Tag Archives: Shopping Ads

Turn curiosity into customers this holiday season

The holiday season is the most beautiful time of the year and, for retailers, it’s also the busiest. This year has been particularly challenging for retailers and shoppers, alike, with the presence of global uncertainties like supply chain disruptions. Still, holiday shopping is poised to surge and retailers can turn to Google to drive sales.

This past holiday season, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.[209121]With Google's full range of promotional channels, retailers can show up across the shopping journey and stay top-of-mind for consumers. Here are a few tips to set you up for success this holiday season.

For more holiday insights, tune into Think Retail on Air at 10 a.m. PDT later today and check out in-depth recommendations in our Holiday Best Practices guide.

Show up to the party early

The countdown is officially on as holiday shopping kicks off earlier in the year. In May, we found that, on average, 17% of consumers in surveyed markets have started their holiday shopping and more than a third (36%) say they already have ideas for gifts they are going to buy.[b6dc7b]Get ready to reach these shoppers with the following Google Ads insights and tools.

Make your grand entrance with demand forecasts on the Insights page. This predicts upcoming trends relevant to your business so you can adjust your budget and bidding strategy to capture growing demand. Additionally, use Performance Planner to understand how these changes to your advertising spend will impact your predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values.

Beyond optimizing your campaign settings, you’ll also need to get your product feed in shape. Product-specific insights are now at your disposal at the account level in the Google Ads products tab. These insights let you spot underperforming offers, identify products with missing feed attributes and compare your bidding strategy with your top competitors’.

Desktop UI of product-specific insights on the Google Ads products tab

Review product-specific insights on the products tab in Google Ads

Make the rounds

With more ways to shop than ever, it can be difficult to keep up with complex purchasing journeys. Last holiday, we saw that shoppers who used at least five channels to inform their decisions and complete their holiday shopping reported making two times more purchases and spending twice as much, on average, compared to those who just used one or two channels.[c8c668]With the best of Google automation at your fingertips, you can stand out to shoppers across the full range of Google Ads channels.

It starts with Search where people conduct billions of searches every day.[d6b18a]Maximize your reach by showing your ads to shoppers who search for terms related to your keywords using broad match and Smart Bidding. Then use responsive search ads to tailor your messaging based on shoppers’ search terms.

But Search is just one part of the equation. Complement keyword-based Search campaigns with Performance Max, which finds even more converting customers across channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.[84e8c1]As the next generation of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, Performance Max connects with your product feed to drive sales both online and in-store. Keep an eye out for seasonal templates launching this fall. They’ll help you create video ads in a matter of minutes for Performance Max campaigns.

Round off your advertising strategy by inspiring shoppers when they least expect it. For example, 60 percent of people say they often or sometimes get prompted to buy something even when they weren’t actively shopping.[184b9b]You can now harness the power of your Google Merchant Center product feed with YouTube Video action campaigns and Discovery ads, which present new shoppable opportunities for your brand in moments of inspiration and discovery.

Finally, don’t forget about your mobile-first shoppers. In the next 2-3 years, 68% of retail marketers anticipate increasing apps use as a primary means of increasing customer loyalty.[8e7b4e]Promote your app to shoppers across Google’s largest properties such as Search, Google Play, YouTube and more with App campaigns and give users a seamless web-to-app purchase experience by setting up deep links.

Be scroll-stopping

Give shoppers a reason to turn from browsers to buyers wherever they may be. More than half a million online businesses use Google Merchant Center to show their products for free across Google websites and apps.[99e10e]Join them by listing your products on Google to unlock access to different levers that can make your products shine during the holidays.

More than half (55%) of holiday shoppers across surveyed countries are planning to hold off on buying gift items until they are on sale.[a90cb9]Fuel demand by adding your sales and promotions early. The Content API is also now available to make it even easier for you to upload and manage your deals at scale.

Like last year, shoppers are still anxious about getting what they need in time where 3 in 10 consumers are shopping for things they don’t need until later because of stock concerns.[828740]Keep stockings stuffed by adding estimated delivery times such as “Get it by 12/20”, and help shoppers stay worry-free by highlighting your flexible return policies like “Free 90-day returns.”

Mobile UI of sales price annotations and shipping and return options (US example)

View sales price annotations and shipping and return options (US example)

Take it offline

Your audience won’t just be shopping online. In-store shopping has made a big comeback this year, as searches for "store open" have grown globally by over 400% YoY.[a8c784]Offering a seamless experience between brick-and-mortar and online shopping will be key to winning shoppers.

Make it easy for shoppers to find you by updating your Business Profile with store hours, location and images. Then grow in-store foot traffic and sales by promoting your location to online shoppers in the area with Performance Max campaigns for store goals, such as in-store promotions or seasonal specials. You now have more control over your Smart Bidding to meet your store visits or store sales goals this holiday season.

And for last-minute shoppers or shoppers who prefer to browse in-person, you can use local inventory ads to promote your in-store inventory online and convenient curbside or in-store pickup options.

Join the conversation at Think Retail on Air

We’re here for you this season to help you hit your holiday milestones, so make Think Retail on Air your next stop to get more insights. We will be going live today at 10 a.m. PDT. For more recommendations, visit the Holiday Best Practices guide.

Google Ads Best Practices button

Upgrade to Performance Max to prepare for the holidays

Today’s consumers are always-on, where curiosity and inspiration can strike them anytime and anywhere. They’re also kicking off their holiday buying earlier than in previous years to find the best deals and avoid supply chain issues. As of June, 26% of shoppers in the US reported already having started their 2022 holiday shopping.[f657a2]The race is officially on to turn curiosity into customers this holiday season!

To win customers throughout the extended season, look no further than Performance Max campaigns. They find the right mix of inventory and formats across all of Google’s advertising channels to help you drive more sales both online and in-store.[347c82]

Earlier this year, we shared the timeline and process for upgrading your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max using the “one-click” upgrade tool in Google Ads. The tool started rolling out in April for Smart Shopping campaigns and is available now for most advertisers. We strongly recommend using the tool to upgrade your campaigns as soon as you can to get a head start on the holiday season. The self-upgrade tool for Local campaigns will be available soon. More information is coming in the next few weeks, stay tuned for updates published to the Help Center.

Starting automatic upgrades for Smart Shopping campaigns

If you use Smart Shopping campaigns you’ll have advance access to the self-upgrade tool for two months on average to give you time to upgrade yourself before automatic upgrades begin. Automatic upgrades are happening on a rolling basis for Smart Shopping campaigns that have not already been self-upgraded using the tool. Keep these details in mind as automatic upgrades begin:

  • Automatic upgrades will gradually progress and finish in September for most advertisers. You’ll receive a notification in Google Ads two to three weeks before your campaigns are automatically upgraded. The notification will provide a specific date when your campaigns will start automatic upgrades.
  • Some Smart Shopping campaigns using features like vehicle ads that are not yet available in Performance Max will complete automatic upgrades in early 2023. For campaigns not yet eligible for upgrades, advertisers will receive more specific information later this year about their automatic upgrades coming in early 2023.
  • When your campaigns are self-upgraded using the tool or automatically upgraded, learnings from your previous Smart Shopping campaigns carry over to your new Performance Max campaigns to maintain consistent performance. Your campaign settings will also automatically transfer to Performance Max. Find more details in our Help Center.

Engage shoppers with new video formats on YouTube

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly logged-in users and attracts a generation that has grown up watching what they want, when they want, on any screen.[e93e4c]New video formats — powered by your product feed — make it easier for viewers to shop relevant products directly from your video ads across YouTube on Shorts, in-feed video and in-stream.

Once you’ve upgraded to Performance Max, upload your own video assets to drive better results on YouTube. It’s never been easier to create video ads! With video ad creation now available in Google Ads, you can build a high-quality video ad in a matter of minutes and then add it to your campaigns including Performance Max.

See how retailers are succeeding with Performance Max

At first we were hesitant to use automation to make such important decisions. But the results spoke for themselves. Automation stays on top of customer trends and behavior faster than we can. Kate Barrow
VP of Growth, Rothy’s
Performance Max outperformed our existing Smart Shopping campaigns. We’ve increased our quality traffic and our overall efficiency. Horus Chan
Growth Marketing Manager, Casetify

Upgrade to Performance Max as soon as you can to make sure you’re well positioned for the holiday season. Visit the Help Center for best practices and mark your calendars for Think Retail on August 30. Join us at this virtual event to hear Google product leaders and industry experts share the latest holiday trends and ways you can get your business ready.

New features to grow your business with Performance Max

As people move quickly between channels and devices, today’s consumer journey is always-on and rarely straightforward. Automation is helping businesses meet their customers at the right moment along this complex journey. Whether you’re looking to stay ahead of shifting consumer behavior or unlock incremental conversions from new places, Performance Max finds the optimal mix of Google Ads inventory and formats to help you drive better results.[3a6511]

In the coming weeks, we’re introducing new features to help you acquire new customers, better understand performance and start upgrading your Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max in just one click.

Focus on new customers

Performance Max optimizes results based on your conversion goals and looks for the highest-ROI conversion opportunities — regardless of channel. The new customer acquisition goal in Performance Max is rolling out over the next few weeks for all advertisers looking to generate leads or increase online sales. This was previously available for retailers using Smart Shopping campaigns and is now expanding to more advertiser goals in Performance Max.

This goal will allow you to either bid more for new customers compared to existing customers, or focus your optimizations on new customers only while maintaining your cost efficiency. You’ll also have more flexible ways to identify new customers, like providing your own first-party data through Customer Match lists, setting up conversion tags and using Google’s autodetection method.

Guide your campaigns with helpful insights

The Insights page helps you understand decisions guided by automation and find levers to improve results in your campaigns. In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out consumer interest insights to all advertisers to help you uncover search themes that are delivering conversions. Two new types of insights are also arriving for Performance Max.

With asset audience insights, you’ll be able to better understand how your text, image and video assets resonate with specific customer segments. For instance, if you’re an outdoor retailer running a campaign for bikes, you may find that exercise enthusiasts engage more with images of people mountain biking rather than product images of the bike itself. Using these insights, you can tailor your creative and influence your broader marketing strategy.

After you create your Performance Max campaigns, diagnostic insights will provide a snapshot of outstanding setup issues preventing your ads from showing. Each issue will include suggestions to resolve them, so you can easily and quickly get your campaign up and running. For example, if your creative assets are disapproved, you’ll be prompted to fix them so you can start serving your ads and avoid missing out on conversion opportunities.

Start upgrading your Smart Shopping campaigns

In January, we shared a preview of how to upgrade your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max to access additional inventory and formats across YouTube, Search text ads and Discover.[235f18]Over the coming weeks, you’ll see a notification in your Google Ads account when the “one-click” upgrade tool is ready for your Smart Shopping campaigns. You’ll also be able to access the tool from the Recommendations page and the Campaigns page. You can start upgrading your Local campaigns in June.

When you upgrade your Smart Shopping or Local campaign, it will become a new, separate Performance Max campaign that keeps the learnings from your previous campaign to maintain consistent performance. The campaign budget and settings from your previous campaign will also be carried over. Visit our Help Center for more details on the upgrade experience.

Retailers across the globe are seeing continued success with Performance Max. In fact, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better ROAS.[bd1e6d]

Upgrading your existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns helps ensure you can take advantage of expanded inventory and get your campaigns ready for the holiday season. You’ll be able to choose when to upgrade your campaigns until the automatic upgrade process begins. Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded from July through September, and Local campaigns will be automatically upgraded from August through September. You’ll also be able to create new Performance Max campaigns through Google Ads, the Google Ads API, or starting in early summer, through e-commerce partners like WooCommerce and BigCommerce.

Check out our upgrade video tutorial and best practices to set up your Performance Max campaigns, and follow @AdsLiasion to stay informed throughout the upgrade process. On May 24, join us at Google Marketing Live where we’ll share what’s ahead for Performance Max.

Be ready for what’s next: growing your business in 2022

Like many of you, I’ve spent the first month of 2022 ramping back up at work and making progress on plans for this year. And while there still isn’t a playbook for navigating a pandemic that’s upended daily life, my team is continuing to focus on ways Google can help you respond and deliver on your greatest business needs.

Buying behavior will continue to change, and people will use technology in new ways to discover products and brands. That’s why my team and I are more committed than ever to connecting consumers with the businesses around them, while continuing to power a free and open internet.

Buying behavior will continue to change, and people will use technology in new ways to discover products and brands.

This is an intentionally ambitious goal, and today, I want to share the three priorities that are guiding our product roadmap: unlocking new opportunities for business growth, preparing for the future of measurement and ensuring we exceed consumer expectations for privacy.

Unlocking new opportunities for growth with automation

Shifts in consumer behavior continue to present challenges and opportunities for businesses around the globe. And despite some parts of the world reopening, it appears many of these shifts will not only stay, but accelerate. Take food delivery, for example. Searches for “takeout restaurants” surged 400% last year compared to the start of the pandemic.[3a43c0]

In meeting with many advertisers, I’ve heard how readiness, speed and agility have been critical for managing complexity and driving growth in these uncertain times. That’s why advertisers are turning to automation more than ever before. In fact, over 80% of Google advertisers are now using automated bidding to free up time and improve ad performance.[a393f4]

Over 80% of Google advertisers are now using automated bidding to free up time and improve ad performance.

It’s also important to build on innovations like Performance Max campaigns — and make them easy to use. This single campaign enables marketers to find incremental, high-value customers across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory. By simply providing conversion goals, audience signals and a number of creative assets, advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their accounts have seen an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.[63e437]

A line of illustrated mobile devices showing different Google surfaces and the ads that can show. Above each device is a different logo for YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.

Performance Max campaigns help you increase conversions across

Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

Similarly, Discovery campaigns allow you to reach up to three billion users across Google feeds like YouTube and Discover — all from a single campaign. You can deliver highly visual, inspiring and personalized ad experiences to people who are ready to discover your brand.

Across all Google Ads campaigns — including Video action campaigns and Smart Display campaigns — our data shows that automation is unlocking growth for businesses around the world. This is especially true for Search campaigns. As we continue improving our Search products, we’re seeing the multiplicative effect of using automated targeting, creative and bidding together.

Automation is unlocking growth for businesses around the world.

One of my favorite examples comes from tails.com, which is based in the UK. The tailor-made dog food brand took a test, learn and scale approach as it expanded into new markets across Europe. Using the combination of broad match, Smart Bidding and responsive search ads, tails.com increased sign-ups in Germany from its generic Search campaigns by 182%.

Video interview with the tails.com team about how they used broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads to expand their business in Europe.
10:25

Preparing for the future of measurement

Whether it’s Google Ads or Google Analytics, the products you use should help you solve the unique challenges facing your business. They also need to deliver meaningful results and performance, especially during times of change and uncertainty.

For example, we know that new approaches to measurement are critical as cookies and other identifiers are phased out. The future of measurement is combining consented first-party data with insights from new, privacy-safe technology, like browser APIs, and using modeling to close data gaps. Solutions like enhanced conversions, consent mode, conversion modeling and data-driven attribution allow you to respect your customers’ privacy preferences, while confidently measuring the impact of your ads.

The future of measurement is combining consented first-party data with insights from new, privacy-safe technology.

First-party data is not only critical for measuring your media, it’s also essential in understanding your customers. Our research shows that companies that link their first-party data sources can generate 1.5 times the incremental revenue from single ad placement, communication or outreach.[457535]Assigning value to your conversions, and using first-party data solutions like Customer Match, enable you to express what’s most valuable to your business and find opportunities for growth.

Exceeding consumers' expectations for digital privacy

There’s been a massive acceleration in the way people use technology to connect with businesses during the pandemic. Meanwhile, there are rising expectations for user privacy and control. You have to meet your customers where they are and build meaningful relationships in a privacy-safe way.

Empowering best-in-class marketing

Whether a global brand like PepsiCo or an online business like tails.com, your stories of resilience and ingenuity continue to inspire my team to build for the future.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer, and we’re here to be your partner along the way. As you make progress on your plans for the year ahead, continue to share your stories and feedback within the product and at events like Think Retail and Google Marketing Live. We’ll continue listening, sharing insights and building products to help you come back stronger in 2022.

Get ready for Smart Shopping and Local campaign upgrades

New year, same trend: Consumers continue to tap into an ever-growing number of places to get inspiration and find what they need. This past holiday season, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.[ec0303]

Performance Max uses Google’s automation to help advertisers reach shoppers as they browse for things they love — online and in stores.[053cc9]It builds on Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to deliver the same foundational features, while adding brand new inventory and automation insights. Starting in April, you can begin upgrading your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max to access additional inventory and formats across YouTube, Search text ads and Discover.[d34fff]Based on early testing, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS).[7cb4f9]

Performance Max allows you to grow online, offline or omnichannel sales by unlocking all of Google’s ad inventory from a single campaign with a product feed. For example, you can transform your Video ads into your digital storefront and highlight your top products on YouTube — right where valuable customers are watching relevant video content every day.

Learn how to upgrade Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max

Here’s a preview of the upgrade process so you know what to expect and how to plan ahead to set your campaigns up for success.[c7f14c]

Keep these key milestones in mind as you prepare for the upgrade:

  • Create new campaigns with Performance Max: You can continue using your existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns until you’ve upgraded them to Performance Max later this year. For any new campaigns you create in Google Ads, start using Performance Max. You’ll access ad inventory that’s already available in Smart Shopping and Local campaigns plus new inventory and formats — including across YouTube, Search text ads and Discover.[d34fff]
  • Upgrade with a one-click tool: Starting in April, you can easily upgrade your Smart Shopping campaigns with a new “one-click” tool in Google Ads. You’ll be able to upgrade your Local campaigns with the tool starting in June. The tool gives you flexibility to upgrade specific campaigns or all of your campaigns at once.[076e64]Learnings from your existing campaigns will be used in your new Performance Max campaigns to maintain consistent performance.
  • Upgrade automatically: From July through September, your Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded for you. Your Local campaigns will be automatically upgraded from August through September. You will no longer be able to create new Smart Shopping and Local campaigns once your existing campaigns are automatically upgraded. The automatic upgrade process will conclude by the end of September to ensure you’re well prepared to use Performance Max for the 2022 holiday season.

Leading e-commerce partners like Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are already working to support Performance Max so more merchants can benefit from new inventory and formats to connect with their customers. All merchants and partners will be able to upgrade their Smart Shopping and Local campaigns through the Google Ads API later this year. Learn more about the process in our developer blog.

Prepare for campaign upgrades with new resources

Tune in to our upcoming webinar in February, where product experts will demonstrate the one-click upgrade tool and dive into best practices for creating new Performance Max campaigns. They’ll also explain the new technology used in your campaign upgrades to help you get better results, faster.

Meanwhile, our updated Performance Max best practices guide has new recommendations geared towards achieving your online and offline goals. You can also explore the infographic below to understand how to use Performance Max with other Google Ads campaigns.

Infographic of how to use Performance Max together with other campaign types based on advertiser objectives: Lead Generation, Online Sales, Offline Sales (omnichannel) or Offline Sales (offline-only). The guidance is for advertisers to maximize performance in their Search campaigns first. At the bottom, it shows three options for how to grow performance across other channels. Advertisers can test Performance Max to access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign, upgrade to Performance Max later this year if they’re currently using Smart Shopping or Local campaigns, and/or use Video, Display or Discovery campaigns if they want to increase performance on specific channels or reach specific audiences.

In the coming months, we’ll share tools and tips to help you at each milestone and make your upgrade process as smooth as possible. In the meantime, share your questions and comments and we’ll address them in our upcoming webinar. You can also follow @AdsLiasion to stay updated throughout the process.

Connect with local holiday shoppers

The holidays are quickly approaching and 40% of U.S. consumers have already started their holiday shopping. Supporting local businesses is top of mind this year. In fact, 60% of U.S. consumers who are planning to shop for the holidays say they will shop more at local small businesses.

If your stores are open for in-store shopping or dining, you know it's important to make sure your customers can easily find you online. We’ve unwrapped new local solutions plus a local holiday guide to help you stand out on Google and connect shoppers to your stores.

Engage with customers using your Business Profile

Starting this week, you can easily claim and verify your Business Profile directly on Google Search or the Google Maps app. Search for your business by name and you’ll see an option to claim and verify the associated Business Profile. Once your business is verified, you can edit your business’ information, including the address, store hours, photos and more.

A search results page on both desktop and mobile. Both show the Business Profile for “Mo’s Diner.” Options shown in clickable boxes with the titles “Get verified,” “add photo,” and “add business number.”

Update your Business Profile and engage with customers directly from Search and Maps.

We’re also adding new ways to get even more out of your Business Profile. You can now message customers directly from Search, and merchants in the U.S. and Canada can use call history to see which inbound customer calls came from their Business Profile on Google.

Mobile phone screen shows the call history for a business. The top of the screen shows “Calls” and below is a box with a time period that can be changed via a drop down. Below that are two large numbers, the first is the number of answered calls (shown in black) and the second is the number of missed calls (shown in red). Below that, the calls are in list format in order of how recently they occurred. Some show just a phone number while others show a contact name.

View your call history from your Business Profile.

Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, “Google My Business” is being renamed “Google Business Profile.” And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps. The existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” We’ll share more details on these changes in the months ahead.

Show your local inventory

Holiday shoppers want to know what’s available before they get to your store. In a recent survey, more than half of U.S. holiday shoppers said they’ll confirm online that an item is in stock before going to buy it. There are a few ways to make sure your business shows up when holiday shoppers search for the products you offer.

We recently announced the new “in stock” filter on Search so shoppers can see only the nearby stores that have a specific item. To make sure your products show up, retailers in the U.S. and Canada can sign up for Pointy from Google — free of charge and right from your Business Profile on Search. Pointy helps you automatically upload all your in-store product inventory by connecting directly to your existing point of sale system. If you already have a local inventory feed, you can submit your feed through Google Merchant Center. To showcase individual products, you can also manually add them to your Business Profile on Search.

Mobile phone screen shows a GIF of a customer’s shopping journey on Google Search. The first image is a Google search results page for “kids bike helmets near me.” The user sees a map with various stores that sell bike helmets. The user clicks the “in-stock” button and is shown a list of stores that have kids bike helmets currently in stock. The user clicks the first store listing for “Mike’s Bikes” and then views pictures and prices of the helmets they have in stock.

Shoppers can now use the “in stock” filter on Search to see only the nearby stores with a specific item on their shelves.

Promote your nearby store locations

If you want to focus on store-specific goals, like promoting in-store products or seasonal menu items, you can promote your location to nearby shoppers using Local campaigns. Easily connect with shoppers searching for businesses like yours across Google Maps, Search, Display or YouTube, and help them find what they need at your local store, restaurant or dealership.

Now it's even easier to plan your Local campaign budgets heading into the holidays using Performance Planner. This tool helps you create plans for your local advertising investment, and see how changes to those plans might affect your outcomes and performance.

Laptop computer screen shows the Performance Planner forecast within the Google Ads UI. A line graph shows “spend” on the X axis and “conversions” on the Y axis. A gray point on the graph shows the “existing settings” and a blue point above it shows the “planned settings.” There is a blue line drawn through the blue dot going up to the right, indicating the increase in forecasted conversions you’d receive if you grow your investment. The text at the top of the graph says “you could get an estimated 1.5K conversions at $26.66 CPA for $40K.”

Local campaigns Performance Planner can help determine how much to invest this holiday season and beyond.

Even franchises like Wendy's use Performance Planner to more easily determine the appropriate investment for their Local campaigns to drive their store-level business goals.

Because the holidays are a critical time of year for your business, you should continue using Local campaigns to reach shoppers this season. However, when the time is right for your business, you can also start testing Performance Max campaigns before next year’s campaign upgrades. Performance Max allows you to promote your business across all Google Ads channels to help you drive more foot traffic to your physical locations — and includes new inventory and formats not currently available in Local campaigns.

For more on how to make this season even merrier — and easier — for local shoppers, check out the Local holiday guide or the Google for Small Business holiday checklist.

Connect with local holiday shoppers

The holidays are quickly approaching and 40% of U.S. consumers have already started their holiday shopping. Supporting local businesses is top of mind this year. In fact, 60% of U.S. consumers who are planning to shop for the holidays say they will shop more at local small businesses.

If your stores are open for in-store shopping or dining, you know it's important to make sure your customers can easily find you online. We’ve unwrapped new local solutions plus a local holiday guide to help you stand out on Google and connect shoppers to your stores.

Engage with customers using your Business Profile

Starting this week, you can easily claim and verify your Business Profile directly on Google Search or the Google Maps app. Search for your business by name and you’ll see an option to claim and verify the associated Business Profile. Once your business is verified, you can edit your business’ information, including the address, store hours, photos and more.

A search results page on both desktop and mobile. Both show the Business Profile for “Mo’s Diner.” Options shown in clickable boxes with the titles “Get verified,” “add photo,” and “add business number.”

Update your Business Profile and engage with customers directly from Search and Maps.

We’re also adding new ways to get even more out of your Business Profile. You can now message customers directly from Search, and merchants in the U.S. and Canada can use call history to see which inbound customer calls came from their Business Profile on Google.

Mobile phone screen shows the call history for a business. The top of the screen shows “Calls” and below is a box with a time period that can be changed via a drop down. Below that are two large numbers, the first is the number of answered calls (shown in black) and the second is the number of missed calls (shown in red). Below that, the calls are in list format in order of how recently they occurred. Some show just a phone number while others show a contact name.

View your call history from your Business Profile.

Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, “Google My Business” is being renamed “Google Business Profile.” And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps. The existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” We’ll share more details on these changes in the months ahead.

Show your local inventory

Holiday shoppers want to know what’s available before they get to your store. In a recent survey, more than half of U.S. holiday shoppers said they’ll confirm online that an item is in stock before going to buy it. There are a few ways to make sure your business shows up when holiday shoppers search for the products you offer.

We recently announced the new “in stock” filter on Search so shoppers can see only the nearby stores that have a specific item. To make sure your products show up, retailers in the U.S. and Canada can sign up for Pointy from Google — free of charge and right from your Business Profile on Search. Pointy helps you automatically upload all your in-store product inventory by connecting directly to your existing point of sale system. If you already have a local inventory feed, you can submit your feed through Google Merchant Center. To showcase individual products, you can also manually add them to your Business Profile on Search.

Mobile phone screen shows a GIF of a customer’s shopping journey on Google Search. The first image is a Google search results page for “kids bike helmets near me.” The user sees a map with various stores that sell bike helmets. The user clicks the “in-stock” button and is shown a list of stores that have kids bike helmets currently in stock. The user clicks the first store listing for “Mike’s Bikes” and then views pictures and prices of the helmets they have in stock.

Shoppers can now use the “in stock” filter on Search to see only the nearby stores with a specific item on their shelves.

Promote your nearby store locations

If you want to focus on store-specific goals, like promoting in-store products or seasonal menu items, you can promote your location to nearby shoppers using Local campaigns. Easily connect with shoppers searching for businesses like yours across Google Maps, Search, Display or YouTube, and help them find what they need at your local store, restaurant or dealership.

Now it's even easier to plan your Local campaign budgets heading into the holidays using Performance Planner. This tool helps you create plans for your local advertising investment, and see how changes to those plans might affect your outcomes and performance.

Laptop computer screen shows the Performance Planner forecast within the Google Ads UI. A line graph shows “spend” on the X axis and “conversions” on the Y axis. A gray point on the graph shows the “existing settings” and a blue point above it shows the “planned settings.” There is a blue line drawn through the blue dot going up to the right, indicating the increase in forecasted conversions you’d receive if you grow your investment. The text at the top of the graph says “you could get an estimated 1.5K conversions at $26.66 CPA for $40K.”

Local campaigns Performance Planner can help determine how much to invest this holiday season and beyond.

Even franchises like Wendy's use Performance Planner to more easily determine the appropriate investment for their Local campaigns to drive their store-level business goals.

Because the holidays are a critical time of year for your business, you should continue using Local campaigns to reach shoppers this season. However, when the time is right for your business, you can also start testing Performance Max campaigns before next year’s campaign upgrades. Performance Max allows you to promote your business across all Google Ads channels to help you drive more foot traffic to your physical locations — and includes new inventory and formats not currently available in Local campaigns.

For more on how to make this season even merrier — and easier — for local shoppers, check out the Local holiday guide or the Google for Small Business holiday checklist.

Performance Max campaigns launch to all advertisers

In an unpredictable year, change has been a reliable constant. And we’ve seen this clearly in online consumer behavior. For example, Google Image searches for "yard landscaping ideas" have grown globally by over 80% YoY1 as people look for more ways to spruce up their homes. Meanwhile, searches for "best all-inclusive resorts" have grown globally by over 200% YoY2 as people get inspired to travel again.

Thankfully, advertisers don’t have to predict the future to be ready for it. If change is the challenge, automation is the solution businesses and agencies are using to stay ahead of ongoing shifts in consumer demand. Last year, we introduced Performance Max campaigns as a new way to buy Google ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps from a single campaign. They complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you grow performance across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

After strong beta results, Performance Max campaigns will roll out to all advertisers around the world starting today. They will also become the next generation of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, which will both upgrade to Performance Max next year.3

Illustration of six mobile devices lined up next to each other, each showing a different ad example across Google’s channels. From left to right, they show ads on YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Google Maps. Above the phones are the logos for each.

Performance Max campaigns help you increase conversions across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

Find more customers where they are

Consumers are moving seamlessly between online experiences to find buying inspiration. 70% of U.S. shoppers report buying from a brand after seeing it on YouTube,4 and 91% of Google feed users say they took some kind of shopping or product-related action immediately after discovering new products, services or brands on their feed.5

Performance Max allows you to promote your business across all Google Ads inventory. As a result, you can show up for more customers and drive more conversions based on your goals. In fact, advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their account see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.6 Whether you’re focused on increasing online sales, generating leads, or growing offline sales, Performance Max helps you achieve your goals in four main ways:

1. Increasing conversions and value: Automation optimizes your budget and bids across channels to help you capture new conversion opportunities in real time.

Performance Max has helped us activate a complementary, full-funnel strategy. Thanks to advanced machine learning capabilities, we’ve been able to gain incremental reach and conversions very efficiently. Inmaculada Lestayo Campos
Digital Marketing Manager, Allianz

2. Finding new customers: Unlock new audience segments by using Google’s real-time understanding of user intent, behavior and context to show up in the right moments with more relevant ads.

Performance Max can be activated quickly and at scale to optimize the web journey and drive more subscriptions. It delivers strong targeting signals for a more competitive CPA and dynamic budget optimization by channel. Guylain Meykiechel
Head of Global Media Strategy, Deezer

3. Gaining richer insights: Performance Max campaigns are now part of the Insights page to help you understand how automation is working and how you can improve your campaign. Using the Combinations report, you can also see how your top-performing assets are being combined to build creatives.

4. Working together with automation: Steer automation by providing high-quality creative assets and sharing your expertise about which audiences are most likely to convert.

The results from Performance Max campaigns were amazing. They helped us enter a new market to grow potential customers in a short period. We’d like to roll out Performance Max to other markets as well! Evelyn Zhao
SEA Regional Marketing Manager, SAIC-MG Motors

Get new features designed for retailers and local marketers

Performance Max campaigns allow retailers and local marketers to access new ad inventory and formats not currently available with Smart Shopping or Local campaigns — including on channels like YouTube, Search and Discover. To help you increase sales, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will both upgrade to Performance Max in 2022. We’ll work closely with you and your partners to get feedback and build the right tools to help you easily transition your campaigns. Stay tuned for more information early next year.

We know the holidays are a critical time of year for your business. You should continue using Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to reach more shoppers across online and in-store experiences this holiday season. However, when the time is right for your business, you can start testing Performance Max campaigns before next year’s campaign upgrades.

Not only did Performance Max outperform our previous Smart Shopping campaigns, but it also took our efficiency to the next level, and allowed us to grow our revenue in a more profitable way. Eric Tsai
VP of Marketing and Business Development, Joybird
Performance Max became such a significant contributor towards our marketing objectives that we are now planning to roll it out across all of our accounts. Simon Achermann
Head of Online, microspot.ch

In the next few months, we’ll introduce new features in Performance Max specifically for retailers and businesses with store locations. For example, you’ll have the option to focus your campaigns to exclusively optimize for new customer acquisition. If you’re a retailer with a local inventory feed, you’ll also see new Search and Maps ad formats powered by your products to help drive more foot traffic to your stores.

Upgrading Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max next year will help you get more value from Google Ads while simplifying the number of campaigns you use to achieve your goals. We’ll continue investing in Performance Max and improving our automation technology over time to help you get better results.

To set your Performance Max campaigns up for success, check out our new best practices guide and video. You can also take the Skillshop e-learning course for Performance Max campaigns to get more tips on how to use them to their full potential. And explore the Demystifying Automation interactive demo to learn how different automation technologies can supercharge your marketing capabilities.


1. Google Data, Global English, Jun 22, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021 vs Jun 22, 2020 - Aug 20, 2020
2. Google Data, Global English, Jun 22, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021 vs Jun 22, 2020 - Aug 20, 2020
3. In Europe, Performance Max 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.
4. Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2000 A18-64 Genpop video users, Feb 2020
5. Google/Ipsos, Google Feed Consumer Insights, June 2020, Online survey. Americans 18+ who made a discovery on at least one Google feed (feeds defined as Google app, Chrome app, YouTube, Gmail) on a mobile device. Base: Feed users n=1,053
6. Google Data, Global, Ads, July - September 2021

Performance Max campaigns launch to all advertisers

In an unpredictable year, change has been a reliable constant. And we’ve seen this clearly in online consumer behavior. For example, Google Image searches for "yard landscaping ideas" have grown globally by over 80% YoY1 as people look for more ways to spruce up their homes. Meanwhile, searches for "best all-inclusive resorts" have grown globally by over 200% YoY2 as people get inspired to travel again.

Thankfully, advertisers don’t have to predict the future to be ready for it. If change is the challenge, automation is the solution businesses and agencies are using to stay ahead of ongoing shifts in consumer demand. Last year, we introduced Performance Max campaigns as a new way to buy Google ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps from a single campaign. They complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you grow performance across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

After strong beta results, Performance Max campaigns will roll out to all advertisers around the world starting today. They will also become the next generation of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, which will both upgrade to Performance Max next year.3

Illustration of six mobile devices lined up next to each other, each showing a different ad example across Google’s channels. From left to right, they show ads on YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Google Maps. Above the phones are the logos for each.

Performance Max campaigns help you increase conversions across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

Find more customers where they are

Consumers are moving seamlessly between online experiences to find buying inspiration. 70% of U.S. shoppers report buying from a brand after seeing it on YouTube,4 and 91% of Google feed users say they took some kind of shopping or product-related action immediately after discovering new products, services or brands on their feed.5

Performance Max allows you to promote your business across all Google Ads inventory. As a result, you can show up for more customers and drive more conversions based on your goals. In fact, advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their account see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.6 Whether you’re focused on increasing online sales, generating leads, or growing offline sales, Performance Max helps you achieve your goals in four main ways:

1. Increasing conversions and value: Automation optimizes your budget and bids across channels to help you capture new conversion opportunities in real time.

Performance Max has helped us activate a complementary, full-funnel strategy. Thanks to advanced machine learning capabilities, we’ve been able to gain incremental reach and conversions very efficiently. Inmaculada Lestayo Campos
Digital Marketing Manager, Allianz

2. Finding new customers: Unlock new audience segments by using Google’s real-time understanding of user intent, behavior and context to show up in the right moments with more relevant ads.

Performance Max can be activated quickly and at scale to optimize the web journey and drive more subscriptions. It delivers strong targeting signals for a more competitive CPA and dynamic budget optimization by channel. Guylain Meykiechel
Head of Global Media Strategy, Deezer

3. Gaining richer insights: Performance Max campaigns are now part of the Insights page to help you understand how automation is working and how you can improve your campaign. Using the Combinations report, you can also see how your top-performing assets are being combined to build creatives.

4. Working together with automation: Steer automation by providing high-quality creative assets and sharing your expertise about which audiences are most likely to convert.

The results from Performance Max campaigns were amazing. They helped us enter a new market to grow potential customers in a short period. We’d like to roll out Performance Max to other markets as well! Evelyn Zhao
SEA Regional Marketing Manager, SAIC-MG Motors

Get new features designed for retailers and local marketers

Performance Max campaigns allow retailers and local marketers to access new ad inventory and formats not currently available with Smart Shopping or Local campaigns — including on channels like YouTube, Search and Discover. To help you increase sales, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will both upgrade to Performance Max in 2022. We’ll work closely with you and your partners to get feedback and build the right tools to help you easily transition your campaigns. Stay tuned for more information early next year.

We know the holidays are a critical time of year for your business. You should continue using Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to reach more shoppers across online and in-store experiences this holiday season. However, when the time is right for your business, you can start testing Performance Max campaigns before next year’s campaign upgrades.

Not only did Performance Max outperform our previous Smart Shopping campaigns, but it also took our efficiency to the next level, and allowed us to grow our revenue in a more profitable way. Eric Tsai
VP of Marketing and Business Development, Joybird
Performance Max became such a significant contributor towards our marketing objectives that we are now planning to roll it out across all of our accounts. Simon Achermann
Head of Online, microspot.ch

In the next few months, we’ll introduce new features in Performance Max specifically for retailers and businesses with store locations. For example, you’ll have the option to focus your campaigns to exclusively optimize for new customer acquisition. If you’re a retailer with a local inventory feed, you’ll also see new Search and Maps ad formats powered by your products to help drive more foot traffic to your stores.

Upgrading Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max next year will help you get more value from Google Ads while simplifying the number of campaigns you use to achieve your goals. We’ll continue investing in Performance Max and improving our automation technology over time to help you get better results.

To set your Performance Max campaigns up for success, check out our new best practices guide and video. You can also take the Skillshop e-learning course for Performance Max campaigns to get more tips on how to use them to their full potential. And explore the Demystifying Automation interactive demo to learn how different automation technologies can supercharge your marketing capabilities.


1. Google Data, Global English, Jun 22, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021 vs Jun 22, 2020 - Aug 20, 2020
2. Google Data, Global English, Jun 22, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021 vs Jun 22, 2020 - Aug 20, 2020
3. In Europe, Performance Max 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.
4. Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2000 A18-64 Genpop video users, Feb 2020
5. Google/Ipsos, Google Feed Consumer Insights, June 2020, Online survey. Americans 18+ who made a discovery on at least one Google feed (feeds defined as Google app, Chrome app, YouTube, Gmail) on a mobile device. Base: Feed users n=1,053
6. Google Data, Global, Ads, July - September 2021

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