Google Smart Shopping ‘Trap’
The risks of A/B testing your Smart Shopping campaigns
Launched in 2018, formally known as Universal Shopping Campaigns, Smart Shopping is a type of campaign that sits within Google Ads. It automates bidding on products which are optimised towards the advertiser’s target ROAS.
Naturally, as marketers, we want to A/B test smart shopping and the performance of your current campaigns. Google reps often recommend giving part of the catalogue to smart shopping to run in parallel. This is a great idea however, smart shopping will take priority over traditional campaigns, they even state this in their help centre;
“For the same products or groups of products, Smart Shopping campaigns take priority over Standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns for the same account.” (source: Google)
This means that when you’re eligible to show for the same impression or click, it will be given to Smart Shopping.
To prevent this from happening you can select different segments of the product catalogue, although we would suggest you really need to isolate products that will not overlap on broader, awareness search queries. For example, if you’re placing a footwear retailer on a smart shopping test we can’t segment simply by brand “Adidas” and “Nike” like smart shopping would, terms such as “Running shoe” or “men’s long-distance size 10 running shoe” would be eligible in both campaigns and as such Smart Shopping would take priority to service this ad.
It’s been said that due to the pandemic eCommerce has fast-forwarded 10 years, with more and more retailers turning to online sales to get by. It’s never been easier to sell online but it’s never been harder to reach the customer.