Managing Google Shopping campaigns in Google Ads can be seriously complicated and time-consuming, especially for smaller companies lacking large advertising teams.


The great thing about Google’s Smart Shopping feature is that it automates your campaigns. Google bids for ad space automatically, so you can sit back, relax, and focus on other digital marketing tasks!


But how do Smart Shopping campaigns work? And what should you know about them? Learn more below.


Note: Smart Shopping is now part of a new automated campaign type called Performance Max, which lets you run ads on every single Google property, including Google Maps and Discover. It also allows you to integrate campaigns with third-party platforms like Spotify and GoDaddy. If Google has already upgraded your Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max campaigns, you won’t be able to create any more of the former.


What are Smart Shopping Campaigns?

Smart Shopping is a campaign type in Google Ads, the world’s most popular search engine advertising service. It automates bidding when advertising products and services on Google Shopping and other Google properties, including regular Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube.


Smart Shopping determines the best places to show ads across Google’s network based on your budget and goals. By automating ad placement, you can target your audience better and drive more conversions. In fact, Google claims Smart Shopping optimizes conversion value for both new customer acquisitions and online sales.


Smart Shopping optimizes the following types of ads on Google:


    • Shopping ads – These ads show on regular Google search results pages and pages in Google’s “Shopping” tab.


    • Local inventory ads – A local inventory ad is a type of Shopping ad that displays products in your inventory that are in stock and available for purchase. These ads appear in the same place as regular Shopping ads.


    • Display ads – These ads appear on different Google properties, such as Gmail and YouTube, when people browse the internet.



How Do Smart Shopping Campaigns Work?

Smart Shopping creates ads for products in your product list feed according to your campaign goals and budget, which you specify in Google Merchant Center. It then uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze millions of data points on Google Shopping to decide where to place those ads and reach your target audience at the right time. This process is called smart bidding.


Setting up Smart Shopping doesn’t require much work if you’re already running ads in Google Shopping because you have already defined your campaign objectives and budget. Alternatively, you can create a new Smart Shopping campaign by signing up for a Google Ads and Google Merchant Center account. Define which audiences you want to target and how much you want to spend on Google Smart Shopping ads, and Google will manage the rest of your campaigns for you.


How to Optimize Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

Google has several tips for getting more value from your Smart Shopping campaigns:

    • Use remarketing lists – Remarketing lists are lists of people who have previously visited your online store, meaning they are likely to make a purchase or a repeat purchase. Google recommends adding people to these lists as you expand your campaigns so it can target this audience with your ads.


    • Monitor conversions – Google Ads’ conversion tracking feature provides information about which ads drive the most purchases on your online store, as well as other conversion events such as signups.


    • Use different ad types – Experiment with shopping ads, display ads, and local inventory ads to see which of these ad types result in the most conversions during your Smart Shopping campaigns.


    • Analyze performance – Google Ads’ reports uncover insights about conversion value, return on ad spend (ROAS), and other metrics and KPIs, helping you fine-tune your campaigns and learn more about your audience.



Smart Shopping Campaign: Best Practices

Here are some important things to know when creating Smart Shopping Campaigns:

    • Upload your logo – Google automatically uses your business name in your Merchant Center feed. However, you can upload your company’s logo to create a visual identity for your brand on the platform. Google recommends keeping your logo design simple and using a transparent background.


    • Add an image – You can also add an image to your feed that represents your business. Google says that marketing images should be 1200 x 628 pixels.


    • Create video ads – Google can auto-generate video ads based on the information in your Merchant Center feed. However, you can create your own videos if you prefer. You’ll need to upload these videos to YouTube and include a link to them when creating ads.


What are the Benefits of Smart Shopping Campaigns?

Advantages of Smart Shopping campaigns include ease of use, automatic bidding, and Google optimizing your ads.


Ease of use – It’s easy to set up Smart Shopping campaigns. Just tell Google your campaign objectives, and it will decide the best places to position your ads across its network.


Automatic bidding – Google bids for ad space based on your pre-determined budget, so you don’t have to worry about manual bidding. It uses machine learning to find the best bid for each auction.


Google optimizes your ads – With Smart Shopping, Google makes changes to your ads, such as tweaking keywords, to ensure they reach the right people and improve conversions.


Why You Should Implement Smart Shopping

Google Smart Shopping automates your advertising campaigns, helping you target your audience and get more value from your ad spend. Businesses that use this campaign type can reach potential customers across different Google properties without all the manual work.


Whether you use Smart Shopping or not, working with a digital marketing company like Symphonic Digital can help you set up online advertising campaigns and get your products and services in front of more people. Start with a PPC audit to learn how well your current ads perform on the web. Contact Symphonic to get an even more comprehensive answer to the question, “How do Smart Shopping campaigns work?”