Google Introduces Image Shopping at Shoptalk


At Shoptalk this week, Google came out with an announcement about its plans to roll out an ad feature to existing image search functionality. There’s been quite a buzz in the industry about this new roll out. Read on to find out all about it and its implications for marketers.

Google made a big splash at Shoptalk, in Las Vegas this week. The multinational tech company introduced ‘shoppable ads on Google Images’, much like Instagram and Pinterest. The new feature will enable searchers to view product details simply by hovering over an image of sellable items.

Shoptalk, held between March 3–6 2019, in Venetian, Las Vegas, is being called the best retail trade show of the year by Forbes. But that’s not all, at Shoptalk, Google, Pinterest and other major e-commerce brands spoke about the one thing they have in common — refining search! Voice and visual search could be the answer to all search related problems, as seen at Shoptalk.

On Google’s blog, Vice President, Product Management, Shopping, Surojit Chatterjee wrote, “A recent study shows that Google is the first place US shoppers go to discover or find a new brand or product. But shoppers aren’t just doing their searches on Google.com. We’ve seen that 50 percent of online shoppers said images of the product inspired them to purchase, and increasingly, they’re turning to Google Images.”

“The future of advertising will focus on when consumer attention is on something of value, like a product image. By bringing the ad to a Google image search, brands can reach consumers at the beginning of their purchase journey. By then decreasing friction between viewing an ad and making a purchase, Google is allowing brands to streamline the commerce experience outside of owned channels.”

~ Darin Archer, CMO of Elastic Path

The feature makes it easy for users to upload a picture to Google Image Search of a product they want and find search results that tell them where they can shop from and for what price! Multiple products can be promoted within a sponsored image, and users can even hide the details to view the complete image.

What This Means for Marketers

“Brands need to leverage every channel available to reach consumers wherever they are browsing. Google’s shoppable ads will be another touchpoint that allows companies to deliver a convenient consumer experience. Shoppable ads in image search is a channel that Amazon doesn’t compete with because they aren’t a search engine. So, google would be a fresh source of leads for brands.”

~ Nancy Hua, CTO and co-founder of Apptimize

Although Pinterest and Instagram took the lead in establishing this trend, Google has gone a step further to integrate it into their organic search results. When google image search results are displayed, the ads will show up in a box named sponsored ads. This provides a great opportunity for marketers to get on board and sell multiple products through Google images. The feature seems to imply that Google wants to help brands connect with their prospects in such a way that they can be inspired as well as encouraged to make a purchase at the same time.

As Google begins to roll out shoppable ads on images, it might be a good time to consider and plan how best to utilize this functionality. After all, Google did say, “Today’s consumers are interacting with us across a multitude of touchpoints, searching and asking for ideas. To help inspire them, we’re continually thinking of ways to create better shopping experiences. And, we want to continue partnering with retailers like you so we can help consumers in these moments that will drive them to the final purchase.”

Marcel Hollerbach, CMO of Productsup, sums it up for us, “The challenge for brands advertising on Google has always been to attract shoppers who don’t know their product yet and proactively reaching new audiences. Google’s new shoppable ads address this challenge because they are ideal for reaching those top of funnel shoppers. The great thing with this ad format is brand advertisers will be able to target customers who don’t yet know what they need and are just exploring ideas — like if they searched “living room furniture ideas”. It will let brand advertisers get in front of people they might not find otherwise, so they’re really catching them in their inspiration phase.”

What do you think of this move by Google? Tell us on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook.

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