What We’ve Learned From Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

December 20, 2018

What is a Google smart shopping campaign?

Smart shopping is an automated shopping campaign that goes beyond standard shopping by showing  your products across all of Google’s platforms: search, display, Gmail, and YouTube. Smart shopping uses a combination of standard shopping ads and display remarketing placements to maximize your conversions.

Smart Shopping

In order to run a smart shopping campaign you must have at least 20 conversions over the last 45 days in your existing shopping campaigns. You must also have a remarketing list with at least 100 active users before you can get started.


Easy to set up

Smart shopping campaigns are very easy to set up! You don’t actually need to have a shopping feed for this campaign. Google will scrape your website to find products and pricing and create an automated feed. This eliminates the need to constantly be updated your shopping feed in the merchant center. In fact, smart shopping even integrates directly into the Shopify platform.


Bidding Strategy

Smart shopping campaigns only allow you to use maximize conversion value with or without a target ROAS. With this bidding strategy Google will automatically adjust your bids in order to get the highest conversion value with campaign’s budget. If you have the target ROAS option enabled, Google will try to optimize it’s bidding to achieve your target ROAS. Google uses historical conversion data from your shopping campaigns as well as user information such as search history in order to make these decisions. This is why 20 conversions in the last 45 days is a requirement for these campaigns.


No negatives or location targeting

Smart shopping campaigns are a fully automated campaign. That means you can’t actually add negative search terms or location targeting to these campaigns. You are allowed to pick a ‘country of sale’ however. Google utilizes it’s machine learnings in order to find queries and placements that won’t perform at your set goal and filters them out of targeting.


Is it worth it?

Although as PPC marketers we want to be able to control everything, a smart shopping campaign is a great campaigns to add to your account. With such an easy setup, Google makes this campaign type very easy to test. Running a smart shopping campaign alongside a regular shopping campaign is a great idea as regular shopping campaigns can’t extend out ot the display network as smart shopping can.

In our test we saw that the smart shopping campaign was able to get a much higher volume of impressions and clicks compared to our regular shopping campaign. All though, CTR was about 50% lower we did see that conversion rate was about 300% higher than our regular shopping campaign. This is to be expected given the addition of the display network which has much lower CTR vs Search.


Bringing as much machine learning into your account is always best. With a fully automated campaign from, bids and placements all the way to an automated shopping feed you’ll be able to utilize Google’s amazing machine learning and the automated optimization benefits that come with it.