Google began testing “shoppable ads” in Image Search last March, which allows advertisers to highlight products in ads. A few brands, such as Kate Spade, have dabbled in what the search engine called a “shoppable ad” unit on YouTube.
Now, reportedly, there is a different type of ad unit on YouTube videos that will display product prices and recommendations. It makes it easier to buy brands on Google, delivered by Google Express.
Google recently tested the recommendation feature with YouTube videos utilizing the Nike brand. The Information found certain Nike videos recommend sneakers and a running top.
This is a different type of “shoppable ad” unit; it appears to tie in Google Express. Here, users click on the recommendation and get sent to a Google Express page, where they can add the item to their Google cart and check out through Google, rather than being redirected to Nike’s website.
New digital video ad formats are expected to increase in adoption this year, specifically stories and shoppable ads, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Earlier this year, Instagram and Pinterest also announced they would roll out a new type of shoppable ad that enables consumers to make purchases directly within the apps. The ads are based on recommendations.
Google Marketing Live is scheduled in two weeks.
The Information story builds on an announcement made in 2018. Sources tell the media outlet the company is “rapidly” adding retailers to its Google Express marketplace, which it plans to rebrand as Google Shopping.
Google had plans to quadruple investment on its shopping unit, which included the shopping ads team and Google Express, The Information reports. It ended the annual membership for Express in 2017 to compete with Amazon. Now, delivery fees are set by individual merchants.
About 1,300 merchants sell through Google Express, up from 50 one year ago, reports The Information, citing Marketplace Pulse.