by Farzin Andrew Espahani
VP, Growth & Digital Marketing – Anthropologist
Advertising with Image Search
Images play a huge role in online retail, whether it’s a lawn-mower or a pair of earrings, people want a visual before they click the buy-now button.
“What’s the price?” and “where can I buy this?” are typical questions Google Images search users ask while shopping online. Making the buying process simpler, Google placed Shopping ads on Image search. Ads for related products now show up as shoppers look through Google Images, making it simpler to click through to the retailer and make a purchase.
Retailers are excited; visual images have an immediate impact on customers, allowing online merchants to display merchandise in ways that strike a chord with customers. Its effect on the bottom line is impressive.
Yelena Aschberger, Vice President of Digital Communication, PR & Events at Swarovski CGB had this to say. “Swarovski is an emotional brand and we are always looking for new ways to bring our products into a visually inspiring context. We’re thrilled to be able to leverage Google’s newest formats, particularly Shopping ads on image search which will allow us to engage shoppers and inspire them to desire our brand as they’re browsing and discovering products in our categories.”
Local Shopping Made Easier
Local searches including specific names and zip codes have significantly increased over the last year, doubling in size. Google introduced local inventory advertisements to move products in neighborhood stores, showing local product availability to shoppers online.
This feature has quadrupled the amount of people displayed local ads in search results. Businesses can offer a buy online/pickup in-store option by adding a store pickup link to their Google-hosted local website.
The department store giant Kohl’s noticed a 40-50% increase in clicks from their local websites to their main site using this feature. Advertisers using local inventory ads also have products searchable on Google in the Knowledge Panel.
Google Knowledge Panel
The Google Knowledge Panel is a box located to the right of the search results of business searches. It contains helpful information like store hours and locations so customers may contact it easily. This feature lets them know if items they want are in stock, encouraging foot traffic to brick and mortar locations.
Similar to search results, whether a store’s information appears in the Knowledge Panel is decided by varying factors, including relevance, prominence, and how far away it is from the searcher. Though a business might be verified, this does not secure it a spot in the Knowledge Panel.
Driving Business with Google Express
Google Express, their overnight delivery service drives business online, with a focus on mobile customers. 50% of orders placed on Google Express are made via smartphone or tablet, and of those consumers, 50% are new to the retailer. Google Express also encourages repeat sales, with 18% of sales coming from existing customers. This June, they are enlarging Google Express; more than 120 million customers will be serviced around the country with an expansion into Texas and the surrounding states.
Purchases on Google
Customers can buy products through retailer-branded pages currently hosted by Google, with Purchases on Google, a feature on shopping ads. Top retailers, such as Ralph Lauren and Staples have seen great results, with higher conversion rates on mobile shopping ads with Purchases on Google.
Micro-moments are the new impulse buys, and they are driving sales. These customers use mobile devices to discover ideas for purchases, the best products available, and they make instant decisions based on search results. Mobile shopping is here to stay and is poised for further growth.