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Google Shopping team member, merchant and customer in front of a Shopping Ad

The benefits of using Smart Shopping campaigns

Magdalena Sulikowska, Account Manager, Google Shopping | Expertise series [November 2021]

Smart Shopping campaigns are a campaign subtype in Google Ads that combine features from Standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns, and use automated bidding and ad placement to promote products and businesses across different networks.

What are the key benefits of Smart Shopping campaigns?

Smart Shopping campaigns are an effective tool to advertise products online, particularly for performance objectives. Smart Shopping campaigns can potentially draw more conversion value at the similar cost, compared to Standard Shopping campaigns. Using machine learning, millions of data points are analysed in real time, which helps recognise patterns and show merchants’ ads at the right time to an audience that might be more likely to convert and buy their products.

An important advantage of Smart Shopping campaigns is that they can help save advertisers’ time, as campaign creation is relatively fast and easy and minimal campaign management and manual optimisation is required. This allows advertisers to focus more on the strategic aspect of their business and spend less time on everyday adjustments in the settings of their Shopping ads. Smart Shopping campaigns automatically analyze data from queries, intent signals, basket size and customers’ preferences on brands and products to determine patterns that correlate with online conversion value.

Smart Shopping campaigns are one of the most performance oriented campaign types. But what does this mean, in practice, for advertisers? It means that these campaigns optimise their performance towards maximizing conversion value or Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) for the  daily budget a merchant sets. Merchants can set up conversion tracking for events such as online purchases (one of the most common), signups, purchases from phone calls, and store visits. Conversion value and ROAS reporting will allow merchants to evaluate the campaign’s performance and decide potential optimisation steps.

Another significant benefit of Smart Shopping campaigns is that they create an opportunity to increase the visibility of ads by reaching a broader audience across Google Search, Search Partners, Display Network, YouTube and Gmail. By combining standard shopping campaigns with dynamic remarketing and machine learning technology, Smart Shopping campaigns allocate an advertiser’s budget automatically across different placements, optimising it based on the ads performance.

Area of comparison Smart Shopping campaigns Standard Shopping campaigns
Setup Simplified and fast setup Manual setup
Ad placement Smart Shopping campaigns use automated ad placement and show your ads on: Google Search Network, Display Network, YouTube and Gmail Standard Shopping campaigns will show your ads on Google Search Network and you can choose if you want to place your ads on: Search Partners, YouTube, Gmail and Discover
Audience Automatically use the most relevant signals from audience lists Manually include/exclude audience lists and adjust bids
Additional Ad types available Local inventory ads Local inventory ads & Showcase Shopping ads
Priority Highest priority (over Standard Shopping & Display remarketing campaigns) Manual priority set-up and choice among low, medium and high priority
Reporting Store visits reporting, product level reporting across the entire campaign, benchmark reporting, auction insights Network reporting, keywords reporting

Are Smart Shopping campaigns suitable for every company?

A merchant may be eligible to use Smart Shopping campaigns if they have already been launched in the target country and they meet the requirements listed in this Google Ads Help article. Merchants should take though into consideration that Smart Shopping campaigns depend heavily on a remarketing audience of people who visit your website. Therefore, in order to keep a campaign active, new people must continually be added to a company’s remarketing audience. Businesses which are not able to collect remarketing lists due to policy reasons, can still run Smart Shopping campaigns, but their performance might be not as high as with remarketing lists available. 

Smart Shopping campaigns’ performance is related with the advertiser’s remarketing audience. A best practice is for advertisers’ to keep building their remarketing list. Businesses which are not able to build remarketing lists due to policy reasons, can still run Smart Shopping campaigns, but this might have an impact on their campaigns’ performance.

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Five key tips on setting up a Smart Shopping campaign

When it comes to implementing, Smart Shopping campaigns are relatively quick and easy to set up by following the steps listed in this Google Ads Help article. Below you can find some best practices and useful tips:

You can discover more about Smart Shopping campaigns in the Google Ads Help Center.

This article was published by Google Shopping (CSS). Google Shopping is Google's CSS and a Premium CSS Partner.