The Smart Shopping campaign type in Google Ads is one of the most effective campaign types for eCommerce stores. Once the technical stuff is set up, the campaign runs on autopilot, using machine learning to make you the most revenue from your advertising budget across multiple platforms.

Cartoon of 4 phones showing stylized versions of ads serving on search, display, YouTube, and Gmail.

Smart Shopping campaigns use Dynamic Remarketing. This is where you track visitors’ interactions with products on your site and use that knowledge to show them highly targeted product adverts. The Tag Rocket app sets up this tracking for you.

Here I will document the steps to set up the campaign for a BigCommerce store.

Google Accounts

To get started, you will need a Google Ads account and a Google Merchant Centre account and have them linked. Here are some links to articles on how to set them up:

Product Feed

Smart Shopping creates product-based ads for you. You need to set up a product feed with the Merchant Centre to enable this. Several feed providers integrate with BigCommerce to automatically create a Merchant Centre feed for you. Here are the providers we know work well with Tag Rocket. The links go to instructions on setting them up so that they can be used for Dynamic Remarketing and Smart Shopping campaigns.

Each feed provider has instructions on how to set up their feed with the merchant centre and how to optimise the feed so that it performs at its best.

Dynamic Remarketing Code

This is the final step in getting things ready for Dynamic Remarketing and Smart Shopping campaigns.

  1. Install Tag Rocket
  2. Enable the Google Ads Tag
  3. Enter your Google Ads Conversion ID
  4. Enter your purchase conversion label
  5. Ensure your Item Group ID and Item ID formats are set to match the settings used by your feed provider
  6. Publish

You can find more details in our Google Ads guide.

Creating the Smart Shopping Campaign

In Google Ads…

  1. Go to the Campaign section, click on the + button and select “New campaign”
  2. Select “Sales” as the objective
  3. Your default conversion goals should be good. Make sure you have one Purchases entry
  4. Continue
  5. Select Shopping
  6. Your merchant centre and country should already be selected
  7. So should “Smart Shopping campaign”
  8. Continue

You should now see a new set of settings. Enter a campaign name.

If you do not enter a Target ROAS, the system will try to spend all your budget all the time while trying to get as much sales value as it can get out of it.

Entering a Target ROAS puts a limit on that. If the system can’t get close to your target, it may stall and not spend your budget. e.g. a Target ROAS of 300% means you want it to sell $3 for every $1 spent. If it struggles to do that, you will not spend your whole budget.

Next, you have the option to select which products can be shown in ads as well as set up branding information that may be used in the ads. In many cases, the ads will pull their content from the products that are relevant to the user.

Click Save, and you now have a working Smart Shopping Campaign.

Tag Rocket will track conversions with values, create remarketing lists (marked as Google Ads, Retail) and provide dynamic remarketing data. Giving the Smart Shopping account all the data it needs to perform optimally.

Dynamic Remarketing

Tag Rocket provides the data that powers dynamic remarketing. Smart Shopping campaigns use dynamic remarketing under the hood, but you can also directly create a dynamic remarketing campaign, which gives you more control.

When setting up a new campaign, select Sales, Display, then Standard Display Campaign. Give it a landing page and name, then Continue.

Select where your customers may live and what language you will be targetting.

Expand the more settings section and enable dynamic ads using your merchant centre feed.

I also like to add content exclusions so that you don’t show ads on inappropriate websites. This is also in the more settings section.

Next, set your daily budget and bidding system. As Tag Rocket provides conversion values, you may find focusing on “conversion value” with a Target ROAS is a good option. In this case, I want to spend up to $100 a day with the target of getting $300 in sales (300% of $100).

If you have only just set up conversion tracking, you may get an error when trying to use conversion value. You may have to stick with the conversion setting until enough conversions have been received.

The following section is Targeting. As this is dynamic remarketing, you can limit targeting to users who have interacted with your products. Expand Audience Segments, select browse, then select “How they have interacted with your business” and then “website visitors”. Here you will see the remarketing lists created by Tag Rocket. Pick the lists that contain the users you want to target. You could even create multiple ad groups or campaigns, each targetting a single list.

I also switched off “optimised targeting”, as again, we only want to target users that have interacted with your products.

Next, it’s time to create the ad. Click “New Ad” then “Responsive Display Ad”. You should then see an ad editor that indicates a retail feed is attached, which means it can dynamically create product-based ads. Fill in as many details as you can to help the system generate great ads for you.

Continue on and review your campaign. If all looks good, click publish.