At the Shoptalk conference, Google announced Shoppable Ads in Google Images results. Is this a step towards Google’s greater focus on image search (mentioned in our Gary Illyes Reddit AMA post)? How could this affect paid media marketing? Let’s get into it.
How do shoppable ads work?
These ads will show for more general searches. The idea is to help advertisers catch shoppers at the earlier stage of the sales funnel. Users are targeted at the “inspiration” phase, getting your products in front of people searching for phrases like “home office ideas” or “bathroom designs”.
When an ad is triggered, it shows at the top of the page, taking up a lot of space. You then hover over tags in the image to see the product name, price, brand and offers like free shipping.
This is similar to Instagram and Pinterest’s image ads. Has Google copied these social platforms? Well, no. Google has been using similar formats in Shoppable AdWords on Youtube since 2015.
These ads open up a lot of possibilities. You’ll be able to target people who are just looking for ideas. Even if they don’t convert right away, your products might stick in their mind, leading to a purchase later on. As a result, Google shopping is becoming more important to retailers by the day.
Other Google updates
Google also announced Showcase Shopping ads coming to Google Images. These allow advertisers to promote their brand or products with rich imagery and matching descriptions. The high-quality images used help to create a more inspiring experience for shoppers.
Google Merchant Center is being expanded too. Your content and feeds will be made available not just in advertising. Retailers supply data about their products to Google for free, allowing more product info to be displayed across different Goole touchpoints.
The inclusion of shoppable image ads shows that Google is putting more of a spotlight on image search. They’re helping retailers to get more visibility too, so keep your eye out for this feature. It will be a very effective format.
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