Shopify Dynamic Remarketing Setup

Here is how to properly install Dynamic Remarketing Tags on your Shopify store, which will let you run dynamic product ads on the Google Display network.

The code needs to be installed in two places:

  1. At the bottom of your theme.liquid
  2. In the “Additional Scripts” field in your Store’s Admin > Settings > Checkout section

Add the Code to Theme.liquid

Step 1: Create a Remarketing Snippet

In your store’s admin section go to:

  • Online Store > Themes > Edit HTML/CSS
  • Expand the Snippets section and click “Add new snippet”
  • Call the snippet “adwords-remarketing”
  • Paste the following code into the snippet
  • Update the google_conversion_id to use your specific conversion Id (you will find it in your Google AdWords account)
{% comment %} Enter your google conversion id below {% endcomment %}
{% assign google_conversion_id = 0 %}
{% assign shopify_store_country = 'US' %}
{% if shop.currency == 'CAD' %}
{% assign shopify_store_country = 'CA' %}
{% endif %}

<script type="text/javascript">

 {% if template contains 'cart' %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_prodid: [{% for item in cart.items %}'shopify_{{ shopify_store_country }}_{{ item.product.id }}_{{ item.variant.id }}'{% unless forloop.last %}, {% endunless %}{% endfor %}],
 ecomm_pagetype: 'cart',
 ecomm_totalvalue: {{ cart.total_price | money_without_currency | remove: ',' }}
 };

 {% elsif template contains 'collection' %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_prodid: [{% for item in collection.products limit:5 %}'shopify_{{ shopify_store_country }}_{{ item.id }}_{{ item.variants.first.id }}'{% unless forloop.last %}, {% endunless %}{% endfor %}],
 ecomm_pagetype: 'category',
 ecomm_category: '{{ collection.handle }}'
 };

 {% elsif template contains 'index' %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_pagetype: 'home'
 };

 {% elsif template contains 'product' %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_prodid: 'shopify_{{ shopify_store_country }}_{{ product.id }}_{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.id }}',
 ecomm_pagetype: 'product',
 ecomm_totalvalue: {{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.price | money_without_currency | remove: ',' }}
 };

 {% elsif template contains 'search' %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_prodid: [{% for item in search.results limit:5 %}'shopify_{{ shopify_store_country }}_{{ item.id }}_{{ item.variants.first.id }}'{% unless forloop.last %}, {% endunless %}{% endfor %}],
 ecomm_pagetype: 'searchresults'
 };
 {% else %}
 var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_pagetype: 'other'
 };

 {% endif %}

 /* <![CDATA[ */
 var google_conversion_id = {{ google_conversion_id }};
 var google_custom_params = window.google_tag_params;
 var google_remarketing_only = true;
 /* ]]> */
</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js">
</script>
<noscript>
<div style="display:inline;">
<img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/{{ google_conversion_id }}/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0"/></div>
</noscript>

This code is also available on GitHub: Shopify Remarketing Code Snippet

Step 2: Install the snippet in your Theme file

Open up the theme.liquid file and add the following line of code before the closing </body> tag:

<!-- Dynamic Remarketing -->
{% include 'adwords-remarketing' %}

Add the Code to Checkout Scripts

In your Shopify Store’s Admin, go to:

  • Settings > Checkout
  • Scroll down to the “Additional Scripts” field.
  • Copy and paste the code below into the “Additional Scripts” field
  • Make sure you update the code with your own custom google_conversion_id.
<!-- Google Dynamic Remarketing -->
{% comment %} Enter your account specific value below {% endcomment %}
{% assign google_conversion_id = 0 %}
{% assign shopify_store_country = 'US' %}
{% if shop.currency == 'CAD' %}
{% assign shopify_store_country = 'CA' %}
{% endif %}
<script type="text/javascript">
var google_tag_params = {
 ecomm_prodid: [{% for item in order.line_items %}'shopify_{{ shopify_store_country }}_{{ item.product.id }}_{{ item.variant.id }}'{% unless forloop.last %}, {% endunless %}{% endfor %}],
 ecomm_pagetype: 'purchase',
 ecomm_totalvalue: {{ total_price | money_without_currency | remove: ',' }}
};
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
/* <![CDATA[ */
var google_conversion_id = {{ google_conversion_id }};
var google_custom_params = window.google_tag_params;
var google_remarketing_only = true;
/* ]]> */
</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js">
</script>
<noscript>
<div style="display:inline;">
<img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/{{ google_conversion_id }}/?guid=ON&amp;script=0"/></div>
</noscript>

Download the code from Github here: Shopify Checkout Remarketing Code

Final Step: Verification

Once you’ve installed all your code, it’s time to run through your site and main pages (collection, product, cart, and purchase pages) with Google Tag Assistant installed. This will help you troubleshoot any errors.

Common errors include:

  • Products not properly uploaded to Google Merchant Center
  • Google Conversion Id not properly set

AdWords Display Remarketing Setup Best Practice for e-Commerce

The key to setup a performing ROI based display remarketing campaign is to properly segment your audiences and ad groups.

Basic Theory

  1. The deeper a user is in your sales funnel, the more likely he is to buy. A shopping cart abandoner is more likely to buy than someone who simply browsed your homepage.
  2. The more recent the user’s visit, the more likely he is to buy. A user who abandoned his shopping cart yesterday is more likely to buy than someone who abandoned their cart 10 days ago.
  3. The more likely a user is to buy, the more you want to bid on that user.
  4. The 80 / 20 rule applies. Roughly 80% of your remarketing sales will come from your cart abandoners. 16% will come from your product viewers. And the remaining 4% will come from general site browsers.

Audiences

Here are the initial audiences to create. If you have a high volume site you may want to add additional audiences with more granular time periods.  Remember that the more granular you make something, the more traffic you need to make the stats significant.

  • Cart Abandoners – 1 day
  • Cart Abandoners – 4 day
  • Product Viewers – 7 day
  • Product Viewers – 28 day

Properly Defining your Audiences

It is important that your audiences do not overlap. (It is ok if the time scales overlap, but not cart abandoners and product viewers). There are 2 ways to set this up.

  1. When you define your audience, make sure you exclude necessary audiences. Exclude purchasers from Cart Abandoners; exclude cart abandoners and purchasers from product viewers.
  2. Create base audiences like “Purchased”, “Added to Cart” and “Viewed Product” and then EXCLUDE the audiences at the ad group level. “Added to Cart” minus “Purchase == Cart Abandoner; Viewed product minus Cart Abandoner == Product Viewers.

Campaign Setup

Create one campaign per major market you are targeting, and give them a descriptive name:

  • USA: Display Remarketing
  • Canada: Display Remarketing

Generally, but not always, you will want a separate campaign for every unique currency and language you are targeting.

Core AdGroups

Creating only these two ad groups will generate 90% of your display remarketing conversions . I highly recommend you start with only these two. Only add more groups (described later) if the extra 10% in remarketing sales will justify the extra administrative complexity.

1. Cart Abandoners

This ad group will target cart abandoners: Visitors who added a product to their cart but never purchased. Dynamic Product ads perform particularly well with cart abandonment, as your visitors are shown the exact products that they added to their cart.

Audiences:

  • Cart Abandoners – 1 day
  • Cart Abandoners – 4 day

2. Product Viewers

This ad group will target users who visited a product details page but who never added a product to their cart.

Audiences:

  • Product Viewers – 7 day
  • Product Viewers – 28 day

Optional Ad Groups

Here are additional remarketing ad groups and audiences. In my experience, most conversions come from the two core ad groups identified above (Cart Abandoners and Product Viewers) but you may have a different experience depending on your business.

Just Purchased

This will show ads to people who have just purchased. This is a good place to possibly push micro conversions such as joining a loyalty program, joining a community, etc… Or perhaps up-selling them another related product?

Audience

  • Purchase 7 days

Past Customers

This is similar to the “Just Purchased” ad group, but with a longer time window. This will show ads to people that have previously purchased a product 30 or more days ago. This is a good place to advertise new product launches or promotions.

Audience

  • Purchase 30 days
  • Purchase 90 days
  • Purchase 360 days

Never Purchased

This is the opposite of the “Past Customers” group. These are people who visited your site in the past year, but have never purchased. This is also a good place to advertise new product launches or promotions.

Audience

  • Site Visitors 30 days
  • Site Visitors 90 days
  • Site Visitors 360 days

Exclude Audience

  • Purchase 360 days

New Customers, Brand Unaware

This isn’t really remarketing, but simple display advertising: These are people who have never visited your site. Your remarketing audiences are EXCLUDED so that you are only targeting people who are unaware of your product or brand. You are arguably willing to pay more for each customer as they are new customers, but this will be your worst performing segment. You can waste a lot of money here, so be careful.

Audience

  • Combination of keyword, interest, topic, and placement targeting relevant to your product and brand.

Exclude Audience:

  • Site Visitors 360 days

 

Other Tips

Exclude “low quality” visitors

You will have to create these audience groups within Google Analytics, and then exclude them from all your remarketing campaigns:

  • Exclude people who have bounced
  • Exclude people who have spent less than ten seconds on the site

Frequency Capping

Most resources online will tell you to limit your frequency cap to about 20 times per user per month, but I suspect this is wrong. That means a user will be exposed to your ad once every other day or so, with no guarantee that he actually noticed it.

I normally set the frequency capping to 20 times per user PER DAY. If you think of how many web pages you visit in a day, 20 ads will be gone fairly quickly and you will probably miss most of them. Add in that for cart abandonment ads you really want to hit the abandoners hard within the first 24 hours, I think the 20 impressions per day is the safer bet.

But the true answer will vary based on your business, product, and customers.

A word about View Through Conversions

View Through Conversions are conversions where a display ad appeared on the screen, was NOT clicked, but the user ended up purchasing on your site sometime later. In general I recommend that everyone IGNORE View Through Conversions, in particular in remarketing campaigns.

What usually happens, is that an ad is displayed on screen, the visitor may not even see it, but clicks instead on a cart-abandonment e-mail and makes the purchase. AdWords will credit that conversion to the view through.

The one exception is for “brand unaware” customers. These are customers that have never visited your website before. If such a customer sees you ad, and purchases, then the odds are better that it was a result of your ad.

In an ideal world, there would be a simple way to test the value of your view-through-conversions, as they are different for every segment, and every business.

Other Resources

AdWords: Why aggregate data can be misleading

When making decisions based on your Google AdWords account performance, don’t just look at overall account performance. It is very important to get more granular in your analysis.

Consider this scenario

You are willing to spend up to 20% of your product’s price to make a sale. (Maximum % Cost of Sales = 20%). You’ve spent $10,000 in a given period and generated $100,000 in sales. Great! Your advertising’s cost is 10% of sales, well below your 20% maximum. Your account is performing great!

SPEND SALES % COST OF SALES (COS) PERFORMANCE
ACCOUNT $10,000 $100,000 10% Great!

Based on this you decide to increase your spend by an additional $10,000, with the hope that doubling your spend will double your sales. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen, and you only generate another $25,000 in sales.

SPEND SALES % COS PERFORMANCE
ACCOUNT $20,000 $125,000 16% Good. But not Great.

Why doesn’t it scale?

The problem is that your account performance is not even. Every dollar spent is not generating the same revenue. If we take another look at the initial account, this time with the underlying campaigns visible, it might look something like this:

SPEND SALES % COS PERFORMANCE
BRANDED CAMPAIGN $2,000 $80,000 2.5% Great!
UNBRANDED CAMPAIGN $8,000 $20,000 40% Underperforming
ACCOUNT TOTAL

$10,000

$100,000 10%

The performance of the Branded Campaign is subsidizing and hiding the not-so-good performance of the Unbranded Campaign. Your spend and sales are following a typical 80/20 split: 80% of your sales are coming from only 20% of the spend, and the remaining 80% of your spend is underperforming.

Now that you have this additional information, your budget conclusions are much different:

  1. Decrease spend on your Unbranded campaign (and optimize or segment further)
  2. Increase spend on your Branded campaign.

However, your branded search spend is usually a function of search demand for your brand. Once you are capturing 100% of your search demand, you can’t really scale up any higher. If you want to increase your spend, the only place where you might be able to put the extra spend is the already underperforming unbranded campaign, which will lead to something like this:

SPEND SALES % COS PERFORMANCE
BRANDED CAMPAIGN $2,000 $80,000 2.5% Great!
UNBRANDED CAMPAIGN $18,000 $45,000 40% Underperforming
ACCOUNT TOTAL

$20,000

$125,000 16%

  Summary

  • Avoid making account wide budget decisions on aggregate data. Always try to dig a little deeper.
  • Don’t let underperforming segments ride the coat tails of your top performers. Look for 80/20 campaign and ad group performance and analyze those individually.
  • If you have a single campaign with a single ad group, your Branded and Unbranded searches are likely lumped together. Split them apart into separate ad groups.

Adding Schema.org Microdata to your Shopify Product Pages to enable Google Merchant Center automatic updates (with product variant support)

If you are using Google Merchant Center to drive either your Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) or for your Dynamic Remarketing Ads, you have likely ran into an issue where Merchant Center will sometimes give you a warning that there is insufficient match of micro-data information and that it is no longer performing automatic item updates.

merchant-center-warning

This is generally due to incorrect or incomplete micro-data on your product page, in particular if you have submitted deep-linking product variant data to your merchant center.

The Fix: Add Variant Level Micro-data

To fix this issue, you need to know some basic HTML and be able to navigate your product.liquid file.

Firstly, I recommend you read this great write-up by Gavin Ballard on adding micro-data to your Shopify store: http://gavinballard.com/microdata-on-shopify-and-other-ecommerce-platforms/

There is overlap with what is discussed below, but the article provides some good background and other benefits of using micro-data.

Product.liquid

All the required edits should be limited to your Product.liquid file. In a nutshell: You need to define a Product itemscope which will have properties such as Product Url, Product Image, Product Title, and Product Description.

Nested within the Product will be an Offer itemscope that will contain the product variant’s price, currency, condition, and availability.

Schema.org Product ItemScope

Open your product.liquid file and add the Product itemscope property to the outer most div. The first line of your product.liquid should look something like this:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">

 

Directly below this line, you should add the product variant’s url and image markup as so:

<meta itemprop="url" content="{{ shop.url }}{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.url }}" />
<meta itemprop="image" content="https:{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}" />

 

Find where your product’s title and description are displayed, and add itemprop=name and itemprop=description attributes as shown below:

<!-- Product Title -->
<h1 itemprop="name">{{ product.title }}</h1>
<!-- Product description -->
<div class="product-description" itemprop="description">
{{ product.description }}</div>

 

Schema.org Offer ItemScope

Now you need to find the place in your product.liquid file where you display your price, find a wrapping div tag and add the Offers itemscope attributes to the tag. The Offers itemscope MUST nested within the Product itemscope div tag.

<div itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">

 

Immediately after this line you can add the product variant’s price, currency, condition, and availability microdata as so:

<meta itemprop="priceCurrency" content="{{ shop.currency }}" />
<meta itemprop="price" content="{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.price | money_without_currency | remove: ',' }}" />
<meta itemprop="itemCondition" itemtype="http://schema.org/OfferItemCondition" content="http://schema.org/NewCondition"/>
{% if product.selected_or_first_available_variant.available %}
	<link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/InStock" />
{% else %}
	<link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/OutOfStock" />
{% endif %}

 

Putting it all together

Once done, your product.liquid should have roughly the following structure.

<!-- BEGIN Product itemscope -->
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
  <meta itemprop="url" content="{{ shop.url }}{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.url }}" />
  <meta itemprop="image" content="https:{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}" />

  <!-- Product Title & Description -->
<h1 itemprop="name">{{ product.title }}</h1>
<div class="product-description" itemprop="description">
  {{ product.description }}</div>
<!-- BEGIN Offer itemscope -->
<div itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
    <meta itemprop="priceCurrency" content="{{ shop.currency }}" />
    <meta itemprop="price" content="{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.price | money_without_currency | remove: ',' }}" />
    <meta itemprop="itemCondition" itemtype="http://schema.org/OfferItemCondition" content="http://schema.org/NewCondition"/>
    {% if product.selected_or_first_available_variant.available %}
    			<link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/InStock" />
    {% else %}
    			<link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/OutOfStock" />
    {% endif %}</div>
</div>

 

Final Steps

  1. Save and test your new product page in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, and fix all errors if any.
  2. Wait and check back periodically in Google Merchant center to ensure no new errors were introduced. It will take a few weeks before the “unable to update” warning disappears.

Related Reading

Google Display Network & Extended Keyword Match

Summary

  • Keyword Targeting on the Display network does not behave the same way as on  the Search network. Because of “Extended Keyword Match” your ads WILL display on pages that DO NOT contain your keywords. In particular for low volume keywords. Even when using phrase or exact match.
  • Pausing / Un-Pausing an AdWords Campaign triggers a Reset or Recalibration which may cause the campaign to behave differently than it did before the pause.

Targeting our Brand Name:
Are we Getting what we Paid for?

We recently noticed something strange with one of our AdWords Display campaigns. The Ad Group was exclusively using Keyword targeting on a phrase matched keyword: Our Brand name. Although it was a low volume Ad Group, the goal was to display our ads on any pages with a mention of our Brand.

Is Pausing and Unpausing Campaigns Safe?

Pausing a Campaign or Ad Group feels pretty safe — after all you are not actually changing anything, just taking a little break. This was our attitude when we decided to pause our campaign for a few hours one day. However, when we unpaused a few hours later the campaign volume suddenly shot up 100x (as did our costs). Nothing had changed with how the campaign was setup. The only factor at play was the pausing and then unpausing of the campaign.

mm-keyword-display

Impressions and Ad Spend over the last 2 weeks of September. The large hump started when we paused and then un-paused our campaigns.

Extended Keyword Match?
But we’re “Phrase” Matching!

When we took a closer look at what was going on we quickly realized that our ads were showing on sites that clearly DID NOT have our Brand name mentioned. We first double checked that we had the setting “Let AdWords automatically find new customers” turned off, and it was. We then dug deeper and discovered that almost 100% of our ad impressions were triggered due to “Extended Keyword Match”.

Extended keyword match is when the placement was relevant to the keywords you chose and other factors, including pages a person seeing your ad has recently browsed.

You can see what percentage of your impressions are coming from this “Extended Keyword Match” by going to: Display > Placements > Segment > Targeting Mode

mm-keyword-segments

Almost 100% of our impressions were due to “Extended Keyword Match”

We did NOT generate any conversions from these extended keyword matches. The goal of this Campaign was to display an ad on pages that mentioned our Brand. Instead we were having ads displayed due to “other factors including pages a person seeing your ad has recently browsed” — this clearly was not aligned with our goals.

Happily, Google was in agreement and quickly issued a full credit for the extra amount spent (which may hint that this is a bug or unexplored edge case of some sort).  On a side note, the AdWords inbound customer service was wonderful, friendly, and exceptional — one of the best customer service experiences I’ve had in a long time.

Conclusion

  • Be careful when pausing / unpausing campaigns. This causes some sort of “reset” of statistics in the AdWords backend and causes the campaign start re-calibrating itself. Monitor the campaign for a few days after the unpause to ensure if is behaving as expected.
  • Avoid exclusively using keyword match types in display campaigns. In particular for keywords with very low search volume. Having a campaign targeting your Brand name does not appear to be a viable option as of this writing.
  • Monitor what percentage of impressions are coming from Extended Keyword Match. Consider excluding those placements that are delivering a relatively high volume of “Extended Keyword Match” impressions.

More Reading…