WHAT’S THE SHORT STORY?

This month, Google have announced 3 new important retail specific AdWords formats & features:

  • Showcase Shopping Ads – an evolution of PLAs which allow for multiple products to be shown in relation to broader category searches
  • TrueView for Shopping Companion Banners – allowing advertisers to display a carousel of products to accompany In-Stream ads
  • TrueView for Shopping Product Picker – a evolution of product cards within In-Stream ads which allows advertisers to priorities the products displayed

These new ad formats all help retail advertisers to engage with consumers in early research stages and are available in Australia now.

Introduction

WHAT’S HAPPENED?

Continuing Google’s recent focus on reaching consumers within important micro-moments on their path to purchase, 3 new AdWords shopping ad formats have been announced this month which allow ecommerce retailers to bridge the gap between “I-Want-to-Know” and “I-Want-to-Buy” moments:

Showcase Shopping Ads

WHAT ARE THEY?

Showcase Shopping Ads have been in beta testing in the US since early 2016 and allow ecommerce retailers to showcase a range of related products in relation to broader category search queries such as “living room furniture” or “women’s athletic clothing”:


Google cites that over 40% of shopping related searches now fall into these types of broader category queries. Prior to the announcement of Showcase Shopping Ads, such search queries would either elicit no type of shopping ads at all, or Google would only allow advertisers to serve single products within Product Listing Ads (PLAs). The new Showcase Shopping Ads now allow advertisers to connect with consumers at a much earlier stage in their buying process and display a wider range of relevant products.

Showcase Shopping Ads are charged on a CPC basis in exactly the same way as PLA & search ads. They will be first made available to advertisers in Australia, the US, and UK over the next few weeks.

TrueView for Shopping

WHAT’S NEW?

In May of last year, Google announced a major update to TrueView video advertising with the introduction of TrueView for Shopping. This update was centred on a new product which allowed advertisers to dynamically display product inventory from Google Merchant Centre in their TrueView In-Stream ads using YouTube cards. Google now reports that almost half the US population are turning to YouTube content for product research at least once a month. As a result, they have now announced the next iteration of TrueView for Shopping with 2 new AdWords for Video products which are designed to help facilitate the connection between consumers in this research phase and retailers that are selling the products they are looking for online:

  1. YOUTUBE TRUEVIEW FOR SHOPPING – COMPANION BANNER

AdWords for Video has long provided advertisers with the ability to display a fixed image companion banner beside TrueView In-Stream ads. The TrueView for shopping update now allows this companion banner to become a dynamic carousel of products which the consumer can scroll through whilst watching video content:

2. TRUEVIEW FOR SHOPPING – PRODUCT PICKER

This makes it much more convenient & easier for consumers to click through and buy products that feature within the video content as they watch. The new ad format is being rolled out now globally now where TrueView for Shopping is available

This updates the TrueView for Shopping YouTube cards that were announced last year with an additional feature that allows advertises to prioritise the products that are displayed in cards within their In Stream ads. The dynamic matching of product cards to video content is still available. However, this new feature simply gives advertisers additional control on what is displayed.

2016-07-20 21_42_22-Inside AdWords_ Introducing TrueView for shopping – a new way to promote your pr
Other Retail Announcements

In addition to the new ad formats, Google also announced a new tool is being tested which will automatically convert currencies within shopping ads for retailers which are reaching customers searching in overseas locations. This is available in Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the UK.

Next Steps

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ADVERTISERS?

Significant barriers still exist between consumers and retailers online – from challenges within audience targeting in media to sub-optimal user journey once consumers arrive on site to purchase. The updates announced by Google this month reinforce the continued importance it is placing on helping to improve connections between consumers with retailers online. This is no doubt based on maximising revenue for Google first and foremost: by capitalising on the increasing trend for consumers to shop online. However, this will also benefit both consumers and advertisers as well by strengthening these connections.

Moreover, both Google and ecommerce retailers have both historically focussed on capturing and converting customers at the lower end of the conversion funnel. These customers are much easier to convert but a fewer in numbers and represent less opportunity for businesses to grow their customer base. The new shopping ad products Google has announced this month represent a significant shift audience targeting which enable retailers to engage with customers much earlier in their research stage. Engaging with customers at this stage helps both Google and advertiser growth by tapping into a higher volume market. It also enables businesses to influence awareness and consideration in a way that AdWords formats have not been able to before – which is a very powerful proposition.

Digital attribution is a hugely important consideration with regards to targeting consumers during early research stages. Traditional last interaction attribution methodology assigns ecommerce sales to the last interacted channel before conversion. When layered over the audiences attracted by Showcase Shopping ads and TrueView for Shopping ad formats, this is likely to undervalue their contribution. There are many ways to overcome this. These include evaluating these types of upper funnel campaigns by way of softer metrics such as engagement and assisted conversions, as well as changing attribution models to those that favour early interactions or are data driven.

HOW CAN ADVERTISERS SET THIS UP?

In a continuation of Google’s focus on feed based advertising, most of the products outlined this month require a Google Merchant Centre account & feed in order to operate. The quality and continued optimisation of these feeds are hugely important to the success the ad formats that relay upon them. Reprise has a wealth of experience in all types of AdWords shopping ad formats and Google Merchant Centre feed optimisation. If you have any questions regarding shopping ads, Google Merchant Centre, attribution or any element of digital strategy, please contact us today.

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Paul Watson

Hi! I'm Head of Paid Digital Solutions here at Reprise. With over 10 years of experience of in digital marketing, I have a passion for all things digital. I love helping clients to leverage the power of digital media strategies to deliver on their business goals.
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