shopping campaigns.

Related links

Create a Smart Shopping campaign
About Shopping campaigns and Shopping ads
About remarketing

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