Early tests with the new Google Smart Shopping campaigns are promising. Here’s data on one Marketing 360® eCommerce client that’s seeing rapid gains with this platform.
Google Smart Shopping is the eCommerce part of Google’s recently re-branded Google Ads. It’s a largely automated platform designed to give you the best value from each ad. Google Smart Shopping automates ad placement and bidding for maximum conversion value for your budget.
We link the Merchant Center account, set a budget, upload assets, and let the system know the country of sale. Machine learning then kicks in, pulling from the product feed to test different combinations of the image and text we provide. It shows the most relevant ads across Google networks, including the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail.
As you read this description, you probably start to wonder if machine learning is effective. Can the system automate the optimization process to drive better results with less sweat equity from the business?
The system is new, so the jury is still out on that. But we’ve tested it on one eCommerce client that sells trailer parts online, and so far it’s looking like the machine deserves some kudos.
Clicks and Conversions Up, Cost Per Conversion Down
Here’s early data returns for this campaign:
In the 30 day comparison (last 30 days period 1; previous 30 days period 2). We see improvements on most the major metrics.
- Conversions are up 17.09%
- Estimated revenue up 19.33%
- Estimated ROI up 12.42%
We’d like to note that this is an early glimpse at one of these campaigns. We haven’t established enough statistical significance to move this from a data snapshot to a tactical certainty.
However, that may be largely a mute point. Google’s technology is moving in the direction of machine learning, meaning that whether it works better or not, much of what was manual optimization work will be automated.
It makes sense, especially with large product catalogs. It’s difficult to monitor and optimize at the product level through a manual process. But Google’s algorithms can analyze data instantly and automatically run whatever ad collateral is performing the best. It’s not a strategy, but it does provide fast, labor free tactical execution.
This is but an early glimpse of what the future holds for online advertising. Thankfully, that glimpse is looking pretty good.