In today's digital advertising landscape, effective management of your bidding strategies is crucial for maximizing campaign success. By harnessing the potential of Google’s smart bidding strategies, advertisers can improve their ad performance, save time, and achieve better ROI. This article will delve into the key aspects of Smart Bidding and provide actionable tips for automating and optimizing your bids on Google Ads. 

Understanding Smart Bidding 

Smart Bidding is a suite of automated bidding strategies powered by Google's machine learning algorithms. It leverages a variety of signals, including device, location, time, audience, intent  and conversion data, to optimise bids in real time. By analysing vast amounts of data and making auction bid adjustments in real time. Smart Bidding helps advertisers achieve their campaign objectives and serve the right ad to the right user at the right time. We’ll look at some of those objectives in the next sections.  

Smart Bidding vs. Automated Bidding 

While the term “smart bidding” is used to categorise all non-manual bidding strategies, it is important to note that there are two types of bidding strategies available within the Google suite: smart bidding and automated bidding. 

 The two share some similarities, however, the main difference is that smart bidding strategies optimise towards revenue and ROAS while automated strategies optimise towards search metrics such as clicks and impression share. 

Choosing the Right Smart Bidding Strategy 

Choosing the right bidding strategy depends on what goal you are trying to achieve with each campaign. Here is a flow chart of how to choose what bidding strategy to use depending on your business goals: 

Once you’ve chosen your strategy, all you need to do is set up Smart Bidding on your campaigns Sounds easy? It can be… 

Setting Up Smart Bidding

To start using Smart Bidding, you first need to ensure that your conversion tracking is properly set up. For automated bidding, however, conversion tracking isn’t entirely necessary as the algorithm will optimise towards search metrics such as clicks or impression share and not towards orders and revenue.

You will also need to check your data. Smart Bidding requires a sufficient volume of historical conversion data to make accurate bid adjustments. It’s recommended that your account has at least 30 conversions in the pastlast 30 days to maximize effectiveness. While it is possible to start using smart bidding on new campaigns, in our experience it is better to use Maximise Conversions (without a CPA target) or Maximise Clicks (without a max CPC limit) on newly launched campaigns or accounts until enough learnings are gathered to switch on to a different bidding strategy or introduce ROAS/CPA targets. This allows Google to learn what performance looks like at different levels of spend and risk so that when a target is introduced it will be better prepared to achieve it. 

Not all campaigns should be optimised using the same bidding strategy, so make sure you consider what goal you are trying to achieve with each campaign. For example, you might want to consider using Target Impression Share on your pure brand campaigns to increase or maintain visibility. On the other hand, your brand generics campaigns might perform better when optimised using tROAS or Maximise Conversion Value (if you have strict marketing budgets in place). 

Well-organized ad campaigns with clear goals, relevant keywords, and structured ad groups contribute to the success of Smart Bidding. So, make sure that your account structure is optimized for better performance. To do this, you could consider the following optimisation techniques: 

Why is Smart Bidding better than non-automated bidding?  

Smart Bidding offers several advantages over traditional bidding methods and alternative bidding strategies. For example, Smart Bidding uses machine learning algorithms to analyse vast amounts of data and make real-time bidding decisions. This automation saves time and takes away the need for manual bid adjustments, allowing you to focus on the strategic aspects of campaigns. Your campaigns are also going to be optimised on an ongoing basis, as Smart Bidding adjusts bids in real time based on several signals, including user behaviour, device, location, and time of day.

For those who worry about losing control, there is a level of built-in control. While Smart Bidding automates bidding decisions, you can set constraints and parameters. Bids can be adjusted based on specific business requirements, allowing for customisation and flexibility within the automated framework. Working with smart bidding is like owning a self-driving car: the car is perfectly capable of driving itself, however it needs the driver to tell it where to go. While there are some elements that are outside of our control when it comes to smart bidding, the most important ones are still within our control. We are in control of where we want our campaigns to go and Google decides how to achieve that goal in the most efficient way. 

Smart Bidding also considers a wide range of factors and signals to make bid adjustments, leading to more precise bidding. It considers historical data, conversion patterns, and user intent, resulting in bids that are better aligned with the likelihood of conversion. The strategies are goal-oriented, which allows you to optimise towards specific outcomes such as maximizing conversions, achieving target CPA or ROAS. This performance-driven approach helps advertisers align their bidding strategies with their overall campaign objectives. 

Finally, Smart Bidding continually learns and improves based on campaign data and performance. The algorithms adapt and refine bidding strategies over time, leading to enhanced efficiency and better results. 

What are the disadvantages of Smart Bidding?  

It all sounds too good to be true. So, while Smart Building offers lots of benefits, there are some potential disadvantages and limitations to consider including:  

Dependence on Sufficient Data 

Smart Bidding relies on historical conversion data to make accurate bidding decisions. If your campaign lacks sufficient data, such as a low volume of conversions, it may not perform as well as it could. Volume of data is crucial for the algorithms to learn and optimise bids effectively. 

Limited Transparency

Smart Bidding operates using complex machine learning algorithms, which may make it challenging to understand how bids are determined and the specific factors driving those decisions. This lack of transparency can sometimes make it difficult for advertisers to troubleshoot or diagnose issues within their campaigns. 

Industry-Specific Challenges

 Certain industries or niche markets may present unique challenges for the technology. Industries with longer sales cycles, high-value conversions, or complex attribution models may require additional customisation or manual interventions to achieve the best results.

In Conclusion 

Smart Bidding has revolutionised the way advertisers manage their bids on Google Ads. By automating and optimising bidding decisions through machine learning algorithms, it gives you the tools to achieve campaign goals effectively and efficiently. Yes, there are some limitations to take into consideration, but overall, Smart Bidding is set to save you time, money, and help you achieve the very best results.  

Want to find out how your campaigns could benefit from Smart Bidding? Get in touch with the Productcaster team or find out more about our CSS and Feed Manager services today.

Every time Apple launches the next iPhone model, the world scrambles to get hold of the shiny new product. Every retailer is desperate to get ahead of the competition and get their stock listed first at a competitive price. And our Affiliate Marketing client, Three Mobile, is no different.  In 2022, they turned to the team at Summit and Productcaster tech to ensure that their products beat the competition. 

The Challenge

Over the years, Three has relied on our Affiliate team and our proprietary tech FeedManager tool to help them be first to market. Being the first retailer to list the new iPhone has a huge impact on sales. For example, when the iPhone 12 was released in October 2020, Summit got Three first listing on Uswitch and visible on Affiliate channels within 5 minutes, leading to a 125% increase in YOY sales. 

This achievement doesn’t come without its challenges. In particular, Apple’s strict timescales on releasing any information only gives a limited amount of time to organise and act. So, when the 1pm deadline was reached, the Productcaster team sprang into action for the third year in a row. 

The Approach

The team worked seamlessly with colleagues at Three in the run up to the launch to make sure that the product feed was up-to-date and published on FeedManager immediately as soon as the embargo lifted. The tool is incredibly quick and pushes the feeds faster than most other technologies, which is vital in such a competitive launch situation.  

Whereas some providers have limitations on how often they can publish feeds. FeedManager can be updated every hour, with the capacity to create a manual push when needed. The technology is designed to ensure that any changes you make are done quickly, ensuring your products can be seen first.  

The Results

This approach and usage of FeedManager meant that Three's offers for the new iPhone were featured before any other providers. As people like to be "first" when buying new phones like these, appearing first in comparison sites makes a big difference to the amount of sales you can generate from a phone launch 

In short 

“The team at Summit were highly instrumental in the success of our iPhone launch, with the speed and efficiency of both the people and the product feeds allowing us to appear on key partner sites before any of our competitors. This allowed us to gain momentum and take hold of the #1 positions which are so important for sales on price comparison websites. 

A big thank you to the team at Summit for their efforts!” 

Iain Davidson – Lead Affiliate Manager at Three UK 

Visit our FeedManager pages to find out how optimising your feed could help you drive more sales. You could even be eligible for a FeedCheck report, helping your understand the health of your product feed (and how you can improve).

With three Bank Holiday long weekends coming up in the UK over the next month (1st, 8th and 29th May), there is plenty of opportunity for shoppers to spend their hard earned money. But with such significant competition for the cash, what are you doing to make sure that you are top of your customers minds? 

Prep for the extraordinary Bank Holiday in 2023

May holds a very different Bank Holiday this year, with the upcoming King’s Coronation. There have been a number of royal events over the last couple of years, and it is important to learn from these events to understand how your performance may differ. You may see a reduction in demand during the Coronation and Procession whilst consumers focus elsewhere. We are seeing search interest for the Coronation gradually increase, and now is the time to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to make the most of this period.

Research has shown that the economy is top of the concern list for Britons at the moment, alongside the more consistent worries around good health. With the cost of living crisis a major fixture in our psyche, many people are choosing to stay at home over the Bank Holidays and summer periods and…

How to get the most sales for your budget

So, what do you need to do to make sure you get the most sales for your spend this month? We’ve picked out four main areas for you to check out. 

  1. Check your deals - people are looking for discounts. Make sure that your pricing and discounts are correct; price driven people will click on the cheapest offer. Remember to use Merchant Promotions and promotional sales copy to entice customers. 
  2. Check your copy - Are there opportunities to optimise titles and descriptions to appear for more relevant search terms?  If you’re concerned about your feed quality, you can take our free FeedCheck review. 
  3. Check your feed - do you have a high approval/disapproval rate within the Merchant Centre? Is it up-to-date with stock levels so you’re not seeing unnecessary disapprovals? Automatic item updates are a good option if you’re struggling to keep on top of this.
  4. Check your visuals - make sure that your visuals are up-to-date and eye-catching. Performance Max activity works best when you have strong assets, so get your images in order to drive strong performance, this May and beyond. 

 If you’re concerned about any of these areas or want support in driving success through our CSS and FeedManagement tools, drop us an email and let our expert team take a look. 

Continuing our introduction to the faces behind the Productcaster success, we’d like to introduce our new Client Success Manager, Alejandra Guerrero.

A multilingual citizen of the world, Alejandra has travelled the world and worked in many different countries. We asked her a few questions about her role, her experience and her goals for the future. Take a read below.

How long have you been at Productcaster and what did you do before working here? 

I have been working at Productcaster since the end of March. Immediately before this, I was working as a marketing assistant in Sheffield while also doing my Masters degree in International Management and Marketing. I left my home in Mexico to take up a role in Istanbul, Turkey, so I am used to taking the plunge and being very quick to adapt to new roles and circumstances.

What's your role at Productcaster? 

I’m the new Client Success Manager, and my main responsibilities will be maintaining and building client relationships with existing and new clients. I’ll also be offering support as and when it’s needed for both Productcaster and FeedManager queries.

I am multilingual, which will come in handy when we are communicating with our many French brand and agency clients. Basically, everything related to CSS and FeedManager will be my focus.

What’s your work goal for the next 3 months? 

I’d say the first step is to get up-to-speed and take over all the responsibilities of my new role, prioritizing tasks and getting to know our clients more. Secondly, I will be getting involved with all the processes, including finance and invoicing, as well as learning more about the Productcaster tech of CSS and FeedManager.

Lastly, I’ll be working with our team to deliver results for our clients. We have the talent and the technology, so I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges and being a great asset to Summit.

Tell us a fascinating fact about yourself.

One of my hobbies is learning foreign languages! I studied Chinese, Russian and German on a basic level, and I’m trying to take them up again. I also spent a year and a half working and living in Istanbul where I had to learn some Turkish to communicate with everyone. I know we have tools like Google Translate but the satisfaction of learning something new that I’m passionate about is what counts.

If you're interested in finding out more about working with Productcaster through our CSS and FeedManager tools, please drop us an email and we'll be in touch very shortly.

The UK cost of living crisis is in full swing. The war in Ukraine, COVID-19 battle scars, rising energy costs, spiraling inflation, rising interest rates… there’s no wonder that the consumer mindset is one of caution. 

This isn’t to say that people have stopped buying. Far from it, as a survey from Experian shows that although most consumers are mindful of the increase in costs, a ‘significant proportion’ of the population still intend to carry on spending as normal or only cut back slightly.

The key message seems to be that consumers are being more mindful of where they splash the cash, which means more research, more exploration, and less spontaneity. 

What does this mean for online retailers? 

This need to spend wisely means that there is a far longer path to purchase for retailers to negotiate. In Google-speak, there is a ‘messy middle’ of complicated touchpoints, where customers get into a loop of exploration and evaluation before popping out (at any point in the process) to purchase.  

Retailers need to capture and keep the attention of their customers throughout the whole process. Providing the right information, presented in an understandable way, and easy to find (i.e. great quality SEO optimised content) is vital to ensuring consumers pop out to purchase with you. 

While slow economic growth and rising prices have prompted many people to actively pause on large cost purchases, smaller luxury items like make-up are still selling, according to Murray Lambell, UK general manager at eBay. In addition, it is clear that there are still some categories that remain in demand. For example, as sustainability climbs the agenda, vintage furniture and secondhand clothing are in demand (RetailX Top 500 Report 2023). 

How do online retailers keep the attention of customers 

According to successive ONS Retail Sales reports, consumers are starting to return to the high street, thanks to the receding threat of the pandemic and the effect of industrial action on online deliveries. 

So, what actions do online retailers need to take to keep and grow their market share? 

The strategies behind the tactics 

Before we talk about the practical tactics, we need to understand the underpinning strategies that are going to guide business growth. 

1.Smart full-funnel strategy 

Marketing funnels traditionally start with the awareness stage at the top and end with conversion (purchase) at the bottom. Marketing funnels are linear, but customer journeys are not. The ‘messy middle’ means that many shoppers research, explore, evaluate, and discover all at the same time, across multiple channels. Build your content to engage with customers at their stage of the journey - blogs, display ads, sponsored content, remarketing. 

2. Create connections with consumers 

Authenticity has become a buzz word but doesn’t mean it’s any less important to your marketing strategy. With so much choice and competition in the online space, you need to create a strong brand in order to stand out and stop the online scroll in its tracks. People buy from people, so share your human side. Captivate with your content, inspire with your results, and be consistent with your values. 

3. Build trust first, sell later 

Focusing on building long lasting relationships and fostering brand loyalty is the key to increasing the lifetime value of customers and growing your business (The Consumer Trends Index 2023). Show consumers why they should shop with you and reward them for doing so - loyalty and affiliate programmes, personalised content, and offers. As 59% of consumers are prepared to pay more to purchase from their preferred brands, creating that loyalty is vital to increasing sales. 

Sell the way they want to shop 

We’ve already mentioned that delivery options can have a real impact on online shopper decision making, but how else can you move the needle in your favour? Selling to consumers the way they want to shop is the only way to grow 

1.Functional ecommerce sites for smartphones 

Mobile optimisation is essential for a frictionless user experience. Make it as easy as possible for consumers to find what they are looking for, without any design or functionality barriers getting in the way. Bigger buttons, smaller images, auto-fill forms, and relevant content optimised for SEO. 

2. Live commerce

Selling specific products through an online livestream broadcast can catapult consumers from the awareness stage to purchase. It gives consumers the opportunity to ask questions about the products, get to know the brand, and access to on-the-spot promotions. If it’s done well, it’s a great way of raising brand profile and awareness, and is a growing trend on platforms such as TikTok, as well as through retailers own websites. Analysis by McKinley indicates that live commerce could account for as much as 20% of all e-commerce by 2026. 

3. Easy to find and access 

Using Google Shopping ads is still one of the best ways of getting visibility for your products. There are over 3.5bn searches per day on Google, and Shopping Ads massively outpace standard search ads overall. And by using a 3rd party Comparison Shopping Service (CSS), like Productcaster, could help you save up to an additional 20% on your marketing spend (compared to PLAs serviced by Google), meaning you can invest in even more bid auctions.

With Google’s latest AI powered tech - PMax - you can increase your reach even further, getting in front of the right people at the right time, every time. 

How are we helping our clients 

What’s the good in having all these strategies and tactics in place if nobody can find you? At Summit and Productcaster, we are retail performance marketing experts. Our client roster currently includes 31 of the RetailX UK Top500 retailers, and we are both a Google Premium CSS Partner and Google Premier Partner agency, one of the only businesses in the UK to hold both accreditations.

It’s this close association with Google that has enabled us to get PMax up and running so quickly with so many of our clients. This optimisation of their shopping campaigns has created some amazing results, such as a 70% increase on ROI for an online jewellery retailer. 

We also have Productcaster CSS and FeedManager technology which ensures that our clients have the best, more efficient and effective tools at their disposal. Productcaster CSS is the largest in Europe with over 3bn products listed. We’re proud that ads served by Productcaster have had over 101m clicks in the last 30 days, and 12.1bn impressions, creating amazing ROI for our clients.

Want to be part of something bigger? To find out how you can switch your CSS and feed management to Productcaster, drop us an email to

It’s been a busy time for us as a business and we’ve welcomed a lot of new clients and partner agencies to Productcaster in the past few months. With so many new contacts, now seems like the perfect opportunity to reintroduce the people that make Productcaster the massive success that it is today.

We’re kicking off the introductions with Client Success Executive Jasmine (aka Jas). We asked her a few questions about her role, her experience, and herself. Take a read and get to know the face behind the name.

How long have you been at Productcaster and what did you do before working here?

I’ve been at Productcaster since August 2022. This is my first job since I left University, where I got a first in Modern Languages. I speak Spanish and Italian, having spent time living in both countries, and really enjoy using my language skills getting to know our mainland Europe-based clients.  

What’s your role at Productcaster?

I’m the newly appointed Client Success Executive, which means that I will be responsible for communicating with Productcaster clients when they have questions and issues, both in the UK and mainland Europe. I’ll also be helping to on-board our new clients, making sure that they have all the right information they need to make the best decisions – to use our tech for their CSS and feeds (via FeedManager)!  

What’s your work goal for the next 3 months?

Over the next 3 months I’ll be getting to grips with my new role, arranging meetings with lots of new retailers and brands who are looking to optimise their shopping campaigns. I’m really looking forward to using my language skills with more European clients – we’ve got some really exciting opportunities on the horizon and I’m really pleased to be a part of such an exciting team!  

Tell us a fascinating fact about yourself.

In 2022, I visited 6 different countries, spending around 6 months of the year abroad.

To join the growing Productcaster family of brands for CSS and FeedManager, please drop us an email to

Complaints about monopoly hold that ecommerce giants have on the marketplace, and the disadvantages that brings for smaller competitors have come to a head in the past five years. In Europe, the result is the proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA).

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the regulation, and more importantly, what it could mean for your Google Shopping campaigns in the future.

What is the DMA?

The Digital Markets Act is a proposed European Union regulation. Its purpose is to regulate the behaviour of large online platforms, known as Gate Keepers, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

One of the key areas of the act is the regulation of online marketplaces, like Google Shopping. The idea is that the bigger platforms will have to be more transparent in their business practices, with the aim of giving smaller businesses fairer access to the marketplace.

Despite being proposed in December 2020, the DMA is currently still under consideration by the European Union and it's not clear yet when the EU will agree on the final form – it needs to be ratified by all member states before it is adopted. Therefore, it's hard to predict an exact date for when the EU will pass the regulation to law.

Part of the initial legal challenge focused on the monopoly element around Google Shopping – namely that Google was both media owner and advertiser, which makes for a less competitive and less efficient environment for other CSS providers and consumers.

How is Productcaster involved in the DMA?

Productcaster’s CEO and owner, Martin Corcoran, was invited to Brussels in December 2022 to join 30 other key stakeholders (plus 1,500 joining online) to discuss the future of the search channel and feedback on Google’s plans to become compliant with EU, and likely UK, law.

His experience on the day and feedback was very clear – the Google Shopping channel will change substantially by March 2024.

So, what will the DMA mean for your Google Shopping campaigns?

Google knows that it needs to change and comply quickly, but how is yet to be decided. There have been calls for the Google Shopping boxes to be removed completely, citing them as economically ineffective as they supposedly limit choice for the consumer and competition.

We don’t think that this is likely to happen.

What is more probable is that CSS such as Productcaster will continue to work with Google to develop the existing Google Shopping Channel and drive better performance across the board. Which can only result in better service for businesses running Shopping campaigns and the end user.

Everyone wins.

What if you’re still using Google as your CSS?

As a leader in the CSS industry, we are very clear on this – we firmly believe that all brands should be using a 3rd party CSS. Brands that develop Google Shopping campaigns through an independent, marketing focussed CSS, like Productcaster find that they are more effective.

Not only that but working with a CSS like Productcaster saves businesses like yours up to 20% with each click (the fee charged by Google to use their service). We know this saving is real because we already represent 1,000s of brands across Europe – just look at Wayfair, New Balance, Ann Summers, Cult Beauty, La Redoute, Jo Jo Mama Bebe, Aldi – all saving money using Productcaster.

Switching to Productcaster is so simple and causes no disruption or downtime to your Shopping campaigns. And if you do have any issues, our first-class support team is on-hand to talk you through a solution quickly and efficiently.

If you'd like to find out more about switching your Google Shopping campaigns to Productcaster, either visit our FAQ section or drop us an email at



Who are Bigvits?

Bigvits is an online retailer of food supplements and multi-vitamins, supplying premium US vitamin products to the UK and European markets. They offer a vast range of products, providing their customers with an extensive choice that they simply wouldn’t find elsewhere.

With such a wide range of products available online, it’s not surprising that Google Shopping is an essential part of their marketing activity. Bigvits allocates significant spend through the channel, so the team were very open to conversations with Productcaster about significant cost savings and campaign performance improvement.

What was the trial objective?

Simply put, Bigvits wanted to understand how far campaign performance could be improved, and what cost efficiencies could be made by moving away from Google’s own CSS to partner with Productcaster.

If performance improved and savings were made across the campaigns, the team could then either keep the budget savings and move it to the bottom line or choose to reinvest the cash into the Shopping campaign to drive sales.

So, how did we prove it?

The Productcaster team knew we had to deliver a fair test that would show the financial impact that Productcaster has on Shopping campaigns when compared directly with Google CSS.

The test was simple but effective:  For the duration of the four week trial period, we collected data on the key metrics of success according to the business

This data was then compared to the previous four weeks to observe the key differences and provide sound results.  In addition, to ensure we removed the effect of seasonality, we also compared this eight-week data period with the same period from the previous year, where Google had been the sole CSS provider.

What were the results?

The results were very encouraging to say the least.  The key results were:

In the words of our client

Ian Simmons, Bigvits’ Head of Ecommerce said, “Given our business model, it’s not surprising we rely heavily on Google Shopping to deliver a significant proportion of sales. So, any budget savings we make can have a major impact.

“The team at Productcaster approached me because they’d noticed that we were running campaigns through Google’s own CSS. They put together a trial that allowed us to test the impact Productcaster could have, and the results made the decision to switch a very easy one.

“I was quite surprised at how easy it was to move to Productcaster. I assumed it would be a lengthy integration process, or there’d be some advertising downtime, or both.  But we were up and running within an hour or two.

“The trial ran without any hitches – the only difference you could see was that our PLAs were now serving by Productcaster. And the end analysis demonstrated great results, which were qualified by the uplifts we’d seen.

“For me this has been a real eye opener, it’s not every day you can find savings like that in your marketing budget. The savings we’ve made are being reinvested into more activity, qualifying us for more auctions and delivering more traffic. That traffic gives us more opportunities to sell, which ultimately helps our bottom line.”

What’s the next step?

Bigvits continue to partner with Productcaster. As the UK has been a successful test bed for the switch, the Vyta Health Group are now looking at its European portfolio to see where Productcaster could offer similar improvements. And we’re delighted to have them onboard.

For more information on the benefits of partnering with the Google accredited Productcaster CSS, take a look at our FAQ section. Or to discuss your swap to Productcaster, just drop us an email at