Google Smart Shopping: Everything You Need to Know

July 31, 2020

Smart Shopping merges all the updated automation and machine learning technology to Google Shopping to make your campaign management easier, maximize your conversion value, and increase your customer or prospect reach.

This campaign subtype combines Standard Shopping and Display Remarketing campaigns to promote your products and business across Google networks. The new shopping campaigns make the business journey easier for all business owners regardless of size.

What is Google Smart Shopping?

Smart Shopping Campaign is a fairly new campaign type introduced by Google to simplify advertising products on Google Ads platform with the help of automated bidding and ad placement. This new idea of the biggest new eCommerce advertising option will perhaps change the way of marketing campaigns for every eCommerce business. Advertisers and marketers are thinking that Smart Shopping Campaigns could be an excellent opportunity for many eCommerce businesses.

Featuring with easy campaign management facility, Smart Shopping Campaigns have been helping to drive more sales and reach across Google easily through the utilization of automation and machine learning. There is no doubt that it’s the next generation of shopping campaigns.

How to Get Started with Smart Shopping Campaigns

Before you get started with Smart Shopping Campaigns or create your first one, you should keep in mind that Smart Shopping runs both shopping campaigns and display remarketing ads. This is why, if you’re already running either of those campaign types, it would be great for you to give them a break before you initiate a Smart Shopping campaign for the same products.

Doing this is necessary as Google recommends that you should target all of your existing products using Smart Shopping. This is very unlikely compared to the previous approach or how you normally move toward shopping campaigns. But the truth is, the more you follow Google’s recommendations, the more effective the algorithms will be and the better your results will be.

The first step in setting up your Smart Shopping campaign is logging into your Google Ads account and creating a new campaign.

Then, select the “Shopping” as campaign option, “Sales” as a campaign goal, the right Merchant Center account, and then select the “Goal-optimized” campaign subtype

Finally, tick the box named “Smart Shopping Campaign”.

After that, you have to give the campaign a name and allocate a budget. This is also where you would set a target ROAS, however, if you don’t want, then the maximize conversion value bidding strategy will get into action instead.

Then, you will be asked to set up your first product group.

Initially, all of your products in your feed will be automatically selected for your campaign unless you want to assign only a specific product group to this campaign. If you don’t want to keep the default option as it is, you can select specific products you like.

Even after starting your campaign, you will still be able to create product groups. Once you’ve completed all these steps correctly, the Ad Preview panel will show you how the ads will look on Shopping and Display Network.

The big thing in Smart Shopping is that Google will automatically create ads for you based on the way your customers interact with your site. But if you are very new to this and didn’t upload any of your products yet, you’ll need to give Google some creative assets and initial headlines and descriptions to work with.

Smart Shopping Campaign Best Practices

Before setting up and running your Smart Shopping campaigns, you should keep a few additional things in mind:

  • If you choose to start small and target a specific product group instead of your entire catalog, leave your other product groups in action in your existing standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns
  • You should evaluate your Smart Shopping campaigns at least 15-20 days. Based on the performance, you can add or change product groups.
  • If you include your whole product catalog in a Smart Shopping Campaign, Google suggests you give a pause to your existing regular Shopping and Dynamic Remarketing campaigns.
  • If you aren’t getting expected conversion targets, try switching up your bidding approach. Target ROAS is a nice option to try if all your products have similar profit margins. On the other hand, if you have products with different ROAS goals, you can try breaking those products out into separate campaigns.
  • To boost volume, consider decreasing your target ROAS.
  • Subdivide your products into different product groups, even within the same campaign or even when you are targeting the whole catalog.
  • Boost your campaigns by optimizing the images, titles, and descriptions in your product feed.

Smart Shopping Campaigns Disadvantages

Smart Shopping campaigns are great but there are a few limitations that you need to know before you get set up a campaign. You’ll face limitations with:

  • Attribution. Lumping in standard shopping with display remarketing makes it impossible to attribute results to one channel or the other. You have to take Google’s word that combining the two is in your best interest.
  • Negative Keywords. Getting impressions on an extremely low-intent query? You, unfortunately, have no way of axing that query from your campaign.
  • Product controls. Want to burn through the inventory of a specific product, or put a new product front and center? There’s no way to do that within a single campaign.

Clearly, as with all new smart formats, you’re sacrificing some granular control over your campaign performance here.


Google Smart Shopping has brought an enormous amount of opportunity for many eCommerce businesses.  Machine learning is a powerful tool and as Google has acquired this, it’s expected that Google’s algorithm will only get better with time.

Automated bidding, expansive reach, hands-off CRO (conversion rate optimization)—there’s a lot to like about Smart Shopping! Google is giving advertisers more and more access to machine learning, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean better results, it does mean less time managing your account, probably better results, and, at the very least, the chance to A/B test campaign performance and go from there.

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