Google Announces New AdWords Shopping Ad Features to Blend Online and In-Store Shopping for 2017 Holidays

Along with Showcase Shopping ads, Google has unveiled a number of new features for AdWords, aiming to transverse the on and offline shopping worlds, along with helping businesses understand their audiences better.

Below you will find some of the key changes and updates Google has announced for AdWords, that could benefit your search advertising.

Online and offline movement

Google is making is simpler for shoppers to move between online and physical stores.

Again, with a Christmas-related twist, Google is showing how shoppers may need to head to the store to pick up presents, as they may leave it to the last minute. We’ve all been there.

Google is launching local inventory on the Google Assistant that shows local stores with products may be organically surfaced to users:

By asking the Assistant, “Ok Google, where can I buy _____ nearby?” on Google Home or their phones, holiday shoppers can easily learn what’s available in a store around them. If you have a local product inventory feed, your products may begin automatically appearing in relevant results on the Assistant.

Google is also promising that marketers will be able to use promoted local experiences to drive foot traffic, and will be introducing a new local ad for Display that highlights any in-store products or promotions.

Driving incremental and higher-value foot traffic

Google has demonstrated with the following:

For example, ‘shop with me’ videos are soaring in popularity, with watchtime growing over 10x in the past two years on mobile alone. Meanwhile, watchtime of ‘store tour’ videos on YouTube also grew by 10x in the same two years to help shoppers explore your store before they arrive.Google showed how people who click on Google ads before going to a physical store are over 25% more likely to make a purchase and spend over 10% more, on average. Google has proven why it’s important to invest in omnichannel marketing to drive a new, incremental store visits and ones which influence higher-value purchases.

Understand how online ads connect to store visits

Google is also enhancing store visits measurement for display advertisers.

You will soon be able to see impression-based store visits, which give you a deeper dive of when seeing a display ad keeps your brand at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, and encourages them to take action later within a store. Even without clicking.

These visits are based upon aggregated, anonymous data from any Google users who opt-in to activating Location History. This explicitly doesn’t share any personal location information.

Google also has three new reports which help to build granular insights from your data:

Time lag report (available now) – see how long it takes users to visit a store after clicking on your ad and understand how quickly they take action offline.
New vs. returning customer report (coming soon) – understand how many of your store visits come from repeat customers.5 Together with the time lag report, this can help you gauge how your ads drive incremental visits.
Demographic report (available now) – add store visits as a column to your existing demographic reports to see which groups are more likely to visit your locations.

Google hopes these new features and innovations will help brands measure how ads benefit them, reach completely new customers, as well as improving sales directly from Google.