Category Archives: Inside AdWords

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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.” 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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

Measure conversions while respecting user consent choices

With so many people around the world turning to online shopping this year, advertisers need to measure how effective their digital campaigns are at driving online sales. What’s more, data-protection authorities in Europe may now require many businesses to obtain consent from users on their digital properties for activities related to advertising and/or analytics—impacting advertisers’ understanding of how users are converting on their sites.

Last month, we shared that we’ve integrated our ads systems with the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v2.0. For businesses that choose to use this method to gather user consent, Google’s ad systems will read and respect the Transparency and Consent String, so businesses can comply with applicable regulations.

For advertisers who choose not to use TCF v2.0, we’re introducing a new solution to offer more flexibility in how they use Google tags alongside their user consent tools. Consent Mode introduces two new tag settings that manage cookies for advertising and analytics purposes for advertisers using the global site tag or Google Tag Manager. These two settings can be used to customize how Google tags behave before and after users make their consent decisions – helping advertisers more effectively measure conversions, while respecting user consent choices for ads cookies and analytics cookies.

Using Consent Mode with Google’s ad platforms

Attributing conversions to the campaign that drove them is a key priority for advertisers. It helps them better optimize campaign bids and reallocate budget towards the best performers. With Consent Mode, advertisers can achieve greater insight into conversion data while also making sure that the Google tags helping them measure conversions are reflecting users' consent choices for ads cookies.

Once Consent Mode is implemented, advertisers will have access to a new tag setting, “ad_storage,” which controls cookie behavior for advertising purposes, including conversion measurement. If a user does not provide consent for ads cookies, Google tags will not use cookies for advertising purposes.

Let’s say someone visits your website and makes their consent selection for the use of ads cookies on your cookie consent banner. With Consent Mode, your Google tags will be able to determine whether or not permission has been given for your site to use cookies for advertising purposes for that user. If a user consents, conversion measurement reporting continues normally. If a user does not consent, the relevant Google tags will adjust accordingly and not use ads cookies, instead measuring conversions at a more aggregate level.

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With Consent Mode, you can update Google tag behavior based on the user consent selection.

With Consent Mode, campaigns running on Google Ads, Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360 will be able to continue reporting conversions – while respecting users’ consent choices for ads cookies. And because you’re able to retain conversion measurement in your campaign reporting, you’ll be able to continue attributing conversions to the right campaign and optimize your campaign bidding efficiently.

Using Consent Mode with Google Analytics

Consent Mode also works with Google Analytics. This means that Analytics will be able to understand and respect user consent for ads cookies. For example, when the “ad_storage” tag setting is disabled for unconsented users, Analytics will not read or write ads cookies, meaning that optional features that rely on Google signals, like remarketing, will be disabled.

In addition to the “ad_storage” tag setting, Consent Mode provides advertisers with a new tag setting, “analytics_storage,” which controls analytics cookie usage. Let’s say you would like to request consent for both analytics and ads cookies from users on your website. You can use Consent Mode to update Google tag behavior based on the user selection for each type of cookie. Analytics will adjust data collection based on user consent for each of the “ad_storage” and “analytics_storage” settings. For example, if a user does not provide consent for ads cookies (and therefore advertising purposes are disabled), but does provide consent for analytics cookies, advertisers will still be able to measure site behavior and conversions in Analytics as the “analytics_storage” setting will be enabled.

Getting started

Consent Mode is available in beta to a limited number of advertisers that operate in Europe and already use the global site tag or Tag Manager. To learn more about the feature, visit our Help Center here.

If you’re interested in getting started with Consent Mode, please reach out to your Google account team. Implementing Consent Mode requires adding a few lines of code above your global site tag or Tag Manager container. To help with this process, we have partnered closely with several Consent Management Platforms. A few are already integrated with Consent Mode and are ready to help.

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Consent Management Platforms that are already integrated with Consent Mode.

Changes designed to improve user privacy are continuing to impact the digital advertising ecosystem, and we’re committed to helping your business navigate this new environment. To learn more about steps you can take, download our privacy playbook. And stay tuned for more new capabilities to help you manage and respect user consent choices for ads and analytics cookies across platforms.

How retailers can get ready for the holidays and beyond

Consumer behaviors are changing as people adjust to new stay-at-home lifestyles and retailers are working as fast as they can to keep up. People are spending more time online than ever before and are turning to Google to explore, research and plan their purchases—both online and in the real world. 

As a result of COVID-19, we’re seeing distinct changes in consumer shopping behavior that will likely continue through the holidays. First, e-commerce has become the front door to the store as consumers more carefully plan their visits to physical stores. Second, consumers will shop what matters—deals and discounts—as well as value-driven and mission-driven brands. Retailers can help by meeting consumers where they feel most comfortable shopping.

Digital tools can help retailers connect with shoppers as they plan their next purchase. Here are some updates we've made to our products to make it even easier. 


Help shoppers plan their visits to your stores

In an effort to stay safe and shop comfortably, consumers want to verify hours, confirm inventory, and check for options like curbside pickup before making a visit. In a recent survey, 67 percent of holiday shoppers said they will confirm online that an item is in stock before going to the store to buy it.

In addition to Search, Google Maps has become a key tool to reach and engage with potential shoppers as they plan their visit. With Local campaigns, you can connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing for businesses like yours across Maps, Search, YouTube and Display. Businesses are using Local campaigns right now to share open status, provide health and safety updates, or highlight in-store options like curbside pickup and promotions on a store-by-store basis. Starting today, you can optimize Local campaigns for store visit indicators like clicks on “directions” or “calls.” This will make it possible for even more businesses to access Local campaigns.

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You can now run Local campaigns even if you don’t have store visits, by leveraging bidding for clicks on “calls” or “directions”

Location extensions can also help people find your stores by showing your ads with your address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business. Now it’s easier for major retailers and chains to set up location extensions by selecting their store locations from a curated list from Google. In just a few clicks, choose the chain you want to promote to quickly create a location extension. We’ll review to make sure the chain is a good match for your business using signals like its website domain and country. Later, you can use location groups to filter for specific locations within that chain. Google’s curated location lists allow you to use the same location information that powers Google Maps.

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Set up location extensions faster by selecting your locations from a curated list, right in your Google Ads account

Retail store owners have a lot to manage during these strange times, but don’t forget to keep your Google My Business profile updated if you change your store hours or your operating procedures. 


Highlight your promotions across Google

As worries about the economy continue, deal-seeking behaviors have intensified. Whether people ultimately purchase online or in-store, shoppers are expecting discounts and even 58 percent of holiday shoppers will hold off on buying gift items until they are on sale.1

This year, we’re doing more to help you get discovered by holiday deal-seekers. Shoppers in the U.S. searching for items on sale or Black Friday deals will see expanded sales filters on google.com/shopping. Promotions, which populate these sales filters—and on average increase conversion rates by 28 percent,2—will be easier and faster to use. You’ll be able to support flash sales and last minute discounts with near instant promotion approvals on eligible offers and easy editing of your live promotions (U.S. only).


Join us today for Think Retail on Air 

We're here to help you be ready for whatever comes next—including a holiday season unlike any other. For more details on how to prepare for the holidays and beyond, join us for Think Retail on Air which kicks off in just a few hours at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT.
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Marie Gulin-Merle and Bill Ready help retailers prepare for what’s next at Think Retail on Air

Hear from brands like Walgreens, Petco and lululemon, along with Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready and Retail Industry Director Sarah Travis, as they share consumer insights, trends and strategies to help you navigate this changing environment. Later this week, we'll follow up with sessions by Google experts on best practices to drive online sales, grow local sales and inspire new customers.

Consumer behaviors are changing fast, and it’s harder than ever to be a retailer. We’re here to help you connect people to your stores and what you sell—no matter where they want to buy it—this holiday season, and beyond.


1. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US n=745 18 +online consumers who plan to shop for the holidays. June 25-28

2. Google internal A/B testing data from Nov 2019 - Feb 2020, analyzing Shopping ads conversion rate with a promotion annotation versus Shopping ads without an annotation, including 9569 advertisers across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, India and Australia

“Accelerating Retail” in Europe, Middle East and Africa

Online tools have been a lifeline for many in lockdown, helping people stay connected with loved ones, work remotely, access news and information, and shop for essentials. The use of technology by people and businesses leapt forward perhaps five years over a period of eight weeks, and internet usage increased by 60 percent. Changes in consumer behavior are driving businesses to adapt the way they communicate with customers, while retailers around the world have seen their business models turned upside down.


Because of this big shift, digital tools and skills will be a vital catalyst to accelerate an economic comeback. Earlier this summer we pledged to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa find jobs, digitize and grow over the next 18 months. Retail, which accounts for more than 9 percent of jobs in the EU alone, will play a pivotal role in the recovery.


Today we’re kicking off "Accelerating Retail," a month of activities dedicated to helping retailers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accelerate their business recovery and growth to be ready for what comes next. We’re helping retailers of all sizes across the region be ready for the peak shopping season, and working in close partnership with local commerce and trade associations in many countries. Over the next month, we'll introduce new products, tools, free training, unique real time insights and other resources—what follows is a brief snapshot of some of this.

Consumer needs have changed, and retailers need to respond

As the world around us has changed, consumer online shopping has leapt forward and decision-making has become more complex. Our Decoding Decisions study identified a “messy middle,” the space between a consumer starting their research and making a purchase, where they navigate the explosion of choice and information available to them both online and offline. 


The messy middle has become even messier over the course of the pandemic—our needs changed, product and store availability became unpredictable. Shoppers have become more open to new brands and outlets, but they also need more help than ever to find the right product at the right price at the right time and place. This big shift is an opportunity for retail businesses large and small. 


We’re here to help retailers respond effectively—so they can quickly understand and act on consumer changes while building their brand both at store and online.

Recovery and growth through digital 

Online retail demand has grown exponentially, and businesses need a great customer experience to be competitive and build brand recognition. That’s why we’re rolling out a new version of Grow My Store in multiple countries, including Germany, France, Netherlands and Turkey. Grow My Store helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize online customer experience,  to successfully complete  transactions. Any business can enter their website URL into the tool to receive a customized report, industry benchmarks, digital traffic trends and actionable tips to improve. 

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We’re also making it easier for retailers to reach the right potential customers. We’ll be upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to help with new customer acquisition and simplify advertiser onboarding. 

Meanwhile, for the first time we’ve released insights for specific fast-rising retail categories around the world via a new interactive tool in Google Search—including the queries associated with them.

What's next for online shopping

As online spend continues to grow, retail success will depend on delivering an integrated online/offline purchase experience. New research we’ve conducted in collaboration with Euromonitor found that in the next five years, most purchases will still be made in store—but retailers who bring together their digital and in-store offerings will make the biggest gains even if customers eventually choose to buy in store. Since consumers shop both online and offline, multichannel retailers and online marketplaces will drive 86 percent of the sales growth by 2024. The future of retail is not about either physical or online presence but an integrated consumer experience.

While there might be more change and uncertainty on the horizon, retail is critical to every region’s broader economic recovery. By embracing digital opportunities, retail businesses can drive resilience and growth. 

Look out for our "Accelerating Retail" updates through September—we're here to help retailers make the most of digital opportunities and prepare for what's next.

Updates on our work to improve user privacy in digital advertising

Privacy is core to our work at Google, and to our vision for a thriving internet where people around the world can continue to access ad-supported content, while also feeling confident that their data is protected. But in order to get there, we must increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected—not worked around or ignored. 

Today we’re sharing updates on our work in these areas, including new tools that provide people more information about the ads they see. We’re also introducing new resources for marketers and publishers that offer guidance on how to navigate today’s privacy environment, along with real-world examples from brands and media companies who are delivering effective, privacy-forward ad experiences that use data responsibly.


Greater transparency, more control

For many years Google has offered a feature called Why this ad, where from an icon in a digital ad, users can get more information on some of the factors that were used to select the ad for them, or choose to stop seeing that ad. There are over 15 million user interactions per day with Why this ad as people seek to learn more about and control the ads they see, and we recently extended this feature to ads on connected TVs. 

Over the next few months, we’ll be making improvements to the experience with a new feature called About this ad, which will also show users the verified name of the advertiser behind each ad. About this ad will initially be available for display ads purchased through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and we’ll bring it to other ad surfaces throughout 2021.

About-this-cropped_600pxwide.gif

Our commitment to increase transparency and offer users more control goes beyond the ads Google shows. Due to the complexity of the digital ads ecosystem and the large number of entities involved, it’s typically not clear to users which companies are even involved in showing them an ad. To provide people with detailed information about all the ads they see on the web, we’re releasing a new tool called Ads Transparency Spotlight, now available to try out as an alpha extension from the Chrome Web Store. We’ll continue to improve this extension based on feedback from users, and over time we expect to offer additional disclosures about ads, as well as introduce controls. Our hope is that other technology providers will build similar transparency and control capabilities into the experiences they offer as well.


Evolving the ad-supported internet

Chrome continues to explore more privacy-forward ways for the web browser to support digital ads with the Privacy Sandbox open standards initiative. As part of the Privacy Sandbox, several proposals have been published for new APIs that would solve for use cases like ad selection, conversion measurement, and fraud protection in a way that doesn’t reveal identifying information about individual users. One of the proposed APIs, for trust tokens that could combat ad fraud by distinguishing between bots and real users, is now available for testing by developers, and more will move to live testing soon.

Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers and advertisers, Chrome plans to phase out support for third-party cookies. These proposals are being actively discussed in forums like the W3C. Our ads team is actively contributing to this dialog—as we encourage any interested party to do—and we expect to incorporate the new solutions into our products in the years ahead.

We’re also exploring a range of other approaches to improve user privacy while ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and advertisers can reach the right people for their products. For example, we support the use of advertiser and publisher first-party data (based on direct interactions with customers they have relationships with) to deliver more relevant and helpful experiences—as long as users have transparency and control over the use of that data. What is not acceptable is the use of opaque or hidden techniques that transfer data about individual users and allow them to be tracked in a covert manner, such as fingerprinting. We believe that any attempts to track people or obtain information that could identify them, without their knowledge and permission, should be blocked. We’ll continue to take a strong position against these practices.

Much of the recent conversation about improving the privacy of digital ads has been focused on the web, but there are a range of environments in which people engage with digital ads. Our technical approach and the implementation details may vary based on the unique characteristics of each, but our vision to uplevel user privacy while preserving access to free content is consistent across web, mobile app, connected TV, digital audio—and whatever the next area to emerge may be.


Guidance for advertisers and publishers

The future state of digital advertising promises new technologies, new standards, and better, more sustainable approaches, but it will take some time to get there. We recognize the unease that many in the industry feel during this period of transition. While there is certainly more change on the horizon, it’s critical that marketers and publishers do not wait to take action. 

To help you prepare, we’ve assembled a number of recommendations for marketers and publishers to consider today. From best practices for building direct relationships with your customers and managing data, to tips for evaluating your partner and vendor relationships, to actionable examples for using machine learning and the cloud, these playbooks offer practical guidance and numerous real-world examples of companies that are successfully navigating today’s changing privacy landscape. 

We’ll continue our work to move the digital ads industry towards a more privacy-forward future. In the meantime, make sure your organization is having an active discussion about privacy and that you are taking steps now to plan for what lies ahead.

New ways to put your customers first and achieve your marketing objectives

Life looks very different now for my family than it did earlier this year. From juggling work priorities to managing distance learning for my kids, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. As we adapt, we’re relying on our phones to get things done.

How can brands lend a hand? We believe there are three key ways to put consumers at the core of your strategy: help people quickly get what they want, deliver relevant information and make it easy for your customers to take action.

Today, we’re sharing new ways to put your customers first and achieve your marketing objectives.


Help people get what they want, faster

The stakes are high on mobile. If you don’t give people what they want quickly, they’ll take their business elsewhere. In fact, we recently found that for retail sites, improving your site load time by 0.1s can help you improve conversion rates by 8 percent.

Test My Site has been an important tool for helping diagnose site speed and providing custom tips on how to make it faster. Today, we updated the tool to provide specific recommendations on how you can improve your mobile site—beyond speed—and deliver more personalized and seamless experiences. Key updates include:

  • Aligning speed metrics with Web Vitals, an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that, we believe, are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. When marketers and developers share the same definition of success, it’s easier to agree on what’s driving results.

  • Customized tips on how to make your site experience relevant and easy to use. For example, learn how to build a one-step checkout and keep customers coming back with relevant push notifications. 

TMS_3.gif

Improve your mobile site to boost your business

To get started, visit Test My Site to see how your site is doing and download your customized report—with sections for both marketers and developers—that you can share with your team.


Deliver more engaging and helpful ad experiences 

Many marketers already use feeds in Display, Shopping and Local campaigns to quickly upload and showcase products in your ads. With more product images directly in your ad, consumers are able to easily and seamlessly find what they’re shopping for. In the coming months, we’ll roll out feeds in App campaigns globally to all customers. According to beta testing, advertisers using feeds saw, on average, 6 percent more installs from Google.com and 17 percent more in-app actions (like log-ins and purchases) on sites and apps in our network.

GML_feeds_channels_mocks_06.16.2020-01 copy.jpg

Surface relevant information about what your app offers

Wish, an e-commerce company, used feeds to display diverse products from its marketplace. Wish also enabled deferred deep linking, which gave new app users a smoother onboarding experience—from app install straight to the item they saw in the ad.

Here’s how it works: if a new user taps on a Wish ad for running shoes, she will be directed to her app store to install the Wish app. After installing and opening the app for the first time, she would automatically land on the running shoes’ product page to learn more or make a purchase.

GML_feeds_DDL_flow (final) copy.jpg

Take new app users directly to the products they want to see with deferred deep linking

Since adopting feeds and deferred deep linking, Wish has seen a 105 percent increase in purchases from its app at a similar CPA. “These features have made our app more discoverable and appealing to customers,” says Krishanth Kathiresan, Wish’s Head of Growth Marketing. “It’s a scalable way for us to drive more lower-funnel user engagement and, most importantly, mobile orders.”

To get started, you can reach out to your account manager to join our beta or learn more.


Make it easier for your customers to take action

Loyal customers stick with brands that make it easy for them to get things done. For customers who already have your app installed, deep linking lets them get to the relevant page in the app without having to log in or re-enter information. 

Last year at Google Marketing Live, we announced app deep linking from Search, Display and Shopping ads. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out deep linking from YouTube, Hotel, Gmail and Discovery ads. On average, deep linked ad experiences drive 2X the conversion rates.

Let’s say, your customer is watching a cooking video on YouTube and sees a discount for “2-hour grocery delivery.” Once she taps on the ad, she’s taken directly to a page in the store’s app to place an order.  

Deep linking expansion (final).png

Direct customers from your YouTube ad to your app

Rakuten Ichiba, a Japanese e-commerce company, found that enabling deep linking helped its loyal customers take action on ads directly in the brand’s app, resulting in 4X mobile purchases and 3X conversions. 

App deep linking introduces an important and seamless path to conversion. To give you better insight into where consumers are landing and converting from your ads, you can start to use ad destination reporting in Google Ads—available globally starting today.

Ad destination reporting (final).png

See where consumers are landing and converting from your ads

For example, let’s say you’re a retailer with both a website and app. With the ad destination report, you can see in the “App deep link” row that these ads drive a higher conversion rate at a lower cost per conversion.

To get started with reporting for your app, use Google Analytics for Firebase or work with one of our App Attribution Program partners


Learn more

To learn more about how you can be there for your customers while achieving your app and mobile marketing objectives, visit our Advertising Solutions Center.

Source: Google Ads


New ways to put your customers first and achieve your marketing objectives

Life looks very different now for my family than it did earlier this year. From juggling work priorities to managing distance learning for my kids, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. As we adapt, we’re relying on our phones to get things done.

How can brands lend a hand? We believe there are three key ways to put consumers at the core of your strategy: help people quickly get what they want, deliver relevant information and make it easy for your customers to take action.

Today, we’re sharing new ways to put your customers first and achieve your marketing objectives.


Help people get what they want, faster

The stakes are high on mobile. If you don’t give people what they want quickly, they’ll take their business elsewhere. In fact, we recently found that for retail sites, improving your site load time by 0.1s can help you improve conversion rates by 8 percent.

Test My Site has been an important tool for helping diagnose site speed and providing custom tips on how to make it faster. Today, we updated the tool to provide specific recommendations on how you can improve your mobile site—beyond speed—and deliver more personalized and seamless experiences. Key updates include:

  • Aligning speed metrics with Web Vitals, an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that, we believe, are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. When marketers and developers share the same definition of success, it’s easier to agree on what’s driving results.

  • Customized tips on how to make your site experience relevant and easy to use. For example, learn how to build a one-step checkout and keep customers coming back with relevant push notifications. 

TMS_3.gif

Improve your mobile site to boost your business

To get started, visit Test My Site to see how your site is doing and download your customized report—with sections for both marketers and developers—that you can share with your team.


Deliver more engaging and helpful ad experiences 

Many marketers already use feeds in Display, Shopping and Local campaigns to quickly upload and showcase products in your ads. With more product images directly in your ad, consumers are able to easily and seamlessly find what they’re shopping for. In the coming months, we’ll roll out feeds in App campaigns globally to all customers. According to beta testing, advertisers using feeds saw, on average, 6 percent more installs from Google.com and 17 percent more in-app actions (like log-ins and purchases) on sites and apps in our network.

GML_feeds_channels_mocks_06.16.2020-01 copy.jpg

Surface relevant information about what your app offers

Wish, an e-commerce company, used feeds to display diverse products from its marketplace. Wish also enabled deferred deep linking, which gave new app users a smoother onboarding experience—from app install straight to the item they saw in the ad.

Here’s how it works: if a new user taps on a Wish ad for running shoes, she will be directed to her app store to install the Wish app. After installing and opening the app for the first time, she would automatically land on the running shoes’ product page to learn more or make a purchase.

GML_feeds_DDL_flow (final) copy.jpg

Take new app users directly to the products they want to see with deferred deep linking

Since adopting feeds and deferred deep linking, Wish has seen a 105 percent increase in purchases from its app at a similar CPA. “These features have made our app more discoverable and appealing to customers,” says Krishanth Kathiresan, Wish’s Head of Growth Marketing. “It’s a scalable way for us to drive more lower-funnel user engagement and, most importantly, mobile orders.”

To get started, you can reach out to your account manager to join our beta or learn more.


Make it easier for your customers to take action

Loyal customers stick with brands that make it easy for them to get things done. For customers who already have your app installed, deep linking lets them get to the relevant page in the app without having to log in or re-enter information. 

Last year at Google Marketing Live, we announced app deep linking from Search, Display and Shopping ads. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out deep linking from YouTube, Hotel, Gmail and Discovery ads. On average, deep linked ad experiences drive 2X the conversion rates.

Let’s say, your customer is watching a cooking video on YouTube and sees a discount for “2-hour grocery delivery.” Once she taps on the ad, she’s taken directly to a page in the store’s app to place an order.  

Deep linking expansion (final).png

Direct customers from your YouTube ad to your app

Rakuten Ichiba, a Japanese e-commerce company, found that enabling deep linking helped its loyal customers take action on ads directly in the brand’s app, resulting in 4X mobile purchases and 3X conversions. 

App deep linking introduces an important and seamless path to conversion. To give you better insight into where consumers are landing and converting from your ads, you can start to use ad destination reporting in Google Ads—available globally starting today.

Ad destination reporting (final).png

See where consumers are landing and converting from your ads

For example, let’s say you’re a retailer with both a website and app. With the ad destination report, you can see in the “App deep link” row that these ads drive a higher conversion rate at a lower cost per conversion.

To get started with reporting for your app, use Google Analytics for Firebase or work with one of our App Attribution Program partners


Learn more

To learn more about how you can be there for your customers while achieving your app and mobile marketing objectives, visit our Advertising Solutions Center.

Source: Google Ads