Google Gives Brands Ads, Data To Compete On Price, Local Inventory

The always-on consumer has caught up with Google and is now demanding more from brands and retailers. The search engine on Tuesday released several new ways for brands to remain competitive and give consumers the instant gratification they want.

Internal research found that nearly 80% of “impatient” shoppers will search online for an item and then travel to a store to find it immediately.

Even Google admits shoppers have become “impatient,” after internal data found that one in three consumers say they expect to search for an item online and have the ability to pick it up from a local store the very same day.

To support this demand, Google has expanded affiliate location extensions to video campaigns on YouTube at the top of search and display campaigns. The goal is to have brands drive and measure foot traffic to nearby retail stores and auto dealers that sell their products. Google estimates that adding affiliate location extensions to TrueView in-stream and bumper ads can increase click-through rate by more than 15%.

Google also will roll out local catalog ads on display by the end of June. The ad unit, built as an interactive easy-to-scroll mobile layout, will highlight information on in-store availability and detailed pricing to help shoppers discover what brands and retailers sell in stores before visiting a physical location.

France-based Boulanger, an electronics and appliance retailer and early adopter of the local catalog ads, estimates that a campaign drove more than 20,000 visits to its stores, delivering a return of 42 times its investment on ad spend with help from using click-based and impression-based store visits, which Google launched in March.

Google also plans to make available a feature it calls competitive price benchmark analysis. The tool, available in AdWords reporting, will show how advertisers that use Shopping will price the same products.

The data informs the campaign’s bidding strategy when there are price-competitive products to promote or to troubleshoot declines in performance due to competitors’ pricing. If a buyer prices a sweater for $40 while most retailers are selling the same sweater for $60, the media buyer can choose to bid up on this sweater because the product is more price-competitive in the current market and will appeal to more potential customers.


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