Google Unveils Shoppable Images

April 8, 2019
Moresby Media

Advertisers looking to get more out of their display campaigns now have the option to place product ads on Google Images.


A New Advertising Space

While Google is the primary method for people in the United States to conduct their searches, the way in which they’re doing these searches has evolved over time. A study produced by the search giant revealed that 50% of those who take to Google for searches are now turning to Google Images – the area of the platform that indexes pictures instead of website URLS - to help them with their purchasing decisions. To that end, the company recently launched Shopping ads on Google Images to select brands and advertisers, which will offer yet another channel for influencing prospective customers.

Shoppable Image Ads
Image Source: Google Blog


Format Breakdown

Shoppable ads on Google Images will give advertisers the ability to feature multiple products available for purchase that cater to inspirational searches, like design ideas for households or offices.

Users will be able to hover over a sponsored ad, which will be identified via a tag-shaped icon located on the lower right corner of the image and view additional product information such as pricing and who the seller is.

The format is currently only available to home design and art industries for the time being, but Google has stated that more advertisers – and presumably all advertisers eventually – will be given access to deploy this format in the coming months.

Additionally, Google will also be extending its Showcase Shopping ads option – a similar display concept that lets marketers serve beautiful product imagery using the Google Ads (formerly AdWords) platform – to Google Images as well. Showcase Shopping ads have experienced increasing success since its inception back in 2017.


Image Source: Google Blog


Eyeing Pinterest

This announcement comes as Google hopes to start capturing more of Pinterest’s ecommerce market, a relatively unrivalled platform in terms of niche, and one that has one of the most dedicated userbases when it comes to ecommerce purchases.

With nearly half of millennials browsing the platform on a monthly basis, and its ability to generate an incredible amount of referral traffic (only Facebook drives more), perhaps the only surprise to Google entering the battleground is that it took this long to actually happen.

It’s worth noting that Pinterest isn’t simply allowing Google to walk on its turf uncontested. Last month, the business launched fully automated curation of its Shop the Look feature, which the company states has led to an increase in user engagement on its website.


Visualizing the Future

As we’ve mentioned several times before, every time one advertising platform ventures into another’s realm to try and compete with a new service, that always leads to a great opportunity for marketers to take advantage. And Google Images is certainly not a channel to be taken lightly either, as one Search Engine Land study stated that it receives more than ten times the amount of searches as any search on Bing or Yahoo, and over forty times that of Facebook.


Image Source: Search Engine Land

Ecommerce enablement is shaping up to be even more of a deciding factor this year than previous ones when it comes to where advertising dollars are being spent. We’ve already seen Amazon make considerable strides to eating a portion of Google & Facebook’s advertising market due to its ability to produce powerful results for ecommerce businesses, and – as mentioned above – with Pinterest’s success in capitalizing off visual ecommerce, the decision to open up Google Images to a similar format makes quite a lot of sense.

Marketers who are driving traffic to aesthetically-pleasing physical products will want to keep a close eye on this format. If you’re not already one of the lucky ones who can start deploying Shoppable ads on Google Images, you will have the option to soon as this becomes more widely spread.

Until then, re-acquaint yourself with Product Pins on Pinterest if you’re foreign to the format, because there will be a lot of similarities between the two, and start devising what that first campaign will look like when your access is granted.

If you have any questions about this article or display advertising best practices, feel free to reach out to our affiliate management team. They’re always interacting with some of the most successful marketers in the space, and they’ll be happy to share some of their success stories with you.

(Top banner photo credit: Image Source: Google Blog)

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