Over the next month, Google is rolling out a new image-focused ad format to advertisers in the US, UK, France and Germany, with releases in other global markets expected to follow.
In the lead up to the busy holiday period, Google is trialling two new formats for shopping ads. In a bid to help businesses better target and reach consumers at the start of their purchase journey, Google has updated its Showcase Shopping ads to include a new video format, while also expanding on its Shoppable Images offering.
Showcase Shopping Ads
First launched in October 2017, Showcase Shopping ads have proven to be a popular addition to Google’s advertising program. The service allows advertisers to showcase both lifestyle and product images in a single ad that’s displayed in the paid search results for specific keywords.
As part of the update, the multi-image shopping ad format will integrate with YouTube videos to allow retail advertisers to link video content to images within the search network. According to Google, retail and brand marketers will be able to extend the footprint of their video materials by placing the content prominently on their product landing pages.
Once a user clicks on a showcase shopping ad and is taken to the relevant Google-hosted landing page, the video ad will play in full at the top of the page.
Touted as a vehicle for attracting new customers, the top-of-funnel advertising slot reportedly drives results 3.6 times higher than the average click-through rate, as well as 20 percent more conversion credit with first click attribution.
Initially, the new video advertising content will be rolled out with 500 advertisers that are already running Showcase Shopping ads across the paid search network in the US and UK, as well as France and Germany.
Shoppable Image Ads
According to Google, in 2017 over one-third of holiday shoppers looked at product images online before heading in-store to make a purchase.
Shoppable Image ads are Google’s way of getting product images in front of consumers who are at the beginning of their purchase journey. This feature works by displaying a tag icon in a shoppable image ad on third party websites. When a user clicks on the icon it will bring up a carousel of product listing advertisements offering products that are similar to the pictured item.
Each of these shoppable images will be labelled as sponsored and have a white shopping label icon in the lower corner that will direct users to purchase the goods directly from an advertisers website.
While these ads are already available, Google is reportedly pushing to increase the number of shoppable images appearing online.
“Over the next year, we will continue to roll our this experience to more publishers, as well as pilot new platforms like Google Image Search, where we also know shoppers go to look for inspiration,” Google said in a statement.