Mobile devices last year used before or during shopping trips influenced just under one trillion dollars, or 28%, of in-store sales in the United States. Those sales grew from the billions of shopping micro-moments that power today’s buying economy. Thanks to smartphones, shopping now happens anytime and anywhere.
1 in 5 people swipe to interact with shopping ads, expressing a strong desire to learn more, says the report. With an enhancement that expands the shopping ads when swiped, revealing information like product ratings and availability at a nearby store, more qualified traffic is driven directly to retailers.
In addition, more shoppers are asking Google to help them learn more about products. In response, on searches for the top-rated products, the site is starting to show newly-designed shopping ads with authoritative rankings and product ratings, resulting in click-through-rate increases of up to 11% for retailers for these queries. Product queries that include “reviews” or “recommendations" are also increasingly common, so product review cards are shown with product ratings from the most useful reviews from around the web.
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, says the report. In response, the company launched local inventory ads, which show shoppers when the product they want is available at a nearby store. Results find that 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. Shopping ads on local intent shopping queries, like “coffee maker near me” increased clicks on shopping ads by 85% for these queries.
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 “Search store inventory,” is clicked, a Google-hosted, retailer-branded local storefront allows browsing that store’s shelves 24 hours a day.
Also, the Google Now price drop card highlights a significant price reduction on a product the shopper has previously browsed, giving a compelling reason to make that purchase now, online or in-store.
US retailers’ conversion rates on desktop computers are 2X higher than on mobile, says the report, so the company is adding new solutions to help retailers increase mobile engagement and sales. They are working with a select group of global retailers to add deep links to their apps in their shopping ads, to drive engagement straight to their mobile app instead of their website.
Finally, to help smartphone shoppers buy with ease from their favorite retailers, when a shopper searches on mobile for a product, they may see a shopping ad with 'Buy on Google' text, which takes the user to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google with a seamless, simple, and secure checkout thanks to saved payment credentials.
Opting in to Purchases on Google by retailers means improved mobile conversions thanks to a simplified checkout process, says the report. 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.
Peter Cobb, eBags Marketing EVP and Shop.org Chairman, concludes that “… customers want to shop on their own terms… (the Google plan) facilitates that flexibility… maintaining the merchant’s ability to own the customer relationship… ”
To read the complete Internet Retailer report, please visit here.