With the holiday shopping season approaching, Google has announced several new features to help advertisers connect with customers and drive sales.
Google is leaning into AI and machine learning to give businesses more insights about shopper behavior and product performance.
Google states in an announcement:
“This year is unlike any other. AI-powered tools are transforming businesses’ ability to move faster, better understand the intent of their customers, and engage them in new ways across the path to purchase.”
Engaging Omnichannel Shoppers
According to Google’s data, 61% of holiday shoppers use five or more channels while shopping over two days.
To reach these omnichannel consumers, Google is expanding ad formats and adding new optimization tools.
For example, businesses can now use “Pickup Later” annotations for local inventory ads if they don’t have a feed set up.
The interactive search ad unit is also expanded to prompt actions like directions for in-store shoppers.
“You need to provide a consistent omnichannel experience across eCommerce and in-store.”
New Insights On Early Holiday Shopping
While many focus on Cyber Week, Google’s data shows holiday shoppers are active early in the season across categories.
Advertisers can now access more granular performance reporting on products, brands, and labels over time in the Ads interface to capitalize on this.
The Performance tab in Google Merchant Center has also been upgraded with competitive benchmarks on bestselling items and pricing visibility.
Google’s announcement reads:
“With the right insights, you can better shape your marketing strategy to find, engage, and convert these shoppers before a price-competitive period.”
Making Products Stand Out
With more shopping channels available, consumers are spending more time researching purchases.
Google is enhancing the promotions, shipping details, and visuals on product listings to help items stand out.
Advertisers can now target deals to specific locations and categories. Same-day delivery and return information will also be more prominent.
New AI Tools In Product Studio
Google is launching new tools to help retailers improve product images and create 3D visual assets.
Product Studio will be available within Merchant Center Next, Google’s upgraded interface for managing Shopping campaigns.
It will also be available on the Google & YouTube App on Shopify. Shopify merchants can access Product Studio directly through their Shopify account.
Early adopters can test out Product Studio ahead of its full release.
Performance Max Pushes AI-Driven Strategy
Google urges more retailers to adopt its AI-powered Performance Max campaigns this holiday season.
The platform can now optimize for high lifetime value new customers, helping businesses focus spending on valuable first-time buyers.
Early adopters who have switched from standard Shopping campaigns to Performance Max have reportedly seen a 25% increase in conversion value on average, at similar return on ad spend levels.
Video & 3D Listings Enhance Engagement
Google is expanding retailer access to 3D visuals in search results, reporting that shoppers engage with 3D images almost 50% more than static ones.
Retailers can now submit 3D product assets through Google Merchant Center to power more interactive free listings.
Additionally, Google is leveraging product images to auto-generate videos and YouTube Shorts at scale for campaigns.
Preparing For The 2023 Holiday Season
Google has published a holiday checklist and best practice guides for retail advertisers across its suite of products.
Key focus areas include:
Google is rolling out new tools to help retailers optimize holiday advertising and connect with customers.
The tools provide insights into shopper behavior and product performance. They also improve product listings with promotions, shipping info, and visuals.
Advertisers can refer to Google’s updated holiday checklist for best practices for using these tools this holiday season.
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