Merchant Innovation

Google Shares Shopping Data To Draw In Retailers

Google is gearing up to give merchants a sneak peek at its normally top secret search data.

Yesterday (Oct. 20), Alphabet (the new(gle) Google) gave the world a gander at its Shopping Insights tool, which allows retailers to see what products are being searched for in 16,000 U.S. cities and towns. This early version scales across 5,000 products currently on sale through the Shopping ad service that month. The long-term plan includes a more extensive product list and updates that occur more often than monthly.

The service is geared to allow retailers to get a window into regional demand and to retarget their advertising accordingly. The Google Shopping platform leverages a different variety of search ad in that it relies on massive data feeds from a variety of retailers (e.g., Walmart, Target and Best Buy) and makes sure that items are displayed with photos and detailed listings. This is a big change from keyword-focused search ads.

Estimates put Google Shopping’s annual revenue at around $2 billion and poised to grow, particularly if it shows demonstrable gains for retailers looking for a mobile edge. While Google Trends points to some of this data, Shopping Insights provides more granular detail about devices, products and locations. The insights tool also aggregates product interest from a variety of similar search terms. For example, “Pandora bracelet,” “Pandora charm bracelet” and “Pandora bracelets” will all be grouped together.

Google said the new tool is one of many tools designed to provide its merchant partners “with deeper insights about users’ intent and context.”

Those insights are important to retailers, particularly the move away from keywords, which many have complained can miss the demand expressed by other similar (but not included) keywords or phrases.

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