smart shopping campaigns

Smart Shopping Campaigns Guide & Best Practices

The Christmas period is fast approaching, and if there is something that is clear beyond the fact that we will stuff ourselves with nougat and “polvorones”, it is that it is a period characterized by gifts. This can be a great opportunity for eCommerce to grow and boost your sales. So today I come to talk about a tool that surely many of you already know and those who do not, surely after reading this post, you will want to try it. What I am going to talk about today is Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns.

What are Smart Shopping Campaigns?

They are a type of campaign developed by Google, which combines elements of Standard Shopping and Dynamic Remarketing campaigns.

Smart Shopping campaigns also use Google’s machine learning technology to increase the performance and the value of conversions, while simplifying the management of these campaigns to the maximum.

This type of campaign is automatically optimized to find the customers who are most likely to make a purchase, that is, it will help us get more qualified traffic to our store.

It is also important to know that the ads of these campaigns will have much more reach, as they will be available on all Google channels (Search, Display, Gmail), YouTube and even on other websites.

How can we create our Smart Shopping Campaign?

First of all we will need to create a Google Ads account and a Google Merchant Center account. Both accounts must be linked.

To set up our merchant center account we must follow the following steps:

  1. Create and configure our merchant center.
  2. Verify and claim the domain of our store.
  3. Click on “+” and add the products we want.
  4. Fill in as much information as possible about our products. The more information, the higher the quality of our ad.
  5. Lastly, we just have to wait for Google to approve our products.

Once we have finished setting up our Google Merchant account, we must follow another series of steps:

  1. We log in to our Google Ads account.
  2. Select the “campaigns” section and click on the “+” icon.
  3. We must select the objective of the campaigns. My recommendation is that since it is a Shopping campaign, we select the objective “sales”.
  4. In “type of campaign” we must select Shopping.
  5. We choose the merchant center account that has the products we want to promote and the country where we want to sell these products.
  6. In “campaign subtype” we choose Smart Shopping Campaign, click continue and then we must choose a name for our campaign.
  7. We will define our daily budget.
  8. We will choose the bidding strategy we want to follow with our campaigns. If we do not define any strategy, Google will set by default a bid that maximizes the value of conversions. Personally, this is the strategy I would recommend to start our campaign. When we have data about our conversions we can define a strategy based on a specific objective such as the return on advertising investment (ROAS).
  9. We will choose the products or group of products we want to promote with our campaign. If we do not specify these products, all the products in our product feed in our merchant center account will be able to appear in our ads.
  10. We will review the preview of our ads, in case there is something we would like to change.
  11. Save the whole process and ta-da, we have our Smart Shopping campaign ready.

Advantages of Smart Shopping Campaigns

Once we are clear about what Smart Shopping campaigns are, how they work and how we can create them in our Google Ads account, we take a look at the competitive advantages that this type of campaigns can give to our eCommerce.

  • Automatic optimization: Google’s machine learning technology allows for increasing the performance and potential of our ads by looking for those customers who are most likely to make a purchase.
  • Automation of the bids of our ads, to achieve the highest possible performance to the value of conversions with the daily budget that we have set.
  • Easy Integration: you will be able to create this type of campaigns in a much easier and faster way through applications integrated in your favorite platforms. You can try our Ads Manager app, where in addition to facilitating the creation of your campaigns, we will give you a hand in the optimization and monitoring of your campaigns.
  • Greater visibility in search results, since our ads will appear at the top of the search engine and will be what our customers see first when they search for a specific product. In addition to this, there is the greater impact that our ads generate in our potential customers, since at a glance they have data such as the image, the price and the name and description of our product.
  • Smart Shopping campaigns usually have a better return on advertising investment (ROAS).
  • This type of ad has a conversion rate 30% higher compared to conventional ads.
  • Lastly, as they are much more qualified ads, they usually have a lower cost per click (CPC) than traditional ads.

Best practices and optimization

It is now clear to us how we can create our own Smart Shopping campaign, and we have seen that it is something that is within everyone’s reach. However, sometimes the results of our Smart Shopping campaigns can take a little longer to arrive, so we must be patient and keep working on improving our campaigns.

As I mentioned, it is very important to be patient because machine learning technology is continuously working on the optimization of our campaigns. The traffic and conversions we receive will be fundamental data for the algorithm to optimize and improve our campaign.

The first thing to do is to find out what objectives we want to achieve with our campaign. Define a daily budget and the bidding strategy we want to apply to our campaign. 

When all of this is set correctly, we must wait a period of two to three weeks in which the machine learning technology will work on optimizing and improving our campaign. After that period we will be able to start making new decisions to improve the performance of our campaign.

Wrapping ideas…

It is essential that we analyze the performance and impact that our campaign has had. Forr this we can use the reports we have available about the conversion value or the return on advertising investment (ROAS). 

We also have predefined reports attributed to specific elements such as product type or category. You can access these reports by clicking at the top of the page, on the reports icon, and there you should select predefined reports.

I hope these tips will be useful when starting a new Shopping campaign and that they will help you to boost your eCommerce and increase your sales.

If you have any questions or there is anything you want to share with me, do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to talk to you and help you with whatever you need.

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