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Google Introduces Features To Aid Travel Shoppers

When travelers turn to mobile, Google wants to be there to serve the information they request.

On Tuesday, Google announced it will help marketers and on-the-go shoppers by introducing several features to make mobile shopping and travel planning easier, even when shopping occurs from YouTube.  

Google introduced YouTube TrueView ads for shopping in spring 2015, making it easier for consumers to click to buy while watching video ads. To help marketers gain more control of branding, Google Tuesday introduced Companion Banner and Product Picker.

While the Companion Banner feature shows viewers the most up-to-date product information in a carousel of products that users can scroll through while watching video, Product Picker lets advertisers choose and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign.

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Consumers often turn to YouTube to help them research purchases. In fact, about 47% participating in a Google and Ipsos conducted in March 2016, said YouTube helps them when make a decision about something to buy at least once a month.

Since the shopping doesn't all happen on YouTube and is typically tied to an event or special occasion like travel, Google also added the option to filter hotel search results based on specific needs.

For example, travelers can filter searches based on ratings or prices with one tap on their phones or search on specific queries like "Pet-friendly hotels in Huntington Beach under $200 for three nights." This feature is available in the U.S. and will roll out globally later this year. 

Marketers can keep consumers up to date on price changes with an option that lets travelers track the data for specific dates and route combination of airline flights. Google estimates that 69% of leisure travelers worry they do not find the best price or make the best decision. Notifications are sent either by email or Google Now cards. 

Google also will roll out features called Hotel Deal and Tips.

A "Deal" label will call out the best price. Google says algorithms automatically identify the deals when identifying a lower price. Tips is another way Google uses real-time analysis. Tips provide people ways to say money. For example, consumers night see a Tip like, "Save $105 if you stay Wed, Jul 13 - Fri, Jul 15."

Hotel Deals and Tips already began rolling out and marketers and consumers will begin seeing the changes during the coming months.

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