Google Smart Shopping vs Google Shopping Ads
In May 2018, during Google Marketing Live event, Google introduced its new solution for Google Shopping campaigns called Smart Shopping. From today’s post, you’ll learn what it is, how it works, and what’s the difference between Smart Shopping and regular Google Shopping Ads.
What is Google Smart Shopping?
Smart Shopping is one of the relatively new features in Google’s portfolio. It uses Google’s machine learning technology to optimize the Google Shopping campaign and maximize its reach and conversion rate.
With Smart Shopping, the only two things a user has to decide on are the objective of the campaign and set up a budget. The rest of the process is taken care of by the technology. And what does technology do? Smart Shopping automatically bids for us and displays the ads in different Google networks. The range is broad; it includes Google Search Network, Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail. What’s more, it covers various types of ads – regular product shopping ads, local inventory ads, and display ads (including remarketing and prospecting).
How does Smart Shopping work?
Similarly to regular Google Shopping Ads, a user needs to set up Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts, load product feed data to Merchant Center account, select the country, and decide on a budget. There’s an additional option to choose the bidding target.
What’s different from regular Shopping Ads, is the automation. Google uses provided information to decide how much to bid, as well as where and when to display the ads. It happens thanks to its machine learning tools. The goal is to achieve the best possible conversion rate while reaching the selected target. Google tries to acquire as many potential customers as possible. It aims to find the audience that is eager to spend more.
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Google Smart Shopping vs. Google Shopping Ads
Here’s a short summary of the most important pros and cons of both Google Smart Shopping and Google Shopping Ads. It should help you decide if Google Smart Shopping is something for you.
Google Smart Shopping
✓ Quick and highly automated
✓ Easy to set up
✓ Saves a lot of time
x Limited device and location targeting
✓ A broad range of ad types
✓ Exposure in many networks
x No possibility to use negative keywords
x Bid adjustments
x No granular data analytics
Google Shopping Ads
✓ Full control over the campaign
x Manual and complex
x Very time consuming
✓ Full device and location targeting control
x Demands experience knowledge
✓ Possibility to choose networks
✓ Possibility to use negative keywords
✓ Bid adjustments
✓ Granular data analytics
How to set up Google Smart Shopping?
Before activating Smart Shopping, make sure to comply with Google requirements with regards to this tool. The most important ones say that you need to set up conversion tracking and add a global site tag to your website. Apart from that, the usual conditions and policies for Google Shopping must be met.
✓ Once you do the above, create a new Campaign in Google Ads.
✓ Select the goal if you want to (Sales, Leads, Website traffic, etc. )
✓ Choose Shopping as a Campaign type
✓ Select “Smart Shopping campaign” in the Campaign subtype section
✓ Insert the budget value
✓ You can also choose the Smart bidding target
✓ Perform the usual steps, such as adding the name, uploading the product feed, selecting a country.
✓ Click Save and it’s ready.
Remember that Google Smart Shopping campaign has a priority over a regular Google Shopping campaign. If you are advertising the same products via both of them, Google will choose the ads from the Smart Shopping campaign to display to potential customers. So it’s best to deactivate the regular campaign to not lose the resources.
Google Smart Shopping is an advanced, highly automated way to manage Google Shopping Ads. There’s no doubt it provides many benefits and can result in very satisfying ads performance.
Smart Shopping is definitely an excellent solution for:
- small businesses,
- persons with limited knowledge and experience in a matter of Google Shopping Ads
- those who don’t have time to run a campaign on their own,
- debutants in Google Shopping Ads world.
However, it’s worth to try it out in all cases, as it can work perfectly fine for everybody.
At the same time, users should remember that Smart Shopping means the need to sacrifice the full control over the campaign and a limited possibility to monitor and analyze data.
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