Google is introducing new advertising formats, including video in Showcase Shopping ads and shoppable images on publishers’ sites, to help marketers better reach online shoppers during the upcoming holiday season, according to two company statements provided to Marketing Dive.
Video is an extension for Showcase Shopping ads, which Google launched last year, giving marketers the chance to upload multiple product images to a single ad. Adding video is designed to make ads more immersive and experience-driven, since nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video gave them ideas for future purchases, and 90% said they found new products and brands on YouTube, according to Google.
Shoppable images let marketers showcase ads on curated, published content from publishing partners. The tool allows publishers to give consumers the opportunity to purchase easily. For example, shoppers may visit their favorite blog and see a group of similar offerings when they click a tag icon on an image. Google said it will continue rolling out this feature to more publishers and is testing the feature in Google Image Search. According to the tech giant, more than one-third of holiday shoppers search for images before visiting a store to shop.
Google’s new ad features aim to help marketers expand their reach during the holiday shopping season, when 61% of consumers say they’re open to buying from new retailers. Last year, 46% purchased from new retailers, according to Google research. Adding video to Showcase Shopping ads makes sense, given the reported strength of the format since its introduction. Google said Showcase can drive 3.6 times higher click-through rates and receives 20% more conversion credit with first-click attribution. For example, 68% of Venus Fashion purchases from shoppers engaging with Showcase ads are new.
Google reports that mobile searches for “brands like” and “stores like” have grown 60% over the past two years. With this in mind, the platform’s new tools are designed to help shoppers better narrow down the products that interest them and to help marketers better target and personalize recommendations to attract new customers.
The news follows the new holiday-themed ad overlays, video templates and personalized storefronts that competitor Facebook introduced earlier this week. This signals that digital platforms are intensifying their push for marketers’ holiday ad dollars with a focus on video and relevancy.
Holiday shoppers are also increasingly relying on multiple platforms to find the products they need. Seventy-six percent of adult holiday shoppers use three or more channels, including mobile, retailers’ websites and in-store visits. Mobile plays a big part in holiday shopping, with 71.6% of consumers doing their holiday shopping via mobile at home or while traveling, and 60.1% using smartphones in stores, according to iVend Retail’s 2018 Global Path to Purchase survey.
Marketers are continuously moving up their holiday campaigns to earlier in the year. By Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, consumers have completed 42% of their holiday shopping, Google found. But, advertisers that wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to launch their campaign could miss out, as 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before November, according to research by AdRoll. Holiday ad campaigns that kick off in October have a 7% increase in ad impressions, 12% drop in cost-per-click and 20% decrease in cost per thousand compared to other months of the holiday shopping season.