Google Makes Shopping Easier in Race With Amazon, IG
Google is feeling the heat from Instagram and Amazon, so it’s lighting a fire under itself to make shopping seamless from anywhere — search, the dedicated Google Shopping option, and more.
What VentureBeat thought was the biggest deal of all of the changes to the customer journey on Google was that Alphabet would start showing ads on the home page of its smartphone app. I don’t think that’s the biggest announcement here, though. The main thing I got out of it was that Google was going to try to start hitting users with shopping options, no matter where they enter its platforms. And then those users, theoretically, should be able to convert with fewer clicks. Unless they want to do more research, which Google will accommodate on personalized Shopping home pages.
Surojit Chattarjee, VP of product management at Google Shopping, writes on the Google Ads Blog:
“We’re making the places where people come to browse and explore products on Google shoppable. These new shopping experiences let people shop and purchase frictionlessly right where they already turn to for research and inspiration: Search, Google Images, YouTube and a redesigned Google Shopping destination.”
That Google Shopping home page will be personalized, based on user preferences, and show far more information Google’s found high-touch shoppers want, writes Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP of Google Ads and commerce, also on the Google Ads blog, also on May 14.
Raghavan shared some scary high numbers required from one consumer before she converted:
“Consider a woman from a recent study, who spent 73 days and interacted with more than 250 touchpoints (searches, video views, and page views) before purchasing a single pair of jeans. She visited several blogs, browsed large merchant sites, searched for local retailers, and watched product reviews on YouTube. Like many of today’s consumers, she wanted to enjoy her time shopping, engaged with brands that inspired her, and narrowed limitless choices before picking the perfect pair.”
In a funnier twist, VentureBeat gave the context of where many of these conversions are happening:
“The changes come as choppy revenue growth prompt questions from some Alphabet investors about whether services such as Amazon and Facebook’s Instagram are drawing online shoppers and in turn, advertisers away from Google.
“Google executives told reporters on Monday the latest features were a response to how users behave, not competition.
“The company wants to make it easier for users to discover and buy new products because they shop in brief spurts while watching TV or sitting in the bathroom, said Oliver Heckmann, vice president of engineering for Travel and Shopping.”
“Later this year we’re launching Gallery ads: a new search ads format that brings more of your content to the Search results page. By combining search intent with a more interactive visual format, gallery ads make it easier for you to communicate what your brand has to offer. We’ve found that, on average, ad groups including one or more gallery ad have up to 25 percent more interactions — paid clicks or swipes — at the absolute top of the mobile Search results page.”
Personalized home pages allow consumers to “choose to purchase online, in a nearby store, and now directly on Google.”
Raghavan continues that shoppers “can filter based on features they care about and brands they love, read reviews and even watch videos about the products. For example, if they’re looking for headphones, they can filter for wireless and the brand they’re looking for.”
It’s a merge of Google Express with Google Shopping, he adds.
“If you’re a Shopping Actions merchant, your products will automatically be part of this new easy purchase experience on Google Shopping, Google.com and the Google Assistant. Later this year, we’ll expand Shopping Actions to other Google surfaces including YouTube and Google Images.”
Google Ads and More
In a list that never seems to end, Raghavan adds that Google Ads will become more seamless for many brands:
“That’s why, over the next few weeks, we'll enable app deep linking from Google Ads and offer more robust reporting across web and apps. Your app users will be taken directly from your Search, Display and Shopping ads directly to the relevant page in your mobile app, if they have your app already installed. This means your customers will be able to complete their desired action — buy something, book a trip or order food delivery — in a way that’s optimized for the destination that drives the highest value for your brand.”
Today, we’re introducing Discovery ads. Rolling out to all advertisers globally later this year, Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services.
- Rich and Relevant Creative: Inspire consumers with an open canvas showcasing your brand or products in a swipeable image carousel, rendered natively across each Google property.
- Results: By combining this incredible reach and creative canvas with Google’s understanding of intent, you can be confident you’re anticipating what your customers want and delivering the results you care about.
- Unmatched Reach: Reach hundreds of millions of people across the YouTube home feed, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and the feed in Discover using a single campaign.
Considering I’ve already written about how ads are on more mobile lock screens at the same time that Google’s Chrome browser acknowledges the push for user privacy with ad blocking and crackdowns on cookies, it looks like users are deciding which brands they want to see and when. Is that what you’re seeing?
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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