5 Exciting New Features Coming to Google Shopping
Good news for ecommerce advertisers: Google has announced several new Shopping features and provided an update on its Shopping Actions program, adding some key details to the features unveiled at Search Marketing Expo Advanced, which convened earlier this month.
Today, we’ll review the changes and look into some of the implications for marketers.
#1: Expansion of affiliate location extensions
When a consumer sees your ad on Google, an affiliate location extension tells them which nearby retailers carry your product. When the consumer clicks on your ad, Google marks the relevant retailers on a map and shows directions to the different stores.
It’s basically a tool to help your business capture local consumers looking for fast and readily available solutions.
The affiliate location extension works similarly on the Display network. Your ad is shown to those who are interested in your product and near a retailer that carries it. From the ad, people can get directions to the nearest stores.
Now, Google has expanded the feature to video ads on YouTube. While your ad plays, the viewer has the option to get directions to the nearest retailer that carries your product.
According to Google, affiliate location extensions have increased CTRs on TrueView in-stream and bumper ads by over 15%.
#2: New local catalog ads
By the end of the month, Google will have rolled out new local catalog ads to Display advertisers. The format is simple: underneath a hero image, the consumer can scroll through your product catalog and easily access information regarding pricing and availability. It’s a clean, interactive way to advertise your products and direct foot traffic to nearby retailers.
The above example is a catalog ad for Boulanger, a prominent electronics and appliance retailer in France. The company ran the ad as a leg of its Spring 2018 promotional series, and it was rather successful: it drove 20,000 visits to Boulanger stores and ultimately garnered the brand a 42x ROI.
#3: Local inventory ads and new local feeds partnership program
When Google shoppers click on your local inventory ad, they are taken to the local storefront: a Google-hosted landing page that presents in-store product availability, store hours, directions, and related information.
Previously, retailers needed to set up their own local inventory feeds to run local inventory ads. Fortunately, Google has launched a new program to partner with point-of-sale (POS) and inventory data providers. Now, retailers can directly connect their data providers to Google and rest assured that the sales and inventory data need for inventory ads is being reported.
Plus, retailers that connect their data providers to Google can display their local inventory on the search knowledge panel under the “See What’s in Store” feature
#4: Competitor pricing information
A new feature is coming to AdWords for Shopping advertisers: access to the pricing information of competitors. Essentially, Shopping advertisers can see what their competitors are charging for the same products and use this information to improve their bids.
So, if you’re a Shopping advertiser that sells sneakers and you notice that you’re charging less than your competitors, you can increase your Shopping bid on sneakers because you know your great price will attract buyers.
Alternatively, if you cannot reduce the price of your sneakers to compete with other sellers, you can cut your sneakers bid and spend less on ads that are less likely to convert.
#5: Shopping Actions program
Launched in March, Shopping Actions is Google’s response to Amazon’s growing dominance over the ecommerce marketplace. The platform allows retailers to sell their products to consumers across Google Search, Google Express, and Google Assistant. Consumers use a universal shopping cart that combines their orders from different retailers and different media – mobile, desktop, and voice.
Shopping Actions is a pay-per-sale platform: retailers only pay Google when a transaction is completed (as opposed to the pay-per-click system, AdWords).
Now, three months after the launch, 70 retailers use Shopping Actions, and Google has announced the benefits they get in return for the fee: more clicks, more conversions, lower CPC, and lower cost per conversion.