Category Archives: Inside AdWords

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Shop early for the best holiday deals online and nearby

Black Friday typically has the biggest deals of the season. But this year, holiday shopping is starting earlier than usual. With safety top of mind, retailers have moved away from typical doorbuster events and are beginning to promote their discounts online. Shoppers are starting earlier too: searches for“early deals” in the U.S. have increased significantly over the last month. 

To help you take advantage of these deals in online and local stores, we’re sharing some new and revamped features on Google Shopping in the U.S.—including price insights, price comparison and price tracking. And if you’re looking for additional ways to shop safely from stores in your community, check out our previous post from September to see how Google can help.

Know whether you’ve found a good price

Everyone loves finding a good deal, but it can be difficult to know how “good” that deal really is. Starting today, you can quickly see whether the price offered for an item is high, low or typical, compared to other prices from across the web and in nearby stores. Just search on Google and hop over to the Shopping tab. Then, select your favorite product to land on the Shopping product page, where you’ll find these new price insights.

Animation showing price insights on Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1

Easily compare prices and shipping options 

From the same page, you can also view various price and purchasing options from a range of stores, with both online and local options listed for easy comparison. Over the next few days, you’ll see curbside and in-store pickup annotations as well. 

Animation showing a product page including compare prices and more locations tabs

Track prices to get notifications for future deals

Too early to make your purchase or didn’t find the deal you’re looking for? You can turn on price tracking from Shopping product pages to receive alerts for price drops on any products you’re considering. Just make sure you’re signed into your Google account and you’ll receive notifications through email or on the Google Search app. To see all the products you’re tracking or to unsubscribe from alerts, just head to your Google account and go to My Activity.

Animation showing price tracking

We hope these tools will help you get a jumpstart on your shopping, so you can find all the best gifts, prices, and places to buy.

3 ways to help shoppers find the latest holiday deals

Last holiday season in the U.S., Google was used by more shoppers related to their shopping than any other source.1 In fact, when looking for competitively-priced products, 40 percent of global shoppers say they turn to Google to find the best deal.2 As more people are already shopping online for the holidays, retailers will have to adapt quickly to be ready for this consumer demand.

In light of these shifting consumer behaviors, we’re offering more ways to help you capture increased holiday demand by making it easier and faster to apply product promotions, boosting your visibility to new customers, and providing new tools to uncover meaningful insights from your performance. 

Easily highlight promotions to stand out

To help retailers maximize exposure of their deals—doorbusters or evergreen—promotions will be available to all U.S. retailers and will be significantly easier to use for the holidays. You can expect faster average approval times and easier editing features for promotions. This means that you are now able to better react to shopper demand, like extending an existing promotional period or participating in a flash sale. 

"Running promotions on Google helped us exponentially grow demand and ROI," says Emily Kulcyk, Manager of Search Marketing at Urban Outfitters. "The faster approval times also drove sales volume for our flash sales because we didn’t miss a portion of the day awaiting review."

We’re also expanding our promotions to more surfaces across Google. Products on promotion will now have an annotation when they appear on both free listings and ads in the Shopping tab, Google Images (mobile-only) and local inventory ads on Search. This means that your promotions will show up in more places, helping you connect with potential customers regardless of whether you advertise with us or not. 

Example of Shopping ads on Google Images (U.S. only). Shows sales price annotation and promotion annotation.

Example of Shopping ads on Google Images (U.S. only)

Get your products in front of new shoppers

58 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers bought from at least one brand last holiday season that they hadn’t before.3 To get in front of these new customers, you can now list your products on Google for free around the world. Retailers can also opt-in to free local listings in the Merchant Center, enabling your in-store products to appear in free listings across Google surfaces, like Search and the Shopping tab. 

In addition, we’ve introduced new ways for businesses to engage local customers looking to pickup nearby, and to highlight fast and free shipping. Now, verified retail merchants in the U.S. can add links to their online store directly to their Business Profile on Google, so shoppers can easily place a pickup or delivery order for the holiday season when researching local businesses. 

You’ll also be able to elevate your paid advertising by optimizing for new customers via the new customer acquisition goal and creating more compelling display creatives in your Smart Shopping campaigns.4 These new layouts can help you showcase your top products, feature your own uploaded videos or highlight auto-generated videos from your product data. 

Customers continue to see success when using Smart Shopping campaigns for reaching new customers. Merkle was able to drive new traffic to more than 36 percent of in-stock inventory and increase revenue by 13 times in the dresses category for a large multi-category retailer by switching to Smart Shopping campaigns. Find out more about how Smart Shopping campaigns can help you easily respond to real-time holiday demand.

Get the full picture of your performance with more insights

Last month, Performance Planner expanded to Shopping campaigns and Smart Shopping campaigns to help you plan your budgets more effectively during peak season. In addition, within the next month, you can expect auction insights, like impression and outranking share, to show how you’re performing in specific product categories compared to others. This can be found in the Google Ads Report Editor for your Search and Shopping campaigns. 

Screenshot of auction insights within Google Ads Report Editor

New auction insights within Google Ads Report Editor, available for retail categories.

In Merchant Center, you’ll also be able to use the new Report Editor and see additional metrics, like impressions and click-through rate, across your free listings and ads. Using these tools, retailers can soon get the full picture for their performance so they can adapt and adjust to holiday traffic changes.

While this year has posed many challenges for retailers, we’re committed to helping you be prepared to sell online this holiday season and connect with new customers. Ready to get started? Check out our insights and best practices for driving holiday sales this year. 

1. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.
2. Google / Ipsos, Global Retail Study, Feb 2019. Base: Total sample (n=14206) Global (excl. China) online 18+ who shopped in the last week. Countries included: AR, AU, BR, CA, CZ, FR, DE, IN, ID, IT, JP, KR, MX, NL, PL, PT, RU, SA, ZA, ES, SE, TR, UA, UK, US, AE, VN
3. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.
4. In Europe, Smart Shopping campaigns can be used with any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) you work with. The ads will show on general search results pages and on any other surfaces the CSS has opted in to.

Consumers are already holiday shopping online. Are you ready?

According to research we began with Ipsos over the summer, consumer behavior is showing a surprising trend: 1 in 4 US holiday shoppers said they had already started shopping for the season as early as July. This means businesses need to be ready to reach consumers earlier than ever before as they look for inspiration for everything from new home office equipment to the perfect gift—as they research and shop on Google, watch product videos on YouTube, scroll for new ideas in Discover, or browse the web. 

With the pandemic fundamentally changing how consumers worldwide shop in 2020, retailers will have to adapt quickly to meet holiday demand. To help you stay ahead of the curve, we've identified five big shiftsin shopping behavior that retailers will need to anticipate. For more insights and solutions, be sure to check out the full guide.

Be ready for 5 shifts in shopping behavior

A month-long Cyber Monday: 62 percent of US shoppers say they'll start holiday shopping earlier to avoid crowds. This means retailers will need to rethink the usual timelines for Cyber Monday and Cyber Week to help shoppers already looking for special offers and deals this October.

Digital newcomers driving growth:69 percent of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years, with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time. Due to this overall trend toward online shopping this year, retailers will need to be ready to offer helpful, frictionless shopping experiences for more first-time online shoppers.

A skew toward online SKUs:77 percent of US holiday shoppers say they intend to browse for gift ideas online, not in-store. With more purchase decisions being made online, retailers will need to bring the best of their store online and be ready to help customers complete their purchase journey offline—whether they visit in-store, pick up curbside, or choose delivery to their door.

The purpose-driven shopper: 66 percent of US holiday shoppers say they will shop more at local small businesses—retailers are being called to action to help local shoppers identify them and make it as easy as possible to discover their products and make a purchase. 

Something new & something known: With a third of US shoppers having purchased from a brand that was new to them during COVID-19, shoppers are ready to discover new brands and retailers as they shop for what they already know. To connect with new or repeat customers, retailers should get their products front and center with shoppers on the lookout for ideas and inspiration.

Help more holiday shoppers find you easily—online and offline

73 percent of US holiday shoppers have told us they plan to shop online more for the holidays during COVID-19. This week, it will be even easier for businesses to reach holiday shoppers with the global launch of free listings on the Shopping tab. Retailers are already seeing positive results: Woodland Direct, a large e-commerce retailer for outdoor products in the United States, was able to drive an estimated 5% increase in revenue without increasing their budget, based on internal benchmark data. And Sharper Image, a global retailer for consumer electronics and home gadgets, saw a 3.8% increase in website traffic at no additional cost by listing their products for free. 

If you're a retailer with a physical storefront, make sure shoppers on Google can find the most up-to-date information about your store hours and locations, products and promotions, and pickup or in-store service options. Just create or update your Business Profile on Google or update your listings through Google Merchant Center. You can also use Local campaigns to reach nearby shoppers in more places across Google, including on YouTube, Maps, Search and Display.


For leading pet specialty retailer Petco, adjusting to meet expectations from pet owners sheltering-in-place has been key for successful holiday planning. After seeing a surge in searches for “curbside pickup,” Petco shifted to offer more delivery and pickup options. The brand then used Search, Shopping and Local inventory ads to promote its new offerings, driving a 100 percent increase in its e-commerce business and a 66 percent decrease in customer acquisition costs year-over-year.

Whether you’re a major retail chain or a small business, holiday shoppers are already on the lookout for compelling offers and products from you on Google. We look forward to helping you be ready for them during the biggest shopping season of the year with our new 5 shifts in shopping behavior guide.

Introducing the new Google Analytics

Millions of businesses, large and small, rely on Google Analytics to understand customer preferences and create better experiences for them. With more commerce moving online and businesses under increased pressure to make every marketing dollar count, insights from digital analytics tools are even more critical.

But with major shifts in consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes to longtime industry standards, current approaches to analytics aren’t keeping pace. In a survey from Forrester Consulting, marketers said that improving their use of analytics is a top priority, and that existing solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer and derive insights from their data.

To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we're creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.

Smarter insights to improve your marketing decisions and get better ROI

By applying Google’s advanced machine learning models, the new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data - like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure. We’re continuing to add new predictive metrics, like the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. This allows you to create audiences to reach higher value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others, so you can take action to improve your results.


Churn probability in the Analysis module

With new integrations across Google’s marketing products, it’s easy to use what you learn to improve the ROI of your marketing. A deeper integration with Google Ads, for example, lets you create audiences that can reach your customers with more relevant, helpful experiences, wherever they choose to engage with your business.

The new approach also makes it possible to address longtime advertiser requests. Because the new Analytics can measure app and web interactions together, it can include conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web in reports. Seeing conversions from YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email, helps you understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts.

Google_Analytics_YouTube_EVC_report (2).png

YouTube Engaged-view conversions in Analytics reports

Businesses taking part in the beta are already seeing benefits. Vistaprint, responding to rapid changes in their business at the start of the pandemic, was able to quickly measure and understand the customer response to their new line of protective masks. And Jeff Kacmarek, Vice President of Domino’s Pizza of Canada, found that “linking the new Google Analytics to Google Ads enables us to optimize around the actions that matter most to our customers, regardless of how they interact with our brand.”

A more complete understanding of how customers interact with your business

The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform. It uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalization, to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business. For example, you can see if customers first discover your business from an ad on the web, then later install your app and make purchases there.

You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention. This is critical when people’s needs are rapidly changing and you have to make real-time decisions in order to win - and keep - new customers. Based on your feedback, we simplified and re-organized reporting so you can intuitively find marketing insights based on the part of the customer journey you’re interested in. For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting.


New reporting structure organized by the user lifecycle

Built for the long term

Now is the time to invest in your digital marketing basics, like smarter analytics, so you can be ready for what comes next. This will also help you respond to rising consumer expectations, regulatory developments, and changing technology standards for user privacy. With a new approach todata controls, you can better manage how you collect, retain and use your Analytics data. More granular controls for ads personalization let you choose when to use your data to optimize your ads and when to limit your data use to measurement. And of course, we continue to offer users control over sharing their activity with Google Analytics.

Because the technology landscape continues to evolve, the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete. This means that you can rely on Google Analytics to help you measure your marketing results and meet customer needs now as you navigate the recovery and as you face uncertainty in the future.

The future of Google Analytics

The new Google Analytics is now the default experience for new properties and is where we’re investing in future improvements. We know there are capabilities many marketers need before fully replacing their existing Analytics setup, so we encourage you to create a new Google Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) alongside your existing properties. This will allow you to start gathering data and benefit from the latest innovations as they become available while keeping your current implementation intact. If you’re an enterprise marketer, we’re currently in beta with an Analytics 360 version that will offer SLAs and advanced integrations with tools like BigQuery, and will have more to share soon.

Make every marketing dollar count with attribution and lift measurement

Understanding how each media touchpoint contributes to your goals can mean the difference between marketing that drives business growth and marketing that fails to deliver. To make every dollar count, you need tools that help you learn how people are responding to your ads, so you can take action to improve your results.

Today, we're announcing improvements to Attribution in Google Ads including coverage for YouTube ads and a significant expansion in the availability of data-driven attribution. We're also sharing updates to our lift measurement solutions including a new way to measure incremental conversions and an accelerated time frame so you get results even faster.

Measure more of your Google media

Attribution in Google Ads helps you understand the paths people take to complete conversions. It awards credit for conversions to different ads, clicks, and factors along the way, so you can focus your investments on the media having the biggest impact on results.

Earlier this year, we launched a new look for attribution reports to help you get important insights faster. And with more people turning to YouTube as we spend more time at home, we added YouTube to attribution reports, to help you better understand the role video plays in your customer’s path to purchase.

fuboTV logo nm.png

fuboTV, a live TV streaming platform that includes sports, news, network television and movies, used attribution reports to understand how customers interact with their YouTube and Search ads before converting. They saw that for every conversion YouTube drove directly, it assisted 2 more conversions on Search. “These insights helped us see the full value of video. This enabled us to start thinking about YouTube and Search media in one view and take into account blended cost-per-acquisition goals that more accurately reflect the total impact of our ads at driving conversions,” said Antonio Armenino, Search and Display Lead at fuboTV.

YouTube ads in attribution reports is now in beta. Eligible advertisers will be able to opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads to see YouTube ads in the Top Paths, Assisted Conversions and Path Metrics reports, alongside Search and Shopping ads. And to give advertisers a more holistic view of Google media, we’re also adding Display ads to attribution reports in the coming months.

Data-driven attribution is now available to more advertisers

Data-driven attribution (DDA) is a type of attribution model that uses Google’s machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each ad interaction along the consumer journey. Trained on and validated against incrementality experiments, data-driven attribution gives credit based on the incremental impact of your ads. It continuously analyzes unique conversion patterns, comparing the paths of customers who completed a desired action against those who did not, to determine the most effective touchpoints for each business. DDA is our recommended attribution model because the constantly updating, machine learning-based approach ensures you are always getting accurate results that account for the latest changes in consumer behavior.

DDA requires a certain volume of data in order for us to build a precise model, but to make DDA available to more advertisers, we’re lowering the data requirements for eligibility. With this change, each conversion action in your Google Ads account that has at least 3,000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions within 30 days will be eligible for DDA. This is possible due to ongoing improvements to the machine learning algorithms we use to train data-driven attribution models, so we can do more with less data without sacrificing precision.

Use full-funnel lift measurement to validate and implement findings

Attribution is best for day-to-day, always-on measurement and is effective for setting ad budgets and informing bid strategies on a campaign or channel level. Businesses that are prepared to move beyond DDA can use randomized controlled experiments—also known as incrementality or lift—to set channel-level budgets or to optimize future campaigns.

For years, marketers have used Brand Lift and Search Lift to measure the impact of YouTube ads on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey, from brand awareness to purchase intent, and lift in organic searches on Google and YouTube. Today, we're announcing that Conversion Lift is now available in beta. Conversion Lift measures the impact of your YouTube ads on driving user actions, such as website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions.

Each of Google’s lift measurement tools use best-in-class methodology to ensure accuracy and precision, and that no additional costs are incurred to run these experiments. In addition to delivering accurate, full-funnel measurement, we’re making changes to our lift measurement tools so you get results even faster.

For Brand Lift, we recently launched accelerated flights so you can get the brand perception metrics you care about sooner, with the ability to re-measure over time. We’re also reporting Search Lift and Conversion Lift results as soon as they become available, with flexible study durations and integrated daily reporting, so you can see changes more frequently and over time. Last, you can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign, so you can get fast, actionable results across the entire consumer journey.

fiverr - GreenGreen@3x.png

Fiverr, one of the world’s largest marketplaces for freelance services, wanted to drive both consideration and website engagement. They ran YouTube ads to reach audiences throughout the funnel, and used Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift to measure full-funnel impact. They saw that their first test delivered strong relative lift, with a 10 percent lift in consideration, 62 percent lift in searches on Google and YouTube, and 30 percent lift in new users. “We received excellent insights from this campaign. Now that we’ve seen success in reaching first-time users throughout the funnel, our next step is to develop messaging for user retention,” said Tal Moravkin, Creative Manager at Fiverr.

We look forward to seeing these insights help you understand how people interact with your marketing throughout the consumer journey. Looking ahead, we’re working to bring more channels and formats into attribution and lift measurement, so you can get better insights to make every marketing dollar count.

Help for retailers and shoppers in Asia Pacific

Retailers have played a vital role in Asia Pacific’s response to COVID-19, battling through a tough economic environment while serving their customers and communities, providing essential products and services, and supporting jobs. 

As more of the region’s businesses turn to ecommerce, we’ve been focused on supporting them in every way we can—including helping retailers list their products online for free. We’ve been doing this in India and Indonesia since 2019, and now we’re extending similar support across the broader region: making it free for merchants in Asia Pacific to list their products on the Google Shopping tab.  

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, it means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. 

We made this change earlier this year in the United States, and retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases.

Asia’s changing retail scene

This is a time of huge change in the way people shop and sell across Asia Pacific. Even before the pandemic, e-commerce was growing fast—in Southeast Asia, for example, the regional internet economy reached $100 billion in 2019, on its way to a forecast $300 billion by 2025. 

COVID-19 has sped up these trends. According to Google analysis, 53 percent of online shoppers in APAC say they’ll choose to buy online more frequently after the pandemic, while almost 40 per cent of people who weren’t online shoppers before say they intend to continue buying online. One in three have bought from a brand they didn’t shop with before. 

To help retailers adjust to these changes, we’re offering skills training through Grow with Google and sharing research and insights to inform their business decisions. We’ve launched a playbook and webinar series on how to better manage digital storefronts. And we’re working closely with many of our partners to help merchants manage their products and inventory. This includes global partners like Shopify, and those across the region, including Haravan in Vietnam, Shopline in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and LnwShop in Thailand. 

In advancing our plans with Google Shopping, we hope to build on these programs, providing extra support and relief for Asia Pacific retailers when it’s needed most.  

What’s next? 

Existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads don't have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings. For new users of Merchant Center, we'll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.

We’re looking forward to working even more closely with retailers throughout Asia Pacific, helping shoppers find the products they need more easily, contributing to the recovery from COVID-19, and preparing for longer-term change in regional commerce.

Help local customers reconnect with your store

Since the start of the pandemic, people have built new habits and ways of managing their “new normal.” People and businesses have leaned in to the digital world; in the last six months, we’ve experienced 10 years worth of change. With these changes, we are more committed than ever to helping businesses reopen and recover.

As some communities begin to open up and businesses prepare for the holidays, it’s critical to help consumers know what to expect before they go in store—whether it’s offering opening hours, sharing what’s in stock, or noting if curbside pickup or takeout is available. Here are the new product innovations we unveiled today at DMEXCO that will help you connect with shoppers to grow your local sales.

Bring the best of your business online

People are researching their visits to local stores and restaurants online before they go. For example, searches for "curbside pick up" have grown globally by more than 3,000 percent year over year1 and searches for "takeout restaurants" have grown globally by over 5,000 percent over the same time.2 

Google My Business is a great way to keep customers up to date with the most accurate business information, especially since that information often varies by location. You can add service attributes about your business, like “In-store pickup” and “No-contact delivery”—which appear on Google and the Business Profile page—so customers know how you're operating when planning their visit. 

We’re making more of this type of information available for Local campaigns, to help you connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. You can now highlight dining service attributes like "Dine-in" and "Takeout.” Soon you’ll be able to feature retail service attributes, like "In-store shopping" and "Curbside pickup.” 


Service attributes like “Dine In” and “Curbside pickup” now appear in Local campaign ad formats.

Pilot Flying J is the largest travel center operator in North America with more than 750 locations. They serve professional truck drivers and motorists, selling gas, diesel, convenience store goods and fast food. While stay at home orders decreased the number of motorists utilizing their locations, they remained open throughout the pandemic to provide services and food to essential workers, like professional truck drivers. Pilot Flying J, in partnership with their agency, Tombras, used Local campaigns to reach drivers across Google’s properties, including Maps and Search. Local campaign performance generated nearly a 300 percent increase in store visits to Pilot Flying J locations compared to the previous period. VP of Digital & Loyalty Tyler Tanaka said, “Local campaigns have helped us communicate with nearby drivers on the road and connect them to our travel centers. We can keep them updated in real time so they know we’re open and they can get fuel, food and other essential items at our locations along their route.”

Consumers are also looking for real-time information when it comes to the products they need. Searches containing “available near me” have grown by more than 2X across regions and categories.3 We recently rolled out “Curbside pickup” for local inventory ads to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need and promote safer fulfillment options. Today, we’re expanding this capability with the introduction of “Pickup later” for local inventory ads. This gives you the option to promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be available for pickup within a few days. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.


Show products that can be picked up in store in a few days using new “Pickup later” in local inventory ads.

French DIY and home improvement retailer Castorama launched its curbside pickup service within 48 hours of France going into lockdown. To keep customers informed, the retailer updated its Google My Business profile and started using local inventory ads for the first time to highlight its new curbside pickup offering. Overall, Castorama saw online sales increase tenfold over a ten-week period.

Adjusting to shifting consumer behavior in real time

We know it's more critical than ever to make the most of your marketing investment. Your campaigns need to be able to react in real time to shifts in consumer behavior—whether your customers are purchasing online or at a physical location. Smart Bidding for store visits automatically accounts for fluctuations in online conversions and store visits, and adjusts your bids for each and every ad auction.

Retail and restaurant advertisers will soon be able to use Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize for in-store transactions, not just visits. For example, advertisers can upload their first-party, privacy-safe transaction data to inform ongoing optimization—all with the goal of driving additional sales at the store level. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.

Resources to help you grow your local sales

In addition to today’s announcements, we’re sharing a collection of local sales resources on the Advertising Solutions Center:

Whether you’re a multi-national brand or a smaller, family-owned business, we’re here to help you connect more people to your stores. While we still have much work ahead, we hope these updates will help you on your path to business recovery.

1. Google Data, Global English, Mar 18 - May 16, 2020 vs Mar 18 - May 16, 2019

2. Google Data, Global English, Jun 17, 2020 - Aug 15, 2020 vs Jun 17, 2019 - Aug 15, 2019

3. Google Data, Global English, Feb 26 - Apr 25, 2020 vs Feb 25 - Apr 25, 2019

Shop safely and easily from stores in your community

Convenience and safety are important when you’re deciding how to shop–in fact, we’ve seen Google searches for “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” increase tenfold in the last few months. And while you may want to support the stores nearby that have opened their doors, figuring out the best way to do so can be challenging. Which stores have reopened? Do they have the item you want in stock? Do they offer any services to minimize contact and time in store for shoppers? 

We want to help take away some of the unknowns when it comes to shopping in person. Here are a few ways we’ve improved Shopping results on Google Search, to help you safely and easily support the stores in your community. 

Filter to see what’s locally available 

Want to see an item in person before purchasing, or can’t wait for shipping and delivery? Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a new laptop for working from home, a baby jacket for fall or a grill for backyard barbeques, Google makes it easy for you to see what’s available locally. Simply tap the Shopping tab, and select the Nearby filter at the top of the page or add “near me” to your search to view product options available from stores located near you.  

Google Shopping Nearby

Compare hours, locations and inventory before you go  

It’s now easier to see what’s in stores near you before committing to going in person, with a map view and list of stores in the area. You can check each business’s opening and closing hours, as well as how far each store is from you. You’ll also get a preview of the items they sell that match what you searched for, with a carousel you can scroll through to see pictures and prices of the available products. 

Google Shopping Compare

Safely pick up what you need with curbside or in-store pickup

If you’re worried about how to shop safely, we make it easy to see which stores offer ways to minimize contact while shopping with labels to indicate if shops offer curbside or in-store pickup.

If you’re concerned an item will be out of stock when you get to the store, you can just click to call and speak with someone to confirm inventory. There’s also a direct link to navigation to get you there right away if you’re in a rush. 

Shopping in person comes with new challenges these days, but luckily stores are making it easier to adjust. And if you’re a local business interested in helping shoppers find your store hours, locations, products, and pickup options on Google, you can create or update your Google My Business profile or upload your local product feed through Google Merchant Center.

We’ll keep working to provide more helpful answers to your shopping questions and needs, so that you can safely and easily pick up what you’re looking for while supporting the stores in your community.

Build your brand with YouTube: New ways to drive reach and engage your audience at scale

The digital video boom is here. As people spend more time at home and the need for relevant, fresh content is at an all time high, the shift from linear to digital video is accelerating.

On YouTube in particular, over 2 billion people globally are gravitating toward timely content, from live entertainment like Post Malone's livestreamed living room concerts to transformative current events like rallying cries for racial justice from creators. They are also favoring the TV screen—with watch time growing across regions. In the US for example, watch time on YouTube and YouTube TV on TV screens jumped 80 percent year over year

Leading brands are making the most of YouTube’s massive reach and deeply relevant content to build brand awareness, and ultimately, drive results at scale. Today, we're sharing new ways to help advertisers achieve these goals, including expanded reach planning solutions and advanced contextual targeting—a new and better way to show up in the right contexts for your customers.

Expanded tools to drive efficient reach and fuel your awareness strategy on YouTube

More viewership and the right mix of tools to reach a growing audience means that YouTube can offer incremental reach for the same budget. In the US, our relationship with Nielsen helps advertisers find the right mix. On average, advertisers saw that shifting just 20% of spend from TV to YouTube generated a 25% increase to the total campaign reach within their target audience, lowering the cost per reach point by almost 20%, across 21 Share Shift studies we've commissioned from Nielsen.1 To help global marketers, we are expanding our evaluation of Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings to the UK and Italy.

When marketers include YouTube to drive efficient reach, they are seeing it pay off in real business results. Katie Haniffy, Head of Media, PepsiCo Beverages, turned to YouTube to drive scale and extend reach of Pepsi’s “Gift it Forward” Holiday campaign. The creative, starring Cardi B, celebrated the gifting mindset during the holiday season.  "We knew YouTube had to play a critical role in ‘Gift it Forward’ as it continues to deliver strong performance across the beverage portfolio. The ‘Gift it Forward’ campaign did not disappoint—YouTube drove new brand buyers during the holiday season to the unique audience we wanted to reach.”

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To help you easily plan campaign strategies that take advantage of this incremental reach beyond TV, soon we are also expanding TV data in Reach Planner to more countries, including France, Spain and Vietnam.

Additionally, if you’re looking to plan YouTube with other online video partners, we’re enabling reach planning capabilities across your entire campaign in Display & Video 360 including YouTube, auction and programmatic deals. 


Use Video reach campaigns for a simpler way to buy efficient reach across ad formats. 

Since launch, we’ve seen when advertisers combine skippable in-stream ads and bumpers into one campaign optimized for unique reach, they see higher lifts in Brand Awareness than advertisers who bought either format on its own.4  Marion Carpentier, Omni Business Leader at French men’s wear brand, Jules, says “By combining multiple formats into one campaign on YouTube, we were not only able to reach incremental audiences at a more optimal frequency compared to other video partners, but were able to drive a relative brand lift of 4.9 percent.” 

A new way to show up in the right contexts for your brand

YouTube’s ability to drive mass reach means we can also deliver scale in specific contexts that matter for consumers and your brand. To make it easier to discover the content that’s best for you, today we are announcing YouTube dynamic lineups—powered by advanced contextual targeting.

Advanced contextual targeting is the next generation of content targeting on YouTube. It uses Google's machine learning to better understand each channel on YouTube, including analysis of video imagery, sound, speech and text. 

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How advanced contextual targeting works

This allows us to create lineups5 that are scalable across content based on specific topics, cultural moments or popularity. For example, in addition to home or lifestyle lineups in most markets, you can find more nuanced choices like “home and garden” and “home improvement.” This means better access to customers with unique interests and needs—all with the brand suitability controls that are most important for your business.  

It also means you’re able to drive greater impact for your brand. A recent study conducted by Google and Ipsos in the US found that video advertising based on consumer interest and intent has significantly more impact than demo—with a 32 percent higher lift in ad recall and 100 percent higher lift in purchase intent. 


Complement your audience strategy with dynamic lineups to maximize reach.

Early adopters like OMD are seeing strong results using YouTube dynamic lineups to complement their existing audience strategies. Chrissie Hanson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at OMD says, “Using lineups powered by advanced contextual targeting delivers a more relevant and empathetic understanding of audiences. This in turn serves to drive more relevant reach and efficiencies for our customers, as part of a broader program that leverages audiences and other tactics across YouTube." 

YouTube dynamic lineups are launching on a rolling basis starting today and will be fully available by the end of September in ten markets. They are available across both Google Ads and Display & Video 360, with more countries coming soon.

From sales to ROI—deliver the results that matter

Most importantly, efficient reach and relevant ad experiences must drive not only awareness, but also business results. Across global Marketing Mix Modeling studies we’ve commissioned from Nielsen, we’ve seen YouTube deliver the bottom line results you care about.


Check out our new awareness collection—from success stories to trends

We’re sharing a new collection of resources on our Advertising Solutions Center to help you build awareness for this new world. You’ll hear first-hand perspectives from companies like PepsiCo, Domino’s and Jules, delve into trends driving YouTube viewership and learn about our newest product innovations built to better meet your awareness objectives. We’ll continue to roll out more content on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.

We hope these latest updates will help you build your brand for today, and create resiliency for tomorrow.

Reach out to your Google sales rep to learn more about the solutions above, including best practices on campaign set-up, how to apply for the Video reach campaigns beta and how to access YouTube dynamic lineups in your market.

1. Nielsen Share Shift Meta Analysis commissioned by Google including 21 NMI Share Shift US studies inclusive of YouTube in-app traffic utilizing target audiences running 1/1/19-5/5/20 across desktop, mobile and TV; across 9 demos; average total TV+YouTube budget $17.3M.
2. Nielsen Total Ad Ratings, Pepsi Holiday campaign across TV and YouTube among P18-49, 11/11/19-12/29/19
3.  IRI Lift for YouTube, Pepsi TM Q4’19 Holiday Sales Impact Analysis, June 2020
4. Google Brand Lift, Global, Jan 2019 - May 2020
5.  Lineups are packages of channels based on a topic, cultural moment or popularity.
6. Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, 2016-2018. Base: a list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube Select, Other Digital, and TV results. This list includes 45 studies for US Brands across all CPG categories. ROI is “Retail ROI,” defined as total incremental sales divided by total media spend. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.
7. Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, 2016-2018. Base: a list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital, and TV results. This list includes 117 studies for German Brands across all CPG categories. ROI is “Retail ROI,” defined as total incremental sales divided by total media spend. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.
8. Commissioned Nielsen MMM meta-analysis, 2016-2018. YouTube effectiveness was 8.4 compared to TV effectiveness of 0.19. Base: A list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital and TV results. This list includes 96 studies for  Brazil Brands across all CPG categories.Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.  Effectiveness is defined as total incremental sales per 1,000 impressions. Studies were excluded if either channel had fewer than 500 impressions. The Effectiveness numbers in the claim are impression-weighted averages across all studies for each channel.
9. Commissioned Nielsen MMM meta-analysis, 2016-2018. YouTube effectiveness was $9.69 compared to TV effectiveness of $3.20. Base: A list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2017-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital and TV results. This list includes 37 studies for Japan Brands across all CPG categories.Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters. Effectiveness is defined as total incremental sales per 1,000 impressions (in USD). Studies were excluded if either channel had fewer than 500 impressions. The Effectiveness numbers in the claim are impression-weighted averages across all studies for each channel.

Better conversion measurement for video ads on YouTube and our network

From sparking an idea to helping people make that final decision, online video plays an important role in helping consumers make purchases. In fact, 70 percent of people say they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. For advertisers, measuring video campaigns and conversions accurately has never been more important—or more complex—given all the different paths the consumer journey can take. 

That’s why we’ve been researching engaged-view conversions (EVC), a more robust non-click conversion metric. EVCs measure the conversions that take place after someone views 10 seconds or more of your skippable ad, but doesn’t click, and then converts within a set amount of days. EVCs are a more robust way to measure conversions than view-through conversions (VTCs), an industry standard that measures the conversions that take place after a person views an impression of your ad, but doesn’t click.

We’ve heard from advertisers that it can be challenging to assess the impact of video ad campaigns on conversions when you can’t compare across ad formats. That is why today we’re announcing that by the end of the year we will make engaged-view conversions a standard way of measuring conversions for TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local campaigns and App campaigns. Our vision for the coming year is to give you more transparent reporting across both click and engaged-view conversions, aggregated and anonymously, and new configurability options for conversion measurement to make data-driven media decisions for your business.  

Engaged-view conversions are informed by incrementality studies

Our teams have run large-scale incrementality studies over the years that confirmed the causal impact of video ad campaigns were undervalued when considering clicks alone. Based on these studies, we found that most incremental conversions come from engaged users who are given the option to skip, but choose to watch your ad. In fact, over 60 percent1 of all skips on YouTube direct response in-stream video ads happen before 10 seconds. Therefore, the decision to watch 10 seconds of a skippable ad is a user choice that signals an ‘engaged-view’. When these engaged-views result in conversions within a set amount of days, engaged-view conversions are included in the conversion report.

The incrementality studies we ran also determined the default attribution window for engaged-view conversions. The default attribution window is tailored based on consumer behavior for each campaign goal and is set to three days for TrueView for action, two days for App campaigns for Install and one day for App campaigns for engagement. But you know your business best, and will be able to set the right attribution window based on your customers’ behavior and campaign goals in the coming year.

We look forward to seeing how engaged-view conversions can help you understand the value of your ads and grow your business as user behavior evolves and new viewing habits, devices and experiences become available.

Some of the mentioned features are in beta, contact your Google representative for more details.

1. YouTube data, Global, Dec 2019