Although it might seem like summer has only just departed, in the eCommerce world, many brands are already full steam ahead with preparations for the lucrative holiday shopping season.
The first big day in the annual online shopping extravaganza, Black Friday is still almost two months away but that will quickly be followed by Cyber Monday and then the frantic countdown to Christmas.
If you sell online, now is the time to get prepared. Leave it too late and you might find yourself looking at lots of stock and an inbox empty of orders. To ensure this doesn’t happen, Google has just rolled out a duo of new advert formats which it has specifically launched to help advertisers make more sales in the run up to Christmas.
Do we really need new ad formats?
You might be wondering if yet more ad formats were really needed, given the raft of changes you’ve already had to get to grips with this year in the form of the new AdWords experience and the Google AdWords to Google Ads rebrand. The search engine says you do, with Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping noting that today’s shoppers don’t hit the virtual high street in search of a single particular gift. They expect brands to inspire them with product suggestions and present ideas. What’s more, 61% of those shoppers say they are open to buying from a brand new retailer during this portion of the year. Last year, almost half (46%) of shoppers made good on that statement.
The problem comes when consumers are faced with a mountain of choice. It becomes difficulty to cut through the clutter and find appropriate products and services.
Introducing video to Showcase Shopping Ads and rolling out Shoppable Image Ads is Google’s answer to this challenge – it says the two new formats will help shoppers to discover new products in a more efficient way, as well as provide accessible inspiration. For advertisers, the new ad formats should make it easier to engage with shoppers, stand out from the crowd and amplify branded sales messages.
Video and Showcase Shopping Ads
Around two in three shoppers say that video content has given them ideas for their next purchase. An approximate 90% of those shoppers say YouTube in particular has been useful for product discovery. Enter Showcase Shopping Ads with video – the first ever Google Ads retail search ad unit to incorporate a video content element. These ads are intended to encourage shoppers to more deeply engage with retail products – meaning more clicks, more engagement and hopefully, more conversions for advertisers in this crucial holiday sales period.
Showcase Shopping Ads launched in 2017 and, Google research confirms that advertisers bidding for the top spot can expect to receive around 3.6 x the click throughs of other positions.
If you are already a Showcase Shopping Ads advertiser, the new video format is available now for use through the Ads interface.
Shoppable Image Ads
One third of shoppers tend to search for images online before they set foot in a shop to buy a particular product. Citing the rise in popularity of online influencers and street style marketing, Google says lifestyle shots are especially important to consumers looking for inspiration.
Capitalising on this trend, Shoppable Image ads have now launched to advertisers. With this format, advertisers can highlight their shopping ads on content from publishers. If a shopper is on a partner blog post for example, they will be able to click on a tag on the image to see similar items. The user can then click to shop.
Google says it’s a way to inspire undecided shoppers but it also gives brands a new route through to consumers that’s presented in a slightly different way to the standard advertising approach.
There are only a few publishers signed up currently but more will be allowed to opt in over the course of the next year as this new ad format rolls out more fully. Google says it also plans to pilot in new areas such as on Google Image Search and across other properties where search users head for product inspiration.
Tags: Google Ads, holiday shopping, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Shoppabl