For the many consumers who feel inundated with digital ads already, hearing that Google has introduced new ad products may not be good news. But, for the local retailers who struggle to gain the attention of those consumers across platforms, it is welcome indeed.
As Recode recently reported, Google will be adding two new product ads to its already robust menu of ad types. Image search results will now display ads targeted at mobile users, and a new line of ads for local retailers will allow shoppers to make purchases for in-store pickup and check on product inventory within search.
As the outlet notes, not only do these new ad units serve to remind advertisers that Google ads are a beneficial method for gauging user intent, they will also potentially entice users to opt for Google’s shopping features rather than other third-party apps, like Amazon.
"Local context is continuing to become a bigger and bigger deal," Jon Alferness, VP for Google's shopping and travel products, told Recode. "Folks are using their mobile phones as remote controls for the physical world … Everything that precedes the buy button really influences whether the consumer is going down this instant-purchase path or actually wants to go into the store.”
Google is seeking to bolster its lackluster reputation in the commerce space. Recode points out that these new ad products are a signal to retailers that the tech giant is committed to helping them drive offline sales to brick-and-mortar locations. While the company will excise a toll (in the form of ad revenue), it does not need to take a cut of every transaction the way competitors like Amazon do.
Along with the new formats, Google is also rolling out tools to help stores display available inventory in the Knowledge Panel (the box that appears in searches, along with a map and store information).
"Dammit, I don’t just want to know where the store is and how late it’s open," Alferness commented to Recode, channeling a Google searcher. "I want to know if they have — I dunno — the Chromecast dongle in the store."
And a dongle that theoretical customer shall have, if things go according to plan for Google.