How to use Google Smart Shopping the correct way

Google Smart Shopping has been around since 2002 and has gone through a lot of developments since then. Yet we see that this handy feature of Google Ads is still misused far too often. Make sure that you can get the most out of Google Smart Shopping and its algorithm with the following tips.

In short: how does Google Smart Shopping work? 

With Google Smart Shopping campaigns, you can combine your product feed and website with Google's smart algorithm. This algorithm determines, for example, which products are best used for remarketing based on the products the visitor viewed on your site. In addition to turning your products into "regular" shopping ads, Google can also turn these into dynamic remarketing ads to show your products to the target audience outside of the search page.

The algorithm determines who gets to see which product and when. Google itself indicates that this can provide up to 20% more conversions for the same budget. So... what are you waiting for? (We recommend at least until you reach the end of this blog).

The 'logical' tips 

Of course, you also need to have the basics of your Smart Shopping campaign in order. The following (short) tips will ensure that you get off to a good start. Have you already ticked them all off? Then scroll to the end for the best Google Smart Shopping tip!

Quick tip #1: Budget

Because Google Smart Shopping often takes over a 'normal' shopping campaign + the dynamic display campaign, it is advisable to take the sum of these two budgets as the daily budget. Keep in mind that Smart Shopping is prioritized in the system. As a result, ongoing campaigns are squeezed and get fewer and fewer impressions. We therefore recommend that you turn off these 'old campaigns' as soon as this happens.

Quick tip #2: Target ROAS

Smart Shopping is set to 'maximize conversion value' by default. You just have to be daring. CPCs far above a euro on display clicks are not uncommon. The system must have a good reason for doing this. Although, for the more 'fearful' marketer, they came up with the Target ROAS. It gives you the feeling that you are still somewhat in control. Don't set it too low, you'll also be squeezing your Smart campaign too tightly.

Quick tip #3: Campaign materials 

Make sure you use the right visuals in Merchant Center and in your Smart Shopping ad. Upload qualitative logo twice in Merchant Center and choose the colors that match your brand. Note: Google can use just one of the two colors to fill the entire banner. Take this into account with your logo, for example.

Quick tip #4: Be patient 

It takes about two to three weeks for the algorithm to settle in. Also, don't be shocked by the high costs and low sales. Look at it as learning money. Do not make any changes to the campaign, this will only reset the learning period. If it still doesn't work after six weeks, call Endeavour for advice.

Quick tip #5: Remarketing tag parameters 

This is perhaps the most important thing in your set-up of Smart Shopping. After all, without adding the dynamic remarketing tag, Google doesn't know which products have been viewed. Often you need a developer for the proper implementation. However, for standard systems like Shopify, Magento or WordPress you can find the necessary plugins to take care of this part for you.

The tip of all tips: to get the absolute most out of Google Smart Shopping 

Google Smart Shopping works on the basis of data. The more data you can provide to the system, the better it can make decisions for you. Google states that there must have been at least 20 conversions in the last 45 days. What they don't tell you is that this has to be per product or per product group.

The algorithm often shows products in bundles. You understand that if a customer is looking for a sofa it makes little sense to also show this customer a lamp, just because you also sell lamps. Smart Shopping therefore works best with a separate campaign per separate product group (for sites with low conversions).

How do you get started? 

The difference is in how much difference there is in your products:

  • Example 1: You sell the same products in different variations (webshop for sunglasses).

You can convert this webshop directly to Google Smart Shopping. 

  • Example 2: You sell the same segment, but different products (webshop for interior design).

With a lot of conversions (1000+ pm) you can put the entire inventory live in one Smart campaign.

With few conversions, you can separate your best performing product group (e.g. sofas) from your regular shopping campaign and make it a separate Smart Shopping campaign.

  • Example 3: You sell all very different products (a site with good deals).

Start with a regular shopping campaign based on manual CPC (no enhanced, this never works). Set your bids here so that you have a good display share (around 80%). If you see a product that stands out in terms of number of conversions over a longer period of time, give it its own Smart Shopping campaign. Pay attention to the previously mentioned tips.

Are you still puzzled after reading this blog or do you simply not have the time to do it yourself? Then contact Endeavour for personal support in setting up your Google Smart Shopping campaign perfectly.

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