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Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and similar companies have been dominating the online shopping space for quite some time now. Google has decided to take its first steps in providing a new platform that will change how we shop online This new platform will make them a serious competitor for Amazon and other e-commerce giants, rather than just being a marketing tool for them.
The Google Shopping Experience
Google announced that it has merged its Google Express and Google Shopping platforms. As a result, consumers now get a personalized shopping homepage where shoppers discover the items they would most be interested in. Based on their search patterns and online activity, Google can determine what shoppers are most likely to buy.
Not only does Google make it easier for shoppers to discover products that they are likely to be interested in, but Google also makes it easier to buy these products as well. Consumers can shop directly from their Google shopping page, which is backed by a Google guarantee. As a result, the Google Shopping Experience bridges the gap between consumers and suppliers.
Local Ads: Offline Retail Isn’t Dead
The majority of consumers do research on a product before stepping foot into a store. This presents the perfect opportunity to influence browsers into buyers.
Local Ads are introduced to specifically convert web traffic into offline store visitors. Businesses that have had a chance to experiment with this have seen promising results. Industries that can take advantage of this new ad platform vary from car dealerships, clothing stores, restaurants and more.
Dunkin’ Donuts is an example of an early adopter of this product and have seen a whopping 400% increase in monthly in-store visits.
“Dunkin’ may be a nearly 70-year-old brand, but we’re constantly looking for cutting-edge ways to deliver on consumer expectations and needs. We have over 11,000 locations worldwide and over 8,500 locations in the U.S. alone. Local marketing is at the heart of our business. Local campaigns in Google Ads has given us a new and scalable way to reach customers who are increasingly looking for information online before visiting.” -Tony Weisman, CMO, Dunkin’
Driving consumers to brick and mortar stores is a great way to combat the e-commerce giants and gives local businesses more opportunities to grow. Local business can be promoted on Google maps and also be organically shown on maps if it is on the way to the user’s destination. Google determines whether or not a local business is shown on a specific user’s route based on their recent search data.
Smart Shopping Campaigns
Google Smart Shopping campaigns were introduced last year. This allows advertisers to use Google’s machine learning algorithm to determine the best ad placements for their brand. Brands that have utilized Google Smart Shopping Campaigns have experienced substantial positive results. Magazine.com, for example, has seen a 180% increase in revenue using Smart Shopping campaigns.
Google added Shopping Campaigns with Partners, which allows brands and retailers to work closely together on campaigns. Brands now have the ability to add in their own budget to give certain products priority. As a result, visibility, traffic, and revenue for retailers and brands increase.
Showcase Shopping Ads
Showcase shopping ads deliver a better visual presentation fora user’s shopping experience. When a showcase shopping ad is clicked, instead of being directed to a landing page, users are directed to a catalog of related products. This type of ad was released in late 2017 to provide users with more visual imagery of a product.
Showcase shopping ads were only shown in search results, but Google announced an update for later this year that will show showcase shopping ads in image searches, YouTube search results and the discover feed. As a result, these ads will bring a much higher reach than ever before.
Brand awareness plays an important part when it comes to a consumer’s shopping experience. Bumper ads are YouTube’s 6-second unskippable ads and are proven to significantly increase brand awareness. Google has made making 6-second ads a lot easier by automating the process.
Bumper Machine is Google’s way of creating new video ads using Machine Learning. The process is simple:
- Give Google a 30-90 second video
- Google will automatically create a 6-second video from the provided content
Google’s machine learning algorithm determines the most impactful parts of the video you provide. It works by analyzing the key elements of the video such as voices, logos, products, and call to actions. Machine learning isn’t perfect, so Google offers 4 different variations of the final video for you to choose.
Shopping with Google
With e-commerce platforms bringing in revenues we’ve never seen before, Google is helping both local and online brands to further increase their reach to a much wider audience. While consumers are getting bombarded with more and more ads from other platforms, Google is making their ads a lot more effective through machine learning by only showing users ads for products and brands they are likely to be interested in.