Google Unveils Competitive Tools For Search, Maps, YouTube

Google estimates that consumers shop across its platforms more than one billion times daily. On Monday, Google will announce features to make it easier for merchants to stand out in searches online based on prices, shipping costs, return information, and more.

The Shopping ads team is focused on building richer ad experiences for all stages of the journey -- from inspiration to purchase -- across Google, including Search, Maps, and YouTube, says Tina Weyand, senior director of Retail Ads at Google. “We’re agnostic as to where the purchase takes place,” she says. “We just want to make sure we’re getting consumers the correct information.”

The tools launching today aim to help merchants reach the shoppers who come to Google every day, with features that include Shopping Experience Scorecard, Free Listings Conversion Measurement, Competitive Price Insights, and Shipping & Returns Overview Pages.

The pricing insights tool, built on machine learning, aims to help merchants understand how they compete with others that sell something similar.

Product pricing in the market is dynamic, and staying competitive is critical for merchants and advertisers. The tool helps merchants determine whether their products are priced competitively and whether the projected impact of price changes on their revenue. 

The tool offers merchants a suggested price for each product they sell, along with predicted impressions, clicks, conversions and gross profit, through the use of machine learning.

Google uses information and attributes, including product availability and size, that link in a merchant's Google Merchant Center account to determine the type of product and category. A merchant can see how their products’ pricing stacks up in comparison to the same product sold by other retailers, as well as potential revenue if they were to change the price.

The landscape and the way consumers shop continue to change rapidly. Investments in automation are one way Google helps merchants adapt.

The tools, available for free to listing merchants and retail advertisers, aim to also support the migration from Smart Shopping campaigns (SSC) and Local campaign advertisers to Performance Max later this year.

As announced last year, Google will launch a self-service tool for SSC advertisers to upgrade beginning in April, and Local campaign advertisers to upgrade beginning in June.

The goal is to have all existing SSC and LC advertisers upgraded to Performance Max by September 2022. Based on early tests, advertisers that upgraded Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS).

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