Google brings retailers, users closer with suite of new mobile products
By Brielle Jaekel
July 13, 2016
ASOS's beta ads on Google's new shoppable ad platform
With mobile travel and retail shopping searches up nearly 30 percent this year, Google is expanding its mobile search formats for these categories, including adding flight price tracking and product discovery ads.
In the next couple of weeks, Google will launch products for mobile search to help consumers with travel capabilities, following news that half of its Hotels Ads see referrals from mobile. Users will now be able to see a wider range of inventory from retailers on its Showcase Shopping Ads, which helps brands become more visible to consumers where they are looking for more information.
So the question becomes what can retailers really do to capitalize on these trends for the holiday season, said Jonathan Alferness, vice president of Google Shopping & Travel. That is what myself and my team at Google is really focused on.
We have some really exciting new updates about the overall shopping experience on Google, he said. First, today we do a pretty good job of helping people find things when the queries are rather specific.
But over 40pc searches we get for Google are broad search terms like womens athletic clothing or living room furniture. You can imagine that if you are woman shopping for a pair of shorts and you do a query searching for athletic clothing and we return a set of tops this is not the best result for you.
Searching mobile inventory
As mobile search is growing, Google is continuing to make strides in an attempt to keep it on the top of the search providers. In a few weeks, consumers searching for travel content to book a trip will have a comprehensive look at how to keep their stays affordable and fine-tuned to what they want.
For instance, users will be able to track flight prices based on general queries of the areas and dates they would like to fly to and from or direct airlines, times and locations. Consumers who opt in will receive price updates when fares are lower.
Google is also introducing a new travel feature that shares tips with searchers looking to book their stays. For example, the tips features will notify users on their search page if changing their stay dates will lower the cost.
The search platform will also inform users if a hotels price is lower than normal based on its algorithm that tracks hotel prices. Users can identify which hotels are cheaper than normal by a small icon that labels it is as a deal.
Users will also be able to view more inventory that fits within the qualification of their search terms from retail partners. For instance, users searching for summer dresses will be able to see an entire collection of dresses from ASOS without having to leave Google.
YouTube will now also have greater shopping capability with an interactive companion banner that allows shoppers to scroll through products while continuing to view the video. The banner appears next to the video and features a wide range of products in relation to its content provided by ad partners, with real-time product information.
Google mobile pushes
Chimani, a developer of free application guides for United States national parks, added Google video ads to its download push in an effort to reach a wide swath of outdoor enthusiasts (see more
Google also recently announced an Android virtual reality platform called Daydream, a headset for smartphones and app in the works from a number of big brands, the company hopes to unlock consumer adoption and new marketing opportunities for virtual reality (see more
We are announcing Showcase Shopping Ads, a different shopping ad format for shopping that will put the retailer first and really help people explore and discover what they want to buy and where to buy it, Mr. Alferness said. Instead of being locked into a set of tops now the consumer can look at a sporting apparel focused retailer and see a broad collection of the clothing that is available there.
Imagine a shopper searching summer dresses, ASOS, which is a global apparel retailer, can show its collection of dresses in visually rich style, he said.