Microsoft Experiments With Shopping, Will Launch More Product Ads In Image Search

Microsoft continues to experiment with shopping campaigns — a way for marketers to organize, manage, bid and report on Product Ads — in hopes of giving advertisers a better alternative to Google and Amazon.

Microsoft saw a 33% increase in clicks for product ads and 8% uptick in conversion rates in 2018 compared with the prior year, said Eugene Goldenshteyn, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, during a recent call.  

Microsoft will release more information about product ads in image search, and more of these ads will soon launch in the U.S. When a customer focuses and clicks specifically on one type of image, Microsoft will serve a carousel of product ads that are visually similar.

When someone searches for “red prom dresses” and the image serves up a pair of shoes and a handbag, other images in the carousel will serve up of images of shoes and handbags that match the dress in the image.  



“These are expanded areas where we will start serving more product ads,” Goldenshteyn said.

In limited release on mobile, Microsoft’s focus on serving a product image in the top spot, but listing others beneath from the same retailer to provide alternatives through an option, called Quick View, expands the number of products consumers can see.

It’s not clear whether marketers can use the shop-around Quick View capability to serve up similar products with poorer reviews and higher prices.

On the PC the number of carousel images will expand to 18.

The team also is taking offers previously limited to the right sidebar and pushing them into the main listing. The number of sidebar ads that will serve up simultaneously also will increase from eight to nine.

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