On the 69th episode of Marketing Interruption, Andrew Maff discusses his experiences with Google Smart Shopping, when it worked, when it didn't, and how to know if you should be testing it for your e-commerce store.
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Hello, and welcome to episode number 69 of marketing interruption podcast, I'm your host, Andrew Maff. Cohen. Today I'm going to talk to you about if Google smart shopping campaigns actually work. So I've had so much experience with this, we have a ton of paid advertising people we work with, and I've done it a lot in the past, when they first came out, I was like, great, this is, you know, gonna completely save us a ton of time. And just like I've said, in most of the podcasts, I'm going to say it's a case by case basis. So the biggest benefit that we used to have from doing regular shopping campaigns was you know, he would have a high priority, and you would negate it, drop it down to a medium negated need the keyword again, drop it down to a low priority, and then just bid the shit out of it. And you know, that's how you would kind of win. And the benefit we had out of that was those keywords that eventually got down to that low priority.
We know those were winners, we know those are doing well. So we would then take those same keywords and make a search campaign out of it. And it was just kind of like this circular process of like mining keywords, and bidding just as high as I can to knock out competition. And the nice thing about smart shopping campaigns is that, you know, they can work pretty well. But the biggest issue I've always had with them is you get zero data. To me, it's almost like working with Amazon where you just don't you almost don't own the customer, you have no idea what they searched, you have no idea of really anything, any of that kind of data that you can leverage in any of the other campaigns. But I've had sellers, we've done them, we've set them up a few different ways. So your first thought which this is how we did it a few years ago, when they first came out was I said, Okay, just like regular campaigns, I'm going to want to group all the products together. So you know, we would take a product category from certain seller and make a smart shopping campaign out of that and take another category and do it that way, and so on. And my logic was, it's going to learn from all those keywords, and it's going to sell that product line as best they can. The problem was, it actually doesn't really work.
That way, it kind of works more of it needs as much data as it can possibly get. And just like if you were to do, you know, maximize conversions, or if you were to try to do you know, target row as or something like that, you need to get like 25 conversions within like a good week or two to get a minimal amount of data. And so for smart shopping campaigns, if you break them down where they're that small, and you're not getting that much traffic for a couple of those categories, they can actually bleed out, because what'll happen is they'll start to increase bids on ridiculous keywords just to try to get a conversion somewhere. So we've actually found that the way that they work, the best is to just trust the process and shove every single product into that category and just hit go. It sounds ridiculous, but it actually has sort of worked. And we've done stuff like that for other sellers, and it doesn't work as well. And to be honest, I can't really tell you why it works for some and why it doesn't work for others. There are some glaringly obvious things like maybe they didn't have enough conversions in a certain timeframe. Maybe there's just not enough search volume, maybe there's a wildly competitive space. And now you're just bidding like ridiculous numbers on things. There's a lot of different reasons on why it may not work. But I would say the easiest thing to do is a two week test, right?
Take all of your shopping campaigns when you when you do a smart shopping campaign, by the way, it's going to cater to the that campaign, Google is going to cater to that campaign overall of your regular ones. So if you do a smart shopping campaign with all of your products, be prepared for all of your other shopping campaigns to turn off. So I would look at what it is you're spending on a daily basis for all of your shopping campaigns. Make that your daily budget for a smart shopping campaign, turn off all the other ones just pause them and let the smart shopping campaign run for two weeks. After the end of two weeks. If you're not hitting your an ROI that you're happy with. I would say revert back go back to the way things were you didn't lose that much in two weeks. And it was worth to try to see if it was worth it. Because a lot of people think like Oh, the ROI is the same or you know, or it's not that big of a difference or maybe it's a little bit less. But what you're not taking into account also is the amount of hours that you may have spent on it. So I'm not sitting here saying I'm an advocate for smart shopping campaigns. But I am going to say that it's definitely worth testing, everything is worth testing. You know, some people kind of get stuck, doing the same thing over and over, which is basically the definition of insanity or whatever they say. But, you know, there's nothing wrong with trying something new. Because if you don't innovate, you're gonna die. So I would definitely suggest giving smart shopping campaigns a try. Leave it to a two week test set a reminder for you to check where it's at every week or whatever. And after two weeks, decide if you want to keep it or not, but I would suggest giving it a try.
I would also make sure that if you have a very small product line, I probably wouldn't suggest it. I think it's better for larger product lines. But that's kind of just based off experience of stuff that I've seen work in the past but I want to go over today. If you have any questions that you want me to review on the show, feel free to shoot me an email marketing firstname.lastname@example.org If not, rate review, subscribe and I will see you all tomorrow.