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Get Holiday Ready With Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

Why Now Is The Time To Get Up And Running With Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

As PPC marketers, we have a dizzying array of tools at our disposal. With the holiday season ramping up, we are often asked for our recommendation on how to maximise all opportunities and drive the best results possible during this key time of year. And for e-commerce advertisers going into the 2020 holiday period, one of our top recommendations is to make the most of Google Shopping campaigns and if you’re not already using it, test out Smart Shopping campaigns.

Dubious about Smart Shopping campaigns? We were too. Mourning the loss of control? We feel it too. Does it really work as well as Google says? From what we’ve seen, yes. Google has said, and we have found with our own accounts, that on average advertisers see a 30% (or more) increase in conversion value when using Smart Shopping campaigns. Smart Shopping has definitely come out of its infancy to become a mainstay campaign for this holiday season.

And so finally, the big question. Will you be missing an opportunity if you don’t use this campaign type? While success depends on a few factors, for the overwhelming majority of e-commerce advertisers our answer is yes.

So you’ve decided to give a Smart Shopping campaign a try this year. What next?

First, Determine Whether Smart Shopping Is A Good Fit For You

For Smart Shopping campaigns to be effective, there are a few rules of thumb.


  • Approved Merchant Center feed
  • Conversion value tracking
  • Active Dynamic Remarketing Tag with 100 active users


  • Ensure your site is tagged to capture as much data as possible. For PPC Samurai users, keep an eye out in your Insights Dashboard for any hygiene alerts related to ‘sitewide tagging could not be detected on live landing pages’.
  • Sufficient conversion data (100+ account conversions in the last 30 days).

You’ve Ticked The Boxes On The Required Criteria. Now, Time Is Of The Essence

Smart Shopping campaign performance can take up to 15 days to stabilize, particularly for campaigns with relatively low conversion volume.
Pro Tip: If Cyber Weekend is important for you, that means getting Smart Shopping campaigns up and running this week!

Urgency Aside, What’s The Best Way To Test This Campaign Type?

Decide whether you want to test a Smart Shopping campaign for a selection of products or for the full product catalog. If you’re testing on a selection of products, it’s advisable to choose product groups with high conversions (20+ conversions in a 15-day period) to give the algorithm as much data as possible.

Smart Shopping will take priority over any traditional Shopping campaigns, so whether you’re advertising on a selection of products or on the full product catalog, ensure you’re pausing those products in any existing traditional Shopping campaigns.

It is also a good rule of thumb for Smart Shopping campaigns to avoid unnecessary campaign segmentation. The machine learning algorithm generally benefits from having more data available for optimization so segment the campaigns only when it makes sense for a particular business outcome.

What Should My Initial Target ROAS Be?

We recommend using a realistic target ROAS – something like the ROAS from the last 30 days for the selected products that you’ll be testing.

Any other tips? Always!

  1. Once created and enabled, leave the campaign to optimise. The machine needs time to learn so avoid the temptation to make changes to the campaign settings unless absolutely necessary.
  2. Set budgets at a level to capture additional headroom during periods of increased holiday shopping and during key events, check your budget daily or several times per day when needed to ensure you’re capturing as much of the demand as possible.ble.
  3. Check out our guide for seasonal automated bidding to understand whether you should be including seasonal bid adjustments in your automated bidding strategy.

If you’re interested in more information about any of the tips above, reach out to us or book a demo – we’re here to help!

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