With mobile search now overtaking desktop, product centric searches on mobile are on the up and shopping ads have helped sellers get their product inventory in front of potential buyers in a much more user friendly way than traditional search ads allow. Google have recently announced several upgrades to Shopping ads on mobile which are likely to help increase CTRs, put more relevant product ads to the forefront and make the buying process much easier for buyers.
Expandable Shopping Ads
Shopping ads have always taken up a fairly small space on mobile. Now, when users scroll across shopping ads, the individual products are automatically expanded to take up more real estate on the screen.
Product Reviews are Key
A focus is being put on showing products with positive reviews and ratings higher up shopping results. This move is influenced by an increase in conversational search - for example - users asking Google "what are the best mens nike running trainers". When users want to know the "best" or "recommended" product for any given search, the best way to give users this is to show them products with great ratings. By showing product ratings in ads for these searches, Google is reporting CTRs to be up to 11% higher than standard shopping ads.Users that are searching for specific product attributes, such as the resolution of a camera, will be shown a product card with the relevant information and a picture of that product on, with an option to click through to retailers selling that product.
Shopping Deep Links into Apps
Similarly to how users can be deep linked into a specific section of a mobile app from a normal web link, Google are integrating this functionality into shopping ads. By clicking through from any given ad from a specific retailer (eBay, Zalando & Flipkart are currently signed up), you will be taken directly to that product if you've got the app installed on your phone. Apps typically have a better browsing and purchase experience than mobile versions of websites, so this is an attempt by Google to help increase conversion rates across mobile.This will be rolled out to more retailers within the coming months - think Amazon, Tesco, Argos, etc.
Buying Directly on Google
The final and most game changing development of Google shopping is the announcement of in-Google checkouts. Users will no longer need to be taken to a third party website to make a purchase, but instead they can choose their product attributes, enter their billing information and checkout directly on Google. Whilst users will have the option to go direct to the website, a "Buy on Google" option will appear which means they won't need to leave the comfort of the current Google Shopping page.Users can also save billing profiles on their Google account so every time they want to checkout on Google, they can make a purchase in a few clicks in a similar way to Instant Buy on Amazon.This could be another attempt at Google's foray into the world of online payments which has previously been a slow burner. Watch this space.