We have seen some major updates from Google this year – across the Ads platform and in other areas. One of the most significant changes might be the latest update to the Google Shopping experience that rolled out last month.
Of all the updates, the common thread is “personalization” – which Google has used a pillar and catalyst for improving its advertising products time and time again. With the latest updates, the Google Shopping homepage has been redesigned to better meet the needs of its users – as shoppers are now welcomed with product suggestions based on search history and online behavior. Also on the homepage, shoppers can find their recently purchased items to make re-orders a cinch, and see their recently viewed items to ensure continuity across their shopping experience.
While many articles will deep dive into the pros and cons of Google Shopping, or delve into comparing Google’s shopping engine to Amazon’s this holiday season, we wanted to bring you only the need-to-know updates.
But wait, doesn’t de-cluttering start in the New Year?
Not for us – we are busy holiday planning and driving results for our clients, and as any good marketer knows – clarity is key!
Use the Nearby Feature for Need-it-Now & Try-On Items – One big benefit of the new experience is the prioritization of the “Available Nearby” feature which allows users to see which stores nearby carry the items they are interested in AND have them in stock. This feature is driven by Google’s commitment to supporting “local” businesses and economies and is perfect for the last-minute shopper or someone who feels more comfortable being able to “try before they buy.”
In the example, we executed a mobile search for wayfarer sunglasses and filtered results by “available nearby” to get a list of the stores who have these in stock.
Get the Best Deal This Season with Price Tracking – Another cool feature now available in Google Shopping is the ability to set up price alerts to ensure you get the best price for the items you’re viewing from a particular store. For select products, you will be given the option to “Track Price,” which will automatically set up mobile notifications (and desktop ones too, if you’re opted in). One huge note here is that the price tracking ONLY applies to the item at the given store you are viewing – not on the item altogether. Meaning, Google isn’t going to notify you if another retailer has a better price, they are only giving you the best price for that item at the selected retailer. This is to ensure advertisers don’t start racing to bottom of the barrel pricing just to show up in a shopper’s notifications
Pull on Some Heartstrings by Being Eco-conscious – One drawback to online shopping is that the cost of fuel to get our packages to us on-time are often associated with high carbon emissions and not-so-environmentally friendly things. As part of it’s “RTBs” or “reasons to believe” that Google Shopping is the superior engine, Google has made a promise that any time a product is purchased through Google Shopping (directly through them, not a retailer), that they “will offset the carbon emissions generated from that product being shipped to you.” Directly from Google’s sustainability announcement, “This means that for every metric ton of carbon dioxide produced in shipping, we will ensure that the same volume of emissions is removed.” Yay for ethical shopping, so that you can sleep easy this holiday season!
Make it Easy with Saved Payment Info – One massive benefit to Amazon is how flipping easy it is! With saved payment info or one-click buying options, I can purchase faster than I can blink! Google is aiming to do the same for those with Google accounts, as they now allow you to save payment info and purchase items directly on the Google Shopping platform through their relationship with thousands of retailers. What’s more, is that when items are purchased on the Google Shopping platform, they are backed by the “Google Guarantee” which means you can chat directly with Google support for any returns and refunds (and depending on the end-retailer here, this could be a huge win, as customer service doesn’t seem to be everyone’s priority these days). This should make holiday shopping quite easy with just a few simple clicks, as well as instill some confidence in shoppers (especially since we all know Amazon’s customer service rocks).
Have you tried the new Google Shopping experience? If you haven’t yet, rest assured that it gets better with each purchase, and each search. Like so many of Google’s products, including their search engine, it will need to algorithmically learn about you to give you the best experience over time.