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 that are optimised towards the advertiser’s target ROAS.

The risks of A/B testing your Smart Shopping campaigns 

Naturally, as marketers, we want to A/B test Google Smart Shopping campaigns and the performance of your current standard campaigns. Google Shopping 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)

What does Smart Shopping taking priority mean for retailers?

This means that when you’re eligible to show for the same impression or click, it will be given to Smart Shopping, making A/B testing difficult.

To prevent this from happening you can select different segments of the product catalogue. However, we strongly suggest that you isolate products that don’t overlap with broader awareness search queries.

For example, if we place a footwear retailer on a Smart Shopping test, we wouldn’t be able to segment simply by brands like “Adidas” and “Nike”. 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 serve this ad.

It’s been estimated that as a result of 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 beat the competition.

We have an article on when (and when not) to use Smart Shopping here.

Read our inclusive guide to Smart Shopping here, or check out more of our resources, FAQs, and updates on Google Shopping here.

Laura Burton

Laura Burton

Laura is a Google Shopping specialist, who works in our marketing team. She writes content for Bidnamic as well as ensuring the team has everything they need to help our clients.