Last year, mobile devices used before or during shopping trips influenced just under one trillion dollars — or 28% — of in-store sales in the United States.1
Those sales grew from the billions of shopping micro-moments
that power today’s buying economy. Fewer people wait to head to the mall on Saturday to go shopping; thanks to smartphones, shopping now happens anytime and anywhere. Read on for the latest ways we’re helping retailers reach shoppers in those crucial I-want-to-know, I want-to-go, and I want-to-buy moments.I-want-to-know: Giving immediate answers for every shopping need
We're improving the mobile experience on Google to aid shoppers as they browse, compare, and research products.
1 in 5 people swipe to interact with shopping ads, expressing a strong desire to learn more.2
So we’re rolling out a new enhancement that gently expands the shopping ads as you swipe, revealing information like product ratings and availability at a nearby store. The result: more qualified traffic driven directly to retailers. This feature will begin rolling out on Chrome for Android this month, with iOS to follow in the coming months.
|Expandable shopping ads|
Conversational search is also really important -- we’re seeing more shoppers literally asking Google to help them learn more about products. So we’re rolling out new experiences that answer them right back.
On searches for the top-rated products, such as “Best women’s Nike running shoes,” we’re starting to show newly-designed shopping ads with authoritative rankings and product ratings. The new design is so helpful to those specific users that we've seen click-through-rate increases of up to 11% for retailers for these queries.3
Product queries that include “reviews” or “recommendations" are also increasingly common, so we’re showing new product review cards with product ratings and snippets from the most useful reviews from around the web. Finally, shoppers who want to learn more about a product’s features, like the resolution of the camera they’re considering purchasing, may now see a product attribute card with the most relevant information.
|New experiences for shoppers searching for the best products, product reviews and attributes|
I-want-to-go: Helping shoppers find local stores
1 in 4 people who avoid stores say they do so because they don’t want to waste their time finding out that the thing they want isn’t in stock.4
So we’re doing more to serve people who clearly want to focus on products that are available within driving distance.
In late 2013, we launched local inventory ads
, which show shoppers when the product they want is available at a nearby store. We’ve seen very positive results: retailers who enabled local inventory ads on mobile and desktop campaigns saw a 2% increase in overall clicks and no drop in online conversion rate when local inventory ads were served instead of shopping ads (PLAs).5
Because we’ve seen that LIAs are good for both shoppers and retailers, we’ll now be showing many more local inventory ads than we did before by prioritizing showing LIA over shopping ads on local intent shopping queries, like “coffee maker near me”. This new experience increased clicks on shopping ads by 85% for these queries.6
|Local inventory ads for local intent queries|
What if you could give shoppers the right information at the right time – without them even needing to ask? Google Now
does just that by bringing people the information they need at the moment they need it. We’ve recently released two new cards for shoppers.
The Google Now in-store card appears when a shopper is near a store, displaying useful information such as sales, closing hours, loyalty card data, and more. When she clicks “Search store inventory,” a Google-hosted, retailer-branded local storefront allows her to browse that store’s shelves 24 hours a day. Also newly available is the Google Now price drop card. This card highlights a significant price reduction on a product the shopper has previously browsed, giving her a compelling reason to make that purchase now, online or in-store.
|Google Now in-store card, local storefront & Google Now price drop card|
I-want-to-buy: Making it easy to purchase on mobile
US retailers’ conversion rates on desktop computers are 2X higher than on mobile.7
So we’re working on new solutions to help retailers increase mobile engagement and sales.
There are lots of great shopping apps out there, and we want to encourage shoppers to use them. That’s why we’re starting to work with a select group of global retailers including eBay, Flipkart and Zalando to add deep links to their apps right in their shopping ads, driving people straight to their mobile app instead of their website. This is a tremendous new opportunity for retailers and app developers to drive engagement with their shopping apps, and we’ll be expanding it to more advertisers in the coming months.
|App deep linking for shopping ads|
Finally, to help smartphone shoppers buy with ease from their favorite retailers, we'll be testing Purchases on Google. When a shopper searches on mobile for a product such as “women's hoodies”, she may see a shopping ad with 'Buy on Google' text. After clicking the ad, she's taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. Checkout is seamless, simple, and secure, thanks to saved payment credentials in her Google Account.
|Purchases on Google|
For retailers, opting in to Purchases on Google means improved mobile conversions thanks to a simplified checkout process. Participating retailers only pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page; all clicks and interactions on the product page are free. While Google hosts the product page and provides purchase protection for customers, retailers own the customer communication and can offer customers the option to receive marketing and promotional messages. “Customers increasingly want to shop on their own terms. Purchases on Google facilitates that flexibility while maintaining the merchant’s ability to own the customer relationship
.” says, Peter Cobb, eBags Marketing EVP and Shop.org Chairman.
Although we're still in early experiments with a limited number of retailers, we see Purchases on Google as a big step towards helping retailers drive more mobile conversions and win more customers. “Purchases on Google will simplify our customers’ ability to search for items on Google and then buy with Staples
.” said Faisal Masud, Executive Vice President of Global E-Commerce, Staples, Inc. “Working with Google on this offering will make the discovery and purchase process even easier for the customers we serve, with the power of both of our companies behind it
Jason LaRose, Chief Revenue Officer, Digital at Under Armour echoes a similar sentiment: "As the consumer continues to rapidly adopt mobile as their primary device, we have to move at a similar pace in how we reduce purchase friction and enhance the user experience with our brand. Google's technology solutions help us innovate, so our collaborative efforts are rich and ongoing
With shoppers today, big expectations come from the smallest moments. That's good news, because retailers now have the technology to deliver on those expectations. The tools we shared this week can help retailers be there in those billions (and trillions!) of micro-moments with the right experience, and in the right context, to win the moments that matter the most.
To learn more about Google’s solutions for retailers, visit google.com/retail
or contact your Google account manager.Posted by Jonathan Alferness, Vice President, Product Management, Google Shopping
1Deloitte, Navigating the New Digital Divide: Capitalizing on Digital Influence in Retail, May 2015.
2 Google Shopping internal data, Q2 2015.
3 Google Shopping internal data, Q1 2015.
4 Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, May 2014.
5 Google Shopping internal data, randomized user A/B experiment using Adwords Conversion Tracking for mobile and desktop, controlling for product mix and excluding local-only products, June 2015.
6 Google Shopping internal data, randomized user A/B experiment, June 2015.
7 Aggregated data from Google Analytics for the US retail vertical, May 2015.