Tag Archives: Shopping Ads

How retailers can stand out this holiday season

The holiday season is just around the corner and consumers are already ramping up their shopping. For example, U.S. searches for “holiday gift ideas” in August have already surpassed 2020 levels. As of June, 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers said they will shop online more this season than in previous years and 59% said they will shop earlier to avoid an item being out of stock.1

Consumers are leaning into the blended online and in-store shopping experience, with digital-first behaviors like curbside pickup and buy-online-pick-up-in-store likely to continue as we head into the holidays. As of mid-August, 70% of U.S. shoppers are buying the majority of the items they need in stores, compared to 61% in June.2 For more holiday insights to help you prepare for your busiest season, tune in later today for Think Retail on Air at 10 a.m. PDT

Get ready to meet customers wherever they like to shop! Here’s a checklist to help you maximize success during the most important shopping season of the year.

1. Highlight your differentiated fulfillment options

Quick shipping and easy returns are top-of-mind for shoppers this year; 78% of U.S. holiday shoppers say they will shop at stores that offer free shipping.3 Today, we are announcing new shipping and return annotations in Google Search and Shopping results – across free and paid listings. Shoppers can now see when their orders will arrive, with shipping annotations like "Free delivery by Fri, Dec 24,” “Get it by Dec 24” and “Free X-day” for products that ship for free in five business days or less. 

To give shoppers more confidence in their purchases, you can now indicate extended holiday return windows with return annotations like "Free 90 day returns" or "Free returns until Jan 31.”

Two phones are depicted showing shoes for sale on the Shopping tab. The phone on the left highlights a pair and reads “Free delivery by Fri, Dec 24” and the one on the right highlights a pair and reads “Free 90 day returns.”

Highlight your holiday shipping and return options to shoppers

2. Showcase your products in more places across Google

Every day, hundreds of millions of people come to Google to shop and explore products. Showcase your products in free listings across Google to help them find what they’re looking for. If you useShopify, WooCommerceor GoDaddy, you can now get started right from their platform. Seamlessly sync your products to show up on Google for free and boost your products to reach even more shoppers with Smart Shopping campaigns to utilize machine learning, or Shopping campaigns to maximize control. 

You can also turn your YouTube video into a virtual storefront to showcase your most popular items. Connect a product feed to either your Video action campaigns to drive customers to your site, or to your App campaigns to take them to your app. In the coming weeks, most advertisers will be able to link a product feed to Discovery ads to show more relevant products in moments where customers are exploring their interests in Google’s feeds. 

There are four phones all depicting screenshots of available shopping formats on Google. The first shows images of indoor plants for sale on the Shopping tab. The second shows beauty products, like lotion, available for sale under a YouTube ad advertising the same brand. The third shows the same beauty products for sale in an ad on the YouTube Home Feed. The final image shows homegoods, like lamps and storage baskets for sale within an App ad.

Showcase your products in free listings on the Shopping tab, or promote your products using Video action campaigns, Discovery ads and App campaigns

3. Connect with shoppers in the physical world

Shoppers don’t just turn to Google for things they want to buy on the web; they also use Google to find what they need nearby. For example, searches for "open now near me" have grown globally by more than 200% year over year.4 In the U.S., searches for “local gift shops near me” have increased 440% in just the past month as people switch between online and offline shopping — more than ever before. If your physical stores are open for in-store shopping, it's crucial to make sure your customers can easily find you online.

Start by building your digital storefront, so shoppers can find information about your nearby stores and the products you have available in them. Keep your Business Profile up to date to ensure customers see accurate business hours, in-store services and safety measures. Help customers feel more confident in their in-store shopping trips by listing your local products for free on Google, or promoting those available for in-store pickup or curbside pickup using local inventory ads

If you have store-specific goals, like in-store promotions or location reopenings, you can promote your stores to local shoppers using Local campaigns. Easily connect with holiday shoppers searching for businesses like yours on Google Maps, Search, YouTube and the Google Display Network and help them find what they need at your local store.

Many of your customers alternate between shopping online and in-store depending on their comfort level and community guidelines. Google offers a variety of ways to measure the impact that your online ads have on your physical store, including store visits and store sales measurement. You can then act on this data by adding it to your Smart Bidding to grow total sales, whether they happen online or offline.

There are two phones showing products for sale that are available in-store. The first shows the products tab on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Business Profile page on Google. The second shows a Google Search results page advertising dog beds that are available for curbside pickup or pick up today in nearby stores.

Show products available in-store in your Business Profile for free (left) or those available for curbside pickup via local inventory ads (right)

4. Prepare for the rush using automated formats, planning tools & reports

It's more challenging this year to plan your holiday marketing campaigns, so we’ve introduced more tools and reports to help you focus on profitability. Starting with seeing the most popular brands and products, check out the best sellers report to help you decide which new brands and products to stock for the holidays. If you’re running sales or promotions to move inventory especially in the lead up to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, then you’ll soon be able to see real-time with deals reporting in Merchant Center.

As you set up your ad campaigns for success, tools like the Insights page and Performance Planner can help you identify trends and plan budgets so you’re not missing out on shopper demand. And if your business has an app, you can verify you’re sending shoppers to the right places in your app using two new tools: the deep link validator and impact calculator

Grab your virtual front row seat at Think Retail on Air

For more holiday shopping insights, join us for Think Retail on Air today at 10 a.m. PDT. After the live keynote, we’ll have hands-on sessions where we’ll dive deeper into specific product solutions and best practices. If we’ll miss you at 10 a.m. PDT today, you can catch it on demand anytime after the live show. 

We hope these solutions can help you prepare for a successful holiday season!


1. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US n-506 Online consumers 18+ that plan to shop for the holidays, June 17-20, 2021
2.  Ipsos COVID-19 Tracker, US ~n=1000 online consumers 18+ per market. Aug 12-15, 2021
3. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US n=515  online consumers 18+ who will shop for the holiday season. June 17-20, 2021
4. Google Data, Global English, Jun 1, 2021 - Jul 30, 2021 vs Jun 1, 2020 - Jul 30, 2020

Think Retail on Air is Tuesday, August 31 at 10 a.m. PDT

It’s time to get ready for the holiday season! This year, we expect shoppers to continue using the digital-first services they learned during the pandemic, like curbside pickup and grocery delivery, in combination with in-store shopping trips. We see this across Google, where searches for "now near me" have grown globally by more than 100% year over year and searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased globally by 5,000% year over year.1

To help you capture the opportunity this holiday season, we’re hosting Think Retail on Air 2021 on Tuesday, August 31 at 10 a.m. PDT. During this virtual event, we’ll share the latest holiday shopping insights, category trends and Google solutions to help you prepare your business for the holidays. You’ll hear from product experts and industry leaders, including:

Image depicts 6 people along with their names, job title and company. The first is Matt Madrigal, VP/GM, Merchant Shopping at Google. The next person is Suchi Sastri, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group. The next person is Christina Willis, Director of Marketing at Best Buy. Then there is Jen Meacham, Shopping Sales Specialist at Google. Then, Karolline Maciel Mariano, Product Lead, Automation at Google. Finally, Chris Card, Head of Industry, Video at Google.

After the live keynote, you’ll be able to tune in to our hands-on sessions. Be sure to join the right track for you, based on your business’ needs and level of readiness:

  • If you're looking for a holistic overview, be sure to watch the “Google Academy holiday best practices” sessions for growing online sales and growing in-store sales. 

  • If you’re looking to dive deeper into specific product solutions, or just want to learn more, be sure to watch the “Advanced strategies for growth” sessions in the other tab. 

Register now to reserve your virtual front row seat!


1. Google Data, Global English, Jan 26, 2021 - Mar 26, 2021 vs Jan 26, 2020 - Mar 26, 2020

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.


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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.

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.

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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 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

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

Decoding decisions to grow online sales

With more consumers sheltering at home, digital adoption has rapidly accelerated and changed consumer shopping behavior globally. Consumers are looking for new and delightful products related to the home; for example, searches for “planter box” grew 200 percent year over year globally. They’re finding ways to celebrate from afar, with global searches for “online gift” increasing by over 100 percent year over year, and we saw 600 percent more searches for “click and collect” year over year, indicating shoppers around the world are keen to skip delivery and get what they need right now.

With so much information and choice available online, the space between the purchase trigger and the purchase itself has become incredibly complex. Through the lens of behavioral science, our latest Decoding Decisions research reveals how shoppers manage this complexity—we call it the “messy middle”—and codifies behavior into two mental modes: exploration (an expansive activity) and evaluation (a reductive activity). Discoveries made in the “messy middle” often determine the outcome, so it’s a critical space for businesses to connect with shoppers and win brand favor.

We’re focused on helping you influence the hundreds of millions of shoppers who come to Google every day. Today, we’re adding new ways to showcase and augment your brand and products visually to spark action across Search, Shopping, and Display ads; optimize and grow your customer acquisition volume; and amplify your e-Commerce experience.

Rich, personalized creatives across Search, Shopping, and Display ads

Rich ad creatives are the key to engaging shoppers as they navigate the “messy middle.” Of people who shop online, 85 percent say product information and pictures are important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. Recently, we shared how Discovery ads can help you visually inspire shoppers scrolling their feeds on YouTube, Discover, and Gmail as well as how you can make your videos shoppable on YouTube. Today, we’re bringing the same rich product experience to Search, Shopping, and Display ads.

To help you grow online sales with your Search ads, we’re launching an image extensions beta program. You can easily add high-quality, rich assets, so shoppers can quickly see products to consider and take action faster. With image extensions, you can upload relevant images or automatically curate them from your website with machine learning. Hugo Boss used image extensions with responsive search ads and saw a 2.5x improvement in ROI and 5 percent bump in clickthrough rates.

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New image extension beta on Google Search to visually represent your brand and products

In addition to rich image assets, we’re introducing new ways to further personalize and curate your responsive search ads for today’s shoppers. You can now dynamically highlight sales or time-sensitive deals with a countdown and get suggestions on how to promote online availability, shipping, and returns.

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New responsive search ad features to highlight your sales, promotions and shipping offerings

For retailers, we’re offering more visual ways to stand out from the competition with Smart Shopping campaigns.1 Beginning today in the U.S., you can now highlight features like free and fast shipping, which has shown to increase average conversion rates by 9 percent. Later this year, you’ll be able to better differentiate with a dynamically curated carousel of your most relevant products in a new immersive, browsable shopping experience plus include video content in your Display ads.

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New visual shopping formats in the United States through Smart Shopping campaigns with free and fast shipping annotations; an immersive, browsable shopping experience; and videos on Display ads

Building on the innovation from Search and Shopping ads, we’re updating the look and feel for responsive display ads so you can better engage shoppers as they browse millions of sites and apps with your Display campaigns. Starting today, you have new creative layouts, automatically generated video ads, and updated dynamic ads—which can now display your business name alongside your logo, emphasize your latest promotions, and even spotlight a single product.

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Updated look and feel of dynamic display ads, featuring beauty brand COSMEDIX

Automated bidding to find the right shopper 

Smart Bidding evaluates over 1 million combinations of relevant contextual signals present during the auction like time of day, device type, or operating system. This means you’ll reach the right customers at the right time to drive more online sales—even when consumer demand fluctuates across Google—in real-time.

Last week, we shared several new tools like portfolio bid strategies and bid strategy reports to get more performance out of every dollar. Building on that, as of today, you’ll be able to optimize your Smart Shopping campaign to grow online sales specifically from new customers.1 Retailers who participated in early testing for new customer acquisition are already seeing great results. IT Cosmetics, a makeup and skincare brand, added the new customer acquisition goal to their Smart Shopping campaign and saw a 188 percent increase in revenue from new customers.

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Smart Shopping campaigns’ new customer acquisition value

Resources and tools to achieve a fast, frictionless e-Commerce experience

The need for a fast, frictionless e-Commerce experience, particularly on mobile, has never been more prevalent. Businesses who embrace digital, particularly in our current environment, are able to engage consumers like never before.

“[Digital and e-Commerce] has allowed us over the pandemic to reach people where they are absolutely unequivocally spending the most of their time, which is online on screen.” 
- Christina Tosi, owner of Milk Bar

Today, we’re sharing a new collection of Online Sales resources on our Advertising Solutions Center. You’ll find our latest customer research that delves deeper into the “messy middle,” hear from businesses who pivoted to digital, and learn about our newest product innovations and resources to improve your e-Commerce experience. We’ll continue to roll out more videos about our new products on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.

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New collection of Online Sales resources on the Advertising Solutions Center

We hope these latest updates will help businesses capture online shopping demand and achieve their marketing objectives.


1. 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.

Helping businesses and nonprofits recover

In the last few months, COVID-19 has impacted businesses in profound ways. Throughout that time, I’ve heard from organizations, large and small, how they’re staying connected with customers through technology. This has always been core to my team’s purpose, but we can do more to help businesses and nonprofits through this crisis.

Today we’re announcing a $200 million increase to our annual Ad Grants commitment, to offer a total of $1 billion to better support nonprofits. This $1 billion helps nonprofits around the world that are tackling pressing issues like COVID-19 response and recovery, especially in developing economies. And we’re doing more.

Typically during this time of year, we gather at Google Marketing Live, our annual event to discuss new products and hear feedback from you. In lieu of our in-person event, throughout this summer we’ll host “virtual product roundtables” with our product managers, announce a number of new products, share new insights and kick off a new weekly video series, The Update on Think with Google, discussing industry trends and best practices. 

Helping businesses and organizations recover is the first topic we'll explore. Today we’re sharing updates for small businesses ahead of a Google-wide initiative, International Small Business Week, taking place June 22-27. This is a week dedicated to celebrating small businesses when we’ll share tips, trainings and products to help them get back on their feet. 


Helping consumers connect with businesses 

As people spend more time at home, we’ve seen searches for local services, like “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair” increase by 50 percent in recent months. We’re now making it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the U.S. Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy, local professionals backed by the Google Guarantee. Later this month, we’re also launching a new mobile site for the U.S. and Canada, to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster. 


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Book local service providers directly on Google Search

As people search for products they urgently need and limit their in-person store interactions, they’re looking for real-time updates on product availability at local stores. Searches for “curbside pickup” and “in stock” have surged by more than 70 percent in recent months. Our goal is to help people find and buy the things they need, quickly and easily. Starting today the Shopping tab will show helpful local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options like delivery and curbside pickup. This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.


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New to the Shopping tab: curbside pickup and more information for local stores

Helping businesses connect with customers

For many small businesses around the world, digital tools have become a lifeline this year. 1 in 3 small business owners say that without digital tools, they would have had to close all or part of their business. With businesses at various stages of digital transformation—some are online, some are halfway there and others have a long way to go—we’re committed  to helping businesses get online and grow with easy-to-use tools.

To help businesses quickly improve their online presence, today we’re introducing Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S. In Europe, Grow My Store has been an effective way for many small retailers to get quick tips on how to improve their online store and understand how they are doing compared to peers in the industry. Businesses just need to enter their website URL into the tool and within minutes they will get a custom report. 

To help make local businesses more discoverable, this week we’re introducing Local Opportunity Finder. Enter the name of your business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to your Business Profile on Google. For example, ensuring your opening hours are current, adding curbside pickup information, or uploading a photo that represents your business.

Finally, to help small business advertisers easily promote their businesses, we’ve expanded Smart campaigns to 150 countries and now we’re making it easier and faster to sign up using the Google Ads app. You can set up a Smart campaign and create your first ad in just 15 minutes while on the go. And starting today, you can use Smart campaigns to display a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin with your business category logo, highlighting specific services that you offer, like curbside pickup or delivery. We’re bringing Promoted pins to Smart campaigns advertisers for free through the end of September. 

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Promoted pins through Smart campaigns help businesses stand out on Google Maps

What’s Next

Upcoming episodes of The Update on Think with Google will provide exclusive access to industry leaders, like George Hanson, Chief Digital Officer at Panera Bread, and Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4As. In addition, my team of product leaders will use this series to share upcoming product innovations designed to make it easier to manage your marketing.

We look forward to connecting with you virtually through our virtual roundtables and The Update. Until then follow us on the Google Ads blog for the latest product announcements.

Source: Google Ads


Helping businesses and nonprofits recover

In the last few months, COVID-19 has impacted businesses in profound ways. Throughout that time, I’ve heard from organizations, large and small, how they’re staying connected with customers through technology. This has always been core to my team’s purpose, but we can do more to help businesses and nonprofits through this crisis.

Today we’re announcing a $200 million increase to our annual Ad Grants commitment, to offer a total of $1 billion to better support nonprofits. This $1 billion helps nonprofits around the world that are tackling pressing issues like COVID-19 response and recovery, especially in developing economies. And we’re doing more.

Typically during this time of year, we gather at Google Marketing Live, our annual event to discuss new products and hear feedback from you. In lieu of our in-person event, throughout this summer we’ll host “virtual product roundtables” with our product managers, announce a number of new products, share new insights and kick off a new weekly video series, The Update on Think with Google, discussing industry trends and best practices. 

Helping businesses and organizations recover is the first topic we'll explore. Today we’re sharing updates for small businesses ahead of a Google-wide initiative, International Small Business Week, taking place June 22-27. This is a week dedicated to celebrating small businesses when we’ll share tips, trainings and products to help them get back on their feet. 


Helping consumers connect with businesses 

As people spend more time at home, we’ve seen searches for local services, like “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair” increase by 50 percent in recent months. We’re now making it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the U.S. Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy, local professionals backed by the Google Guarantee. Later this month, we’re also launching a new mobile site for the U.S. and Canada, to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster. 


GLS-Booking_Flow-2.gif

Book local service providers directly on Google Search

As people search for products they urgently need and limit their in-person store interactions, they’re looking for real-time updates on product availability at local stores. Searches for “curbside pickup” and “in stock” have surged by more than 70 percent in recent months. Our goal is to help people find and buy the things they need, quickly and easily. Starting today the Shopping tab will show helpful local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options like delivery and curbside pickup. This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.


LU_LIA_Mobile_framed.png

New to the Shopping tab: curbside pickup and more information for local stores

Helping businesses connect with customers

For many small businesses around the world, digital tools have become a lifeline this year. 1 in 3 small business owners say that without digital tools, they would have had to close all or part of their business. With businesses at various stages of digital transformation—some are online, some are halfway there and others have a long way to go—we’re committed  to helping businesses get online and grow with easy-to-use tools.

To help businesses quickly improve their online presence, today we’re introducing Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S. In Europe, Grow My Store has been an effective way for many small retailers to get quick tips on how to improve their online store and understand how they are doing compared to peers in the industry. Businesses just need to enter their website URL into the tool and within minutes they will get a custom report. 

To help make local businesses more discoverable, this week we’re introducing Local Opportunity Finder. Enter the name of your business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to your Business Profile on Google. For example, ensuring your opening hours are current, adding curbside pickup information, or uploading a photo that represents your business.

Finally, to help small business advertisers easily promote their businesses, we’ve expanded Smart campaigns to 150 countries and now we’re making it easier and faster to sign up using the Google Ads app. You can set up a Smart campaign and create your first ad in just 15 minutes while on the go. And starting today, you can use Smart campaigns to display a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin with your business category logo, highlighting specific services that you offer, like curbside pickup or delivery. We’re bringing Promoted pins to Smart campaigns advertisers for free through the end of September. 

SC-Squarepins-Flow3.gif

Promoted pins through Smart campaigns help businesses stand out on Google Maps

What’s Next

Upcoming episodes of The Update on Think with Google will provide exclusive access to industry leaders, like George Hanson, Chief Digital Officer at Panera Bread, and Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4As. In addition, my team of product leaders will use this series to share upcoming product innovations designed to make it easier to manage your marketing.

We look forward to connecting with you virtually through our virtual roundtables and The Update. Until then follow us on the Google Ads blog for the latest product announcements.

Inspire new customers in their moments of discovery

Last year we introduced Discovery ads as a new way to help people discover and engage with your brand as they scroll through their favorite content. In April, we made Discovery ads generally available for all advertisers globally. For the first time, you can reach up to 2.9 billion people as they explore their interests and look for inspiration across multiple Google surfaces—all with a single, easy-to-use campaign.

Reach more people as they browse their favorite feeds

More consumers are now finding their next favorite brand or product through a growing variety of touchpoints—in fact, 86 percent of online consumers say they're on the lookout for shopping ideas as they watch videos or explore content across the web. With Discovery ads, you can rely on Google's understanding of consumers' intent across our properties to engage these audiences as they scroll through their favorite Google feeds—no search query needed:


  • YouTube: Showcase your products on the Home and Watch Next feeds in YouTube, where over 90 percent of users say they discover new brands or products.

  • Discover:Reach hundreds of millions of consumers in the feed on the Google Search app as they explore and stay up to date on their interests.

  • Gmail:Show timely offers to shoppers as they check their inbox for the latest products and deals on the Promotions and Social tabs.

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Example Discovery ads for lifestyle retailer UGG

Drive interest and action with new audiences

Early adopters like Deckers, iProspect and MandM Direct have seen great results driving customer action with Discovery ads alongside their existing media. 

For Deckers' collection of iconic lifestyle brands, inspiring consumers to action through richly visual product experiences is fundamental to its media planning. While Deckers has traditionally relied on social media and video to engage new customers, the company worked with digital agency Jellyfish to expand on its strategy for the UGG brand's 2019 holiday season.

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UGG used Discovery ads to promote its holiday gift guide, connecting with fashion-forward shoppers open to trying new products while scrolling through their favorite Google feeds. The global lifestyle brand repurposed high-quality images from social campaigns, featuring popular products like its Classic Short Boot and Men's Neumel Chukka. As a result, UGG saw a strong increase in the quality of its website traffic and a revenue return ten times its original ad spend. Deckers now plans to implement Discovery ads across the rest of its brand portfolio, including HOKA and Teva.

"We're very pleased with our performance on Discovery ads," says Richard Russell, VP Omnichannel Marketing at Deckers. "They've helped us build on our omnichannel strategy—we're driving action with our ideal customer across even more of their purchase journey."


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Digital marketing agency iProspect has also seen Discovery ads deliver success for several large brands looking to connect with new customers, including global retailers. "Since we first began testing in early 2019, Discovery ads have driven results across a wide range of verticals, from retail to education," says Gareth Cleevely, VP Head of Paid Search at iProspect. "We've seen them deliver positive performance further down the funnel with up to 48 percent lower cost-per-action compared to social ads."

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An example Discovery ad for UK clothing retailer MandM Direct


Get started with Discovery ads

If you're already running media campaigns for social or video, you can get started by bringing your richest creative assets and most engaging messages over to Discovery ads. For help creating your first campaigns, visit the Google Ads Help Center. And be sure to check out our best practices checklist and creative asset guide for more tips on driving better performance with visually inspiring ads.

Source: Google Ads