Approximately 2.05 Billion of the 7.8 billion people in the world are online shoppers.
And, the numbers only become more staggering when looking at them in specific sectors of the world. With almost 70% of the US population alone (227.5 million), now regularly shopping online.
These numbers are the lifeline of all e-commerce businesses. And, consequently—because of the unmitigated success that Google Shopping Ads bring to these e-retailers—why Google’s Smart Bidding is such a hot take in the industry right now.
So, what’s the deal? If it’s so necessary for the success of Google Shopping Campaigns, why are Google’s automated bidding strategies shrouded in so much skepticism and doubt?
The Great Divide
For as many years as Google’s Smart Bidding strategies have been available, people have been up in arms about its sustainability and reliability. It’s why there are so many CSS (Consumer Shopping Services) cropping out of the woodwork.
There are many who believe… that Google’s Smart Bidding falls short of expectations.
The actual truth of the matter is somewhat complicated. But one thing is clear, because of the significant impact that Google Shopping Ads can have on the growth rate of your online retail store, a solution to automate and increase its profitability is required. It’s just a matter of deciding whether that solution is Google’s Smart Bidding tools or another PLA bidding solution like Bidbrain. This is what we’ll be discussing in more detail below.
The Pros of Google’s Smart Bidding Tools
Smart Bidding and Smart Shopping are Google’s answers for maximizing the conversion value of Product Listings on search. At its core, it was developed to work towards driving the most revenue possible at a given CoS (Cost of Sales) and/or Target-ROAS (Return on Ad Spend.)
When used correctly, it can produce some fairly acceptable results.
And, there is no doubt that, when compared to using manual rule-based bidding strategies, Smart Bidding is significantly more cost and time effective, which is always a bonus.
The Cons of Google’s Smart Bidding Tools
However, the irrefutable truth about Google’s Smart Shopping… is that it’s a big black box.
Meaning, its internal functions are a complete mystery.
Basically, using Smart Bidding is the same as telling Google to ‘spend your money in whatever way they wish’ while leaving yourself to wonder if they’ve actually placed your ads with the intent to match your TARGET-ROAS goal, or if they’ve placed them with questionable conversion possibilities at best. What’s more, Google does not, and will not provide any of the data derived from your campaigns that could have been used to analyze your results. They will not tell you where your ads were displayed. They will not tell you which search terms performed the best. And, despite all complaints against such a shortcoming, Google refuses to change.
All this tells us is that Google seems perfectly content to leave us with a service that is just ‘good enough.’ And this is the crux of the issue.
But, fortunately, there still may be a solution for you.
The Solution | Bidbrain™
Speqta CEO, Fredrik Lindros, believes that he might have the solution that will allow you to bid smarter on Google Shopping Ads. And that is, Bidbrain. In Fredrik’s own words, Bidbrain was “Developed for e-retailers that are tired of depending on Google’s unreliable free tools such as Target-ROAS or Smart Shopping.” He goes on to say that Bidbrain was created with “Artificial Intelligence (AI) capable of either maximizing sales at the same CoS or lowering CoS as much as possible given a certain amount of sales.”
And, unlike Google’s Smart Bidding tools, it’s 100% transparent and proven-to-work, with the preliminary testing having resulted in an average 10-40% increase in revenue at the same CoS or ROAS.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion? Google’s Smart Bidding tools work fine, for the most part. And, there are plenty of e-retailers who swear by it.
But, it does beg the question: What kind of solution are you looking for?
With Google’s Smart Bidding tools, you can get a tool that can or might work. It’s proven to be acceptable when used correctly, after all. It’s just a matter of having to swallow the undeniable truth that comes along with it — you will never truly know whether it is optimizing for your benefit… or theirs. If you’re in the camp of people that refuse to trust such blatant obfuscation, then, fortunately, there are other solutions out there. Solutions that will work. The one we mentioned previously, Bidbrain, is only one example of this. But, there are plenty of others out there. It’s just a matter of finding which you believe suits your business the most.