Has the Mountain View company decided to compete against Amazon, or is it simply trying to bring e-merchants and their consumers together and improve their user experience? The question warrants consideration even if we more than noticed the increase in areas of confrontation between Amazon and the net giant. Last Tuesday, during the Search Marketing Expo Advanced, Google announced new features in Google Adwords and Google Shopping which will impact marketers and retailers. Let’s take a look at the announcements!
First interesting announcement, Google disclosed the deployment of “See What’s In Store”, a new free feature that allows businesses to display a list of their products in their Knowledge Panels. This appears in a column to the right of the screen in the Google Maps search results.
80% of shoppers go directly to a shop if they have immediate need of a product. It’s with that in mind that Google developed a new parameter to facilitate meeting this need: affiliate location extensions to video campaigns on Youtube. The net giant had noticed that adding an extension to TrueView InStream and Bumper Ads advertisements could increase the click rate by 15%.
The remainder concerns deployment of a catalogue of local advertising! Currently unavailable, this feature deployed at the end of the month will allow advertisers to publish their catalogue online and indicate their stock levels directly. Boulanger was able to pre-test this new format in France and noted that the campaign deployed with this format brought 20,000 visits to its online store.
“With help from both click-based and impression-based store visits* (launched in March), the campaign drove over 20K visits to its stores, delivering a return of 42 times its investment on ad spend.”
The mobile experience was immediately impacted: fluid browsing and optimized UX, these new formats improved users’ shopping experiences and simplified access to business information. But the product sheets and catalogues are not the only things to have undergone transformation!
Price is also one of the most important considerations for consumers (if not the most important).
“New price benchmarks in AdWords reporting will be available soon to show Shopping advertisers how other retailers are pricing the same products.”
This new parameter incorporated into Adwords speaks to you merchants. You can use the information on your competitors’ pricing to build and/or adjust your marketing strategy to products with competitive prices.
Google’s final announcement concerned the update, and optimization of its tool, Google Shopping Actions! With the development of vocal assistants in e-commerce, it’s been noted that consumers are always open to trying and adopting new ways of browsing/consuming. Since the launch of Shopping Actions in March, the net giant hadn’t made many big changes to the tool. As a reminder, the latter is a tool which allows e-merchants to display their products on three platforms: the search network, Google Express, and the company’s vocal assistant, by which I mean Google Assistant!
The Mountain View company has given retailers a feedback form. The aforementioned is largely positive without actually giving detailed results.
“[…] that participating retailers on average see an increase in total clicks and conversions at a lower overall cost per click and conversion, compared to running Shopping ads alone.”
The company’s interest in developing such solutions, winning and useful as they are for both the merchant as the consumer, remains development of digital ads. This interest carried by e-commerce development puts Google in direct competition with Jeff Bezos’s company. On the large e-commerce playing field, where Amazon rules as king, Google just redealt the hand. Where the e-commerce giant had become the reference for price comparisons, it had become a comparison reflex, Google rivals with an approach based on product discovery and inspiration.
At a time when Amazon is entering the digital advertising marketplace with the development of a retargeting solution, Google is squaring off in its own marketplace. As a reminder, at end April, Amazon announced it would no longer purchase Google Shopping advertisements. The e-commerce giant looked like it was pulling the rug out from Google’s feet by developing solutions that would enable merchants to ignore the net giant in the promotion of their products/services.
The rivalry between the two giants is not new. In 2017, when Amazon purchased Whole Foods and offered an off/online sales service, Google began teaming up with super stores to sell their products online. And it’s not simply a decision made to follow Amazon as the Mountain View company continues to develop this branch, witness its agreement with Carrefour France!
The announcements by Google offer small retailors, the brick and mortar stores, a particular advantage to gain online visibility. The possibility of this new Google Maps feature also solves another problem on the consumer side: the latter will no longer need go from store to store, phone in hand, to promptly find the product/service adapted to their need. With the 3 announcements, the American company reinforced its advertising offer while offering new possibilities to retailers and new solutions to consumers.
Last month’s news and the interest shown by Google for online buying experiences shows that the net giant risks finding that Amazon is a more imposing adversary than Facebook. Everyone is free to have their own opinion.
Read the post drafted by Google on these announcements here.