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Read This Before Using Smart Shopping Campaigns

Smart Campaigns are the talk of the town but perhaps not for the right reasons. This article will explore the problems that companies may occur if they try automating their campaigns using smart shopping.

What are they?

Smart Shopping Campaigns essentially automate shopping ads across any Google-owned channel according to the business’ target conversion objective.

They can be effective for two main reasons:

Businesses that can’t be bothered to manage their account and want full-scale automation.

Businesses that don’t care where their revenue comes from. For instance, having it all go come from one product, if they’re getting revenue they don’t care where it comes from.

Problems with this:

  • The advertiser loses control of priority bidding, there are no CPC’s set, the business must set the campaigns to hit target. e.g. A specific product that the business knows will perform well can’t be pushed because there isn’t an option to do it. The business will have to build a separate campaign just for those priority products.
  • There is a massive lack of data which means advertisers can’t set targets based on search intent, type of user, type of ad and type of product (unless they build a shopping campaign based on each of the products individually thus equating to even more manual work). Therefore, businesses cannot control what segment their advertising spend is allocated to.
  • Smart shopping doesn’t help towards new customer acquisition, there is no feature that allows the growth of new users, thus limiting the business growth as they tend to favour the acquisition of existing customers.
  • Smart shopping campaigns don’t take into account seasonality of the advertisers’ products. For example, a business may have winter related products that are starting to perform well, however, Google may start to push spend into products that have driven conversions, which could be summer related products.
  • There is an initial 2-week gracing period that Google suggests advertisers should adhere to, the problem with this is the spend can go wild but companies are urged by Google not to change the budgets, again this is a loss of control for the user.
  • Businesses also need a certain amount of transactions before the shopping campaigns can be effective, failure to meet the threshold would lead to them being ineffective.
  • One of the more major issues, is businesses can’t add negative keywords, so they could be matching to completely irrelevant searches, thus decreasing their efficiency.
  • If the business doesn’t care where their revenue comes from, what happens when that product sells out and there isn’t an adequate replacement product that can pick up the traffic, then the business could just be spending for the sake of generating traffic.

Onefeed’s Thoughts:

In summation, if a business chooses to activate Smart Shopping then they will lose control, that much is certain. Companies will lose the option to ad schedule, adjust bids, insert negative keywords and target specific regions, audiences and ads on different devices.

Achieving high levels of shopping performance only occurs when a business has full control. Giving up the ability to perform certain functions like mentioned above will undoubtedly mean a business will suffer.

With Onefeed these problems wouldn’t arise as we’re better equipped with our bespoke management platform that has been internally developed over the past 12 years. Combining this with the knowledge of our certified Google shopping management experience will mean businesses won’t fall victim to the pitfalls of Smart Shopping Campaigns listed above.