Everything You Need to Know About Google Smart Shopping

Smart digital marketers use Upp’s powerful AI platform to acquire more customers and hit their targets.

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    Google Smart Shopping is a relatively new campaign marketing option and you’d be completely forgiven if you don’t know too much about the details. Smart Shopping is most easily described as the cherry on top of Standard Shopping campaigns. Its main difference is that it’s highly automated to improve Standard Shopping’s high time consumption and complicated manual setup.

    Smart Shopping is widely used and recommended. In fact, 90+% of Google’s ad spend budget is now directed towards Smart Shopping. Nevertheless, it falls short when used as your only platform to manage Google Shopping campaigns. This is due to a restricted number of levers you can pull to make account improvements as Google aims to automate much of this control away.

    The popularity of Smart Shopping is indisputable but that has also made competition more fierce, meaning your sales advantage could be decreasing. While Smart Shopping has really helped businesses flourish, you may need the help of a third party platform to truly maximise its effectiveness. 

    Why should you use Google Smart Shopping?

    Although not a complete solution to be used on its own, Google Smart Shopping was created for a reason and it definitely does deliver on those benefits. Let’s take a look at the incentives for using Smart Shopping:

    • Simple setup: Whereas Standard Shopping is a complex and manual process to set up, Smart Shopping is completely straightforward and automated.
    • Improved revenue: The Automated Bidding strategies feature is one of the top contributors for Smart Shopping increasing retailer revenue by 180%.¹
    • Maximise ad spend: Smart Shopping’s automatic optimisation will play a huge part in helping you avoid wasting ad spend and in significantly increasing your ROAS (return on ad spend).
    • Increase conversion: Google Shopping now accounts for 65% of all Google Ads clicks, improving your chances of leading your customers to convert more frequently once they have clicked on an ad.²
    • It’s cost effective: Smart Shopping requires minimal effort. This means that your PPC manager is freed up to focus time elsewhere, optimising employee value in a more efficient and profitable way.
    • Become a VIP: Although it’s unofficial, it’s rumoured that Google prioritises Smart Shopping ads above others, putting your listings at the top of the highly saturated pile.

    These benefits speak for themselves. So, now if you’re sold on Smart Shopping, let’s turn our attention to its intelligent and vitally important side-kick. 

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    Why is Google Smart Shopping not a one-stop solution?

    The strengths of Smart Shopping speak for themselves and retailers will undoubtedly see increases in impressions pretty quickly after using the tool. In fact, you could be in for a 24% uplift in account performance when you switch from Standard to Smart Shopping according to Upp’s audit data.

    That being said, there are downfalls to Smart Shopping (when used alone) and you need to understand what they are so you can be equipped to overcome Google Shopping limitations. The first is that Google Smart Shopping can only utilises its own Google data. This means that Smart Shopping can’t contextualise your strategy with information about your wider business, meaning you could be missing out on the most effective ways to fulfil your own unique business objectives.

    The second downfall of Smart Shopping is that everyone is already using it. Whilst that’s a great display of its popularity, which we know seems like it can only be a good thing, it actually means that you’re not getting access to information that will differentiate you from your competitors and help you reap the benefits of a higher number of customers.

    What you need is assurances that your Smart Shopping campaign is making decisions with your specific business goals in mind. At a granular level, you need transparency over the data-driven decisions being made on your behalf. Whereas, on a macro-scale you need confidence that your Smart campaign types are aligned with your overall business objectives.

    What is the solution?

    In a word, the answer to that question is… Upp.

    Upp is a third party intelligent AI performance platform that blends product and market performance data to supplement your Smart Shopping experience. This is the best way to get the most out of your ad spending, boosting product visibility, achieving strategic goals and delivering a true ROI (return on investment). Upp’s platform can be adopted in-house or through an agency, whichever suits your business best. 

    Let’s break down the top benefits of implementing an intelligent performance platform like Upp alongside your Google Smart Shopping campaign — 

    • Unrivaled scalability: Blending your product and market performance data, Upp AI is able to educate Google which products actually make a difference to the businesses top/bottom line, whilst also serving the customers what they want. This approach results in an average 27% revenue improvement in just 4 weeks! 
    • Unbeatable account improvements: Upp AI is working 24/7, hunting for new product opportunities that Google is unaware of as the retail landscape changes (think weather, Covid lockdowns, offers). This results in thousands of account improvements per month, not tens
    • SKU performance insight: with Upp’s understanding greater than just Google data, you’ll know exactly when your account is performing well, and which SKUs are driving that.
    • Improved product visibility: Upp ensures that all SKUs are constantly evaluated, and given visibility on Google Shopping to identify missed product opportunities that have previously been dismissed by Google
    • Maximise ad budget spend: You’ve allocated Google Shopping a budget, but Google doesn’t always spend it. Upp makes sure that your daily budget is spent, whilst hitting your strategic objectives.

    These benefits unsurprisingly make Upp a platform highly trusted by digital marketers. That’s namely because when using the platform alongside Smart Shopping, marketers have seen a 33% boost in revenue, a 54% increase in product visibility and a 115% margin uplift in just the first 3 months!

    Upp is the solution for you!

    Upp has alleviated the significant shortcomings of Google Smart Shopping. These include disregarding your wider business goals and not offering unique opportunities to shine in your given industry and within your specific product groups. Upp’s intelligence platform, though, will help you understand your data in ways you haven’t before at both SKU and a wider business level.

    The platform will also provide recommendations based on your business goals. That way you can make informed decisions about your campaign spend and it’s all automated so there’s no need for time-consuming manual decision making!

    Using Upp alongside Google Smart Shopping upgrades it to be the tool it always should have been and more. Upp’s AI neural network is capable of identifying patterns and opportunities within your data that takes Google Smart Shopping to the next level. This will undoubtedly maximise your performance on both Standard and Smart Shopping, whilst still providing full data transparency. 

    Looking to minimise the limitations that come with using Google Shopping in isolation? Keen to see your brand excelling in saturated online retail spaces? Trying to make the most of your remarketing campaigns? Then it’s a given that you need to get involved with Upp’s AI driven platform.

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    1. Smart Shopping campaigns
    2. 49 responses to “Google Shopping Ads: The Definitive Guide (2021)”