What are Smart Shopping Campaigns?
Using Google’s Machine Learning, Smart Shopping Campaigns aim to maximize your potential conversion value by automating bids and targeting across products and audiences.
Your products can show across the Shopping results, on the Display Network, on YouTube, and in Gmail. This campaign will take priority over standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns.
What do I need to run Smart Shopping Campaigns?
Smart Shopping Campaigns run off Google’s Smart Bidding with either Maximize Conversion Value or Target ROAS, and also automatically handle Remarketing in a few forms.
Through our app, you will only need to have the following set up in your Google Ads account to be eligible to run Smart Shopping Campaigns:
Conversion Tracking – Either Google Ads or Analytics based conversion tracking must be set up and configured in your account
Remarketing Tag – You must have a Google Ads Remarketing tag set up and implemented on your website
How do I get started?
If you currently have access to the Google Campaign Manager in your Sales & Orders account, you will be set up your first Smart Shopping campaign:
Navigate to G Campaign Manager
Click on the Campaigns tab
Click on the Create Campaign button
Select Smart Campaign from the list
Next, apply your basic campaign settings Name, Status, Daily Budget and even select if you wish to use Google's Target ROAS Smart Bidding when your campaigns garner enough conversions (will trigger automatically once your campaign meets the requirements).
In the next step, simply choose your subdivision (structure) criteria for your product groups (keep reading for tips and best practices):
Click the + icon to select your first subdivision level
Next, select the attribute you wish to subdivide with
Based on which attribute you choose, select the product groups you wish to have created
To subdivide a product group even further, click the + icon again
Once satisfied, click Create Campaign to finish up.
Important Info and Best Practices for Smart Campaigns
There are a few things about Smart Shopping campaigns especially that retailers really must be aware of:
Other Shopping Campaigns
Smart Shopping campaigns take over full priority and thus can stop other Shopping campaigns from serving ads.
This is because Smart Campaigns are primarily prioritizing themselves based on search terms and any products that are similar in other campaigns will stop serving if the Smart Campaign is set up and enters its Learning Phase.
When viewing your campaigns in your account, we are now labeling the campaign type in the Campaigns tab:
Smart Shopping campaigns are almost completely automated and thus you will do little managing of a campaign itself, relying instead on Google’s Machine Learning to do all of it for you – yes, that includes bidding, placement, targeting, you name it. By default, Smart Shopping Campaigns created in our app will use Maximize Conversion Value as a Smart Bidding Strategy.
Smart Shopping campaigns cannot be hyper-targeted to specific regions within your target country.
Google will automatically serve ads throughout your entire country. (ie United Sates > you cannot add additional targeting for states, counties, etc.)
Unlike Standard Shopping Campaigns, Smart Shopping campaigns allow for fewer subdivision types in the structuring steps of the campaign builder. You will not be able to subdivide campaigns by Item ID, and instead will only be able to create product groups comprised of either (or some combination of):
Custom Labels 0-4
It is highly recommended to use one primary level subdivision for the entirety of your campaign as it will help Google’s Machine Learning to perform appropriately.
For advanced users, using Custom Labels to define a unique subdivision criteria can help you to better measure performance over time, such as when setting Labels for price ranges.
When using the Target ROAS Smart Bidding Strategy, it is also important to note that the setting is percentage-based.
Let's say you're measuring sales for your online women's shoe store and you want to optimize your bids based on the value of a shopping cart total. Your goal is $5 worth of sales (this is your conversion value) for each $1 you spend on ads. You'd set a target ROAS of 500% - for every $1 you spend on ads, you'd like to get 5 times that in revenue.
Here's the math:
$5 in sales ÷ $1 in ad spend x 100% = 500% target ROAS
Then, Google Ads will automatically set your max. CPC bids to maximize your conversion value, while trying to reach your target ROAS of 500%.
If you set a Target ROAS in our app, it will take affect once your campaign meets the requirement of having at least 20 conversions in 45 days.
Once a Smart Shopping Campaign has been launched, it enters what is called the Learning Phase. During this time, Google’s Machine Learning is consuming information to better position your ads for conversions.
This can last for 15 days or more in some cases and the campaign may not generate much activity during this time.
You should leave the campaign alone to do this.