Google announced a bunch of new features for advertisers to encourage more sales from shoppers.
For one, a new enhancement to product listing ads on mobile devices expands the ads as the user swipes to show more information such as product ratings and availability at nearby stores. Google says this will result in more qualified traffic driven directly to retailers.
The feature will hit Chrome for Android this month and iOS in the coming months.
There are also new efforts in conversational search aimed at helping shoppers and advertisers.
Vice President of product management Jonathan Alferness explains, "On searches for the top-rated products, such as 'Best women’s Nike running shoes,' we’re starting to show newly-designed shopping ads with authoritative rankings and product ratings. The new design is so helpful to those specific users that we've seen click-through-rate increases of up to 11% for retailers for these queries.3 Product queries that include 'reviews' or 'recommendations' are also increasingly common, so we’re showing new product review cards with product ratings and snippets from the most useful reviews from around the web. Finally, shoppers who want to learn more about a product’s features, like the resolution of the camera they’re considering purchasing, may now see a product attribute card with the most relevant information."
Google is also going to start showing more local inventory ads than before, prioritizing them over over shopping ads on local intent shopping queries, such as "coffee maker near me". Google says this increased clicks on shopping ads by 85% for such queries.
Google is also releasing two new shopping cards for Google Now - the in-store card, which appears when a shopper is near a store and the price drop card, which highlights price reductions.
Google is working with select shopping apps like eBay, Flipkart, and Zalando to add dee plinks to their apps in the shopping ads.
Finally, the new feature that is getting the most buzz is the ability to purchase right on Google.
Alferness explains, "To help smartphone shoppers buy with ease from their favorite retailers, we'll be testing Purchases on Google. When a shopper searches on mobile for a product such as “women's hoodies”, she may see a shopping ad with 'Buy on Google' text. After clicking the ad, she's taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. Checkout is seamless, simple, and secure, thanks to saved payment credentials in her Google Account."
Google says this leads to better mobile conversions because of a simplified checkout process, and those using it only pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page. Clicks and interactions on the product page (which Google hosts) are free. Google provides purchase protection for customers, but retailers "own the customer communication" and can offer the option to receive marketing and promotional messages.
According to Google, mobile devices used before or during shopping trips influenced nearly a trillion dollars in the U.S. (about 28% of in-store sales).
Images via Google