Google Smart Shopping campaign - some questions

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OK started my store on Jan 1, got first couple sales in Feb or March.  Just tee-shirts, hoodies and coffee mugs, some tank tops and whatnot - pretty straight-forward.   Selling to Navy & Marine Corps Vets.  

 

I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but I went ahead and turned on Google ads.  I took the $100 ad credit and turned on the google smart shopping campaign.  Figured out all the hookups, got the products to show up, got through all that.  And it is working.  Got 4 sales in April and 10 sales so far in May.  

 

Spending $5 a day.

 

But so far I am paying more to Google than I am getting in total TOP LINE revenue.  Not talking about profit, and I mean the total bill is not quite what Google is getting.  But it's early days yet.

 

I do see when I look at the more recent google data that the cost is coming down.  I would imagine this is to be expected.  But I need this to come down by like a factor of 5 or 6 for this to make economic sense - of course I'm not taking into account possible repeat sales, referrals etc. but still I'd like to at least break even on my first sale to a newly acquired customer.

 

Some metrics to look at (for this current month of May as of 5/28)

331 clicks 

23.3k impressions

CTR 1.42%

CPC $0.42

Conv Rate is 1.81%

 

6 sales for $112.50

Cost me $140

Conversion Value / Cost is $0.80 - that's no Bueno.

 

Now it is trending up. 

 

Here in the last 14 days I have at least managed to get to $1.18 in terms of Conv Value / Cost.  Still losing money on it through, big time. 

 

CPC is now $0.39, and the conversion rate is up to 2.81%, so Google does seem to be getting a little more dialed in now as more data is collected.

 

My question here is should I keep rolling with this, and see if the trend continues to improve?  I mean, it will need to really improve to make this whole thing make any kind of sense.

 

Thoughts?  Questions?  Any other metrics I need to report to make this discussion useful?

 

I realize I need to really start taking the retargeting and cart recovery effort more seriously, I am sure that will help some.  And I am hoping I'll start getting some return on some social proof and referrals/recommendations as this thing continues to pick up steam - but damn, I can't help but feel like I am really getting off track here.

 

 

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Shopify Partner
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This is an accepted solution.

The issue with smart shopping is that it requires data and consistently to be able to perform. 7 Sales is not going to work.

You require at least 25 sales in the last 45 days. However it needs to be consistent.

You also need to make sure you install remarketing tag, and make sure the id in the tag is the same as the id submitted for the same product in the data feed.

 

For beginners, you should start with standard shopping, so that you have full control of your advertising, however this requires deep knowledge of advertising and google ads. Which can take years to master.

Yes smart shopping is great, setup and forget, but if you don't get at least 10 sales per week from the get go, then it will be a long and hard struggle.

 

If you can accept learning for a few years, setup standard shopping. And start following guides in the below links:

https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6146252?hl=en

https://skillshop.withgoogle.com/

 

Best of luck.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist & a Google Ads Gold Product Expert - Specialized Data Feed Management Tool (DIY/Managed)
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@HazeGrayMark , I agree with @EmmanuelFlossie - I wouldn't use smart shopping without a LOT of data.  

Standard shopping, low bids to start, consider single product ad groups so you can see which products are getting impressions/clicks/conversions and adjust accordingly.  At least with standard shopping you can see search terms as well and get rid of any that don't convert.

You'll stand a better chance than with the black box that is Smart Shopping ;-)

Sara

Specialising in Google Shopping for Shopify stores.
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@HazeGrayMark 

 

As mentioned in the previous responses, Google Smart Shopping can be a very powerful tool to increase the store, but it requires to collect data first in the actual campaigns. 

 

In your case, maybe an app like AdScale can make your campaigns perform better. It uses AI to create and manage your Google Shopping campaigns and in case the Smart Shopping doesn't have enough data it  automatically creates targeted Shopping campaigns according to the data in your store and according to benchmarks in your related store category.

 

Here's a video of how it works:

AdScale weaves the power of AI technology into your advertising by automatically creating and optimizing ads on Google, Facebook & Instagram with ROI of 1,000% and success-based pricing
https://www.adscale.com
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Well, Google must be monitoring this thread.  My cost started dropping like a stone.

 

Last 14 days (May 18-31)

5 sales for $82

Cost is $66331

Conv. Value/Cost $1.23  (up until this point I was literally spending more on google than I was getting in top-line revenue sales)

 

Last 7 days (May 25-31):

4 sales for $64

Cost is $29.51

Conv. Value/Cost $2.17 (OK getting there)

 

Today (June 1):

4 sales for $36

Cost is $5.88

Conv. Value/Cost $6.12 (OK now this works for me)

 

If I am earning what $9 on a tee shirt, then I am happy to hand over $3 to Google.  All Day every day. 

 

But of course you cannot look at daily data, you have to look at weeks/months of sales/cost data, since sales aren't distributed evenly at a constant rate.

 

So we will see where this goes from here.  Today might have been a one-off (now it might be 2-3 days before I get another sale) but at least I can see that we are now starting to trend in the right direction.

 

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@Amit_Roznak1 

 

I liked this idea - I am pretty well versed in running FB ads but I like the concept you have there - the AI logic relentlessly at work behind the scenes and the ads that are, I assume, optimized to run across various platforms.  The keyword research data is potentially very useful as well for SEO purposes.  

 

I probably would be interested in doing this only once I hit a certain threshold in sales volume.  Is there a recommended minimum ad spend?  Does it have to be $50 a day or anything like that?

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@HazeGrayMark 

 

The minimum ad spend you can start with is $5/day. However, we recommend that the initial ad spend will be at least $20/day to bring results and optimize the campaigns in a reasonable time period.

 

If you have any further questions, I'll be happy to help.

AdScale weaves the power of AI technology into your advertising by automatically creating and optimizing ads on Google, Facebook & Instagram with ROI of 1,000% and success-based pricing
https://www.adscale.com
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Thank you @Amit_Roznak1  for that useful response.

 

I am going to refer back to this.  I'm not quite to the point where I can make that level of spend, but if my current trajectory holds up, I think I will get there later this year.

 

Right now this Smart Shopping Google thing is working for me.  Since I started this thread, my cost has dropped way down, by a huge order of magnitude.  It is like Google has now found some secret fishing spot that it had missed before.  I am getting sales now daily, and paying about $4 per sale to Google.   So now I am still making some margin in the sale after Google takes their cut.  I was very concerned that perhaps this was never going to happen, at all, ever, and I was really ready to just turn it off - which prompted the post.  Glad I didn't.

 

I suspect that if you have a niche product, it is easier for this google logic to find your target audience.

 

Now the question is do I ramp up my spend gradually and by how much?  I think I might let it ride for a while as it is, just to make sure this is working - and also to let the suppliers get caught up a bit on backlog. 

 

 

 

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