Google upgrades digital commerce capabilities

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Google Shopping screens

Google is introducing a broad range of new features designed to help retailers sell and promote their products on its platform.

The technology platform is adding new ways to engage shoppers with search, shopping, and display ads; rolling out new online sale solutions, and launching an automated ad bidding tool. 

To help retailers grow online sales with search ads, Google is implementing an image extensions beta program designed to let them add assets, such as relevant images which can be automatically curated from a retailer’s website with machine learning. Google reports that Hugo Boss used image extensions with responsive search ads and saw a 2.5x improvement in ROI and 5% bump in clickthrough rates.

In addition to rich image assets, Google is introducing new ways to further personalize and curate responsive search ads. Retailers can now dynamically highlight sales or time-sensitive deals with a countdown and get suggestions on how to promote online availability, shipping, and returns.

And beginning July 15 in the U.S., retailers can now highlight features like free and fast shipping, which according to Google data has shown to increase average conversion rates by 9%. Later this year, retailers will be able to better differentiate with a dynamically curated carousel of their most relevant products in a new immersive, browsable shopping experience, as well as include video content in their display ads.

In addition, Google is upgrading responsive display ads with new creative layouts, automatically generated video ads, and updated dynamic ads which can now display a retailer’s business name alongside their logo, emphasize your latest promotions, or spotlight a single product.

Google’s new smart bidding tool evaluates over 1 million combinations of relevant contextual signals present during the auction, such as time of day, device type, or operating system. As of July 15, retailers will be able to optimize their Google smart shopping campaigns to grow online sales specifically from new customers. According to Google, IT Cosmetics, a makeup and skincare brand, added the new customer acquisition goal to their smart shopping campaign in a test and saw a 188% increase in revenue from new customers.

A new collection of online sales resources on the Google Advertising Solutions Center includes the company’s latest customer research. Other resources include content from businesses who pivoted to digital and learnings about Google’s newest product innovations and resources to improve its e-commerce experience. Google will continue to roll out more videos about its new products on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.

“We hope these latest updates will help businesses capture online shopping demand and achieve their marketing objectives,” said Darshan Kantak, VP, ads product management, Google.