TECHNOLOGY

Google visualizes new way to digitally connect retailers and consumers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Google is leveraging the increasingly visual nature of search for e-commerce.

The online platform is piloting a program that enables consumers to directly make purchases from the results of image searches. Known as shoppable ads on Google Images, the service builds upon Google’s existing shopping ads on Google Images, which allows retailers to display their products at the top of consumer image searches.

Citing a figure that 50% of online shoppers said images of the product inspired them to purchase and are increasingly are turning to Google Images, Google is enabling retailers to highlight multiple products available for sale within their sponsored ad among Google Images results. Consumers can scroll over an image and tap a shopping tag to see information such as brand and price, as well as a link to make a purchase from the retailer’s site.

In addition, Google is enabling retailers to utilize Showcase Shopping Ads in the shopping ads on Google Images program. Showcase Shopping Ads is an existing advertising service that enables retailers to group together a selection of related products and present them together in response to an image search for a general topic, such as “furniture.”

Google is currently testing shoppable ads on what it calls a “small percentage” of traffic with select retailers, surfacing on broad queries like “home office ideas”, “shower tile designs”, and “abstract art.”

“Today’s consumers are interacting with us across a multitude of touchpoints, searching and asking for ideas,” said Surojit Chatterjee, VP of product management and shopping, in a blog post. 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.

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