This week, Google introduced Shoppable Ads on Google Images to help retailers reach shoppers whilst they are, as they describe it, in the “inspiration phase” of browsing.
Sponsored images will provide information including “prices, the brand, and more” when they are hovered over. The new format will allow retailers to highlight multiple products available for sale within a sponsored ad among Google Images results.
As part of their announcement, Google revealed that one of the reasons they’ve made this decision is because “50% of online shoppers said images of the product inspired them to purchase, and increasingly, they’re turning to Google Images.”
Last year, Google piloted an early version of Shoppable Ads for third-party sites and in Google search which included image search. Not it seems it’s ready to properly roll out the experience.
Initially, testing is being done on a small percentage of traffic with selected retailers, starting with broad queries like “home office ideas”, “shower tile designs”, and “abstract art”. The idea is to expand the roll out to more categories after the testing phase.
Additionally, Showcase Shopping ads will be coming to Google Images to offer shoppers “a more inspirational and rich visual experience.”
Google are also expanding Merchant Center as a platform to power shopping experiences beyond advertising on surfaces across Google. This means that retailers can now provide Google with product data for free which enables them to show more product information to potential customers.
This new feature for ads could be of real benefit to retailers and opens up a wide range of possibilities with regards to getting their products in front of shoppers – something that already works particularly well on Instagram and Pinterest.
In the future it could be as simple of taking a picture of something you like, and then having it match to products for sale online. Or for clothing in particular, retailers could showcase a celebrity wearing one of their pieces and use that as an ad for their products.
Jack Bennett, PPC Manager at Run2, said: “It’s clear Google is trying to produce richer, more visual content and turn this into real value for both the customer and the retailer. The days of finding the perfect jacket on an image and not being able to find out where to buy it could be a thing of the past.”