News & Articles

Standard Shopping vs Smart Shopping: Which is best?

Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Written by Content Team

Google Shopping has improved and grown in popularity in recent years. It can be an extremely effective way to drive sales and revenue for any retailer who is wanting to find better qualified leads for their business. Google has also made big steps in improving shopping for the consumer and it is designed to make it easy for users to find and research products which in turn helps the seller, to reach their target audience. It is powerful, fast and comprehensive.

Although Shopping ads are easy to set up, you need to ensure you have the right strategy in place to master this platform and get the best from it for your business.

Standard shopping vs Smart shopping

Choosing which will be more effective for your business is important here so you need to know the difference between the two.

What are standard shopping ads?

In contrast to text ads which only displays text, shopping ads enable consumers to search, compare and shop different products from a variety of different retailers by displaying information such as prices, product names and the shop name amongst other information. This allows users to gain a strong sense of the product being sold before they click on the ad and therefore giving you better qualified leads.

What are Smart shopping ads?

These will bring you the same results as standard shopping ads but are designed to simplify management of your campaigns, expand your reach and maximise your conversion value. Smart shopping combines your standard shopping feed and display remarketing campaigns using ad placements and automated bidding to promote your business and products across different networks, therefore helping you maximise the value of each ad.

As smart shopping campaigns feature both product shopping ads and display ads, these are eligible to appear on the Google Search Network as well as on display, YouTube and Gmail. This allows businesses of all sizes to generate shopping ads with minimal input and assets and as Google’s machine learning has become more effective over the years this optimises campaign performance.

The main difference between smart shopping and standard shopping campaigns?

Put simply, automation. By using already existing shopping campaigns and adding in machine learning to improve them. There are of course differing features and therefore pros and cons between standard shopping and smart shopping, some of these being:

  • In standard shopping, you have more control over your campaigns which is more time consuming, whereas with smart shopping, this is highly automated and requires very little maintenance, therefore saving you time;
  • Although you can opt to have automated bidding strategies with standard shopping, as smart shopping is entirely automated, this platform will optimise your bids ensuring your budget goes further.
  • Negative keywords is a feature smart shopping doesn’t allow, whereas this is something you can do with standard shopping campaigns allowing you to filter out keywords and searches that aren’t relevant for your business thus saving your budget for relevant leads.
  • Smart shopping campaigns will also automatically test your text and image combinations to determine which are the highest performing combinations for your target audience. This therefore ensures your better performing ads are shown to users.
  • Standard shopping campaigns can use multiple landing pages per campaign, however this isn’t a feature that smart shopping has implemented.

As mentioned, both standard shopping and smart shopping campaigns have differing features and are therefore not necessarily the best fit for all businesses. If your business is new to Google ads smart shopping won’t be an option right away as it uses data, however if you have little time on your hands and trust in automated learning this could be for you, once set up you can pretty much let Google take the reins. However, if you are someone who wants more control over their shopping campaigns, perhaps standard shopping is the one to stick with. Whichever you decide to go with, Google shopping is a great way of reaching your target audience and receiving those qualified leads your business deserves.