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google releases 5 new shopping features

Google has stepped up its game once again, announcing five brand new Shopping features. Steered by the rapid and unrelenting changes of technology, mobile and consumer expectations, these features bring new ways for users to find and engage with businesses along every step of their buying journey.

Over the years, the shopping capabilities of big players such as Amazon, Pinterest and Instagram have evolved. In response to the growing dominance of other platforms in the eCommerce sector, Google has improved how they can help connect shoppers to brands. Read our blog to learn more about these new features and how they can add value to your eCommerce strategy.

expansion of affiliate location extensions

Did you know, almost 80 percent of shoppers will immediately head to a store if they see an item they want? To capture the demand of local consumers with a high purchase intent and drive traffic to relevant stores, Google has expanded affiliate location extensions from Search and Display campaigns to video campaigns on YouTube. This feature informs consumers which nearby retailers carry the product they’re searching for. When the user clicks your ad, Google highlights relevant retailers on a map, showing directions to the stores.

local inventory ads

Local Inventory Ads showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers. When shoppers click the ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store called the local storefront. This storefront displays in-store availability, store hours, directions, product details and more.

Previously, retailers had to create their own local inventory feeds to run local inventory ads. But now, Google has launched a new partnership programme to partner with point-of-sales (POS) and inventory data providers. Retailers are now able to directly connect their data providers to Google and let the search engine do the rest!

local catalogue ads

Google rolled out Local Catalogue Ads (LCA) to help shoppers discover what is being sold in a store prior to visiting, highlighting product information and pricing. This interactive, highly visual feature uses feed data from Local Inventory Ads before targeting viewers through Display Ads.

These ads appear underneath a hero image, allowing shoppers to scroll through products to easily access information on pricing and availability. One-third of people say they enjoy finding inspiration and discovering new products when shopping, this new feature allows customers to easily explore. Even if your campaigns are still traditional print campaigns, LCAs intensify your reach with the added audience and measurement capabilities of digital ads.

competitor pricing information

Have you ever wondered whether your products are priced competitively? Maybe you’ve noticed a drop in sales for a key product line? This new addition to Google AdWords could provide the insight you need, providing access to competitor product pricing information. With this tool, you can now see what competitors are charging for the same product and use this insight to improve your bidding-strategy. Beyond availability of products, price is a top factor considered by consumers when purchasing a product, making this an extremely important update from Google for brands to utilise. The competitive pricing data is presented in three ways:

  • Average product price: This is your product price

  • Benchmark product price: This is the product price of your competitors. The benchmark price is the ‘click-weighted price’ of your competitors which essentially means the prices with the most clicks.

  • Benchmark product price difference: This is the important metric! It’s a percentage showing the difference between the two metrics mentioned above. It displays how far off your average product price is from the competition, with the difference given as a positive or negative percentage.

shopping actions programme

The Shopping Actions programme is Google’s response to Amazon’s growing dominance in the eCommerce marketplace. It allows retailers of all sizes to display their products across Google’s various channels such as Google Search, Google Express or Google Assistant, creating a fast and easy buying journey for users.

Shopping Actions is a pay-per-scale platform where retailers only pay Google when a transaction is completed, as opposed to the pay-per-click model of Google AdWords. The programme uses a shareable list, universal shopping cart and instant checkout with saved payment credentials, creating a smooth and streamlined process that easily turns browsing into buying.

As consumer expectations continue to rise, Google continues its efforts to connect relevant shoppers to relevant brands as intuitively and fast as possible. Here at equation, we are a team of Google certified Shopping experts with the knowledge and skill to take your paid eCommerce strategy to new heights. Contact us to find out how we could implement these new features for you.

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