Google has rolled out a suite of tools designed to help businesses cut through as the customer journey to online purchases gets wider and more complex.
At Google Marketing Live, the search giant’s annual ad product event, the company unveiled three new ad formats, the capability for app deep linking and a redesigned shopping experience all designed to aid ‘discovery’, the main theme of the first day.
“Today, mobile phones allow people to engage more often, in more ways, and from more places than ever," said Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP of Google Ads and Commerce. "This means the once linear path from discovery to consideration to purchase has not only evolved, but is always evolving. In a world where we have less time and more options, it’s crucial for brands to anticipate what consumers need in order to stand out.”
Discovery ads are mobile-first swipeable image carousel ads that can appear natively across the YouTube home feed, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and the Google Discover feed.
The Gallery ad is a mobile-only ad format that offers a scrollable gallery of between four and eight images. The ad format will appear at the top of mobile search results.
The products will roll out to all advertisers globally later this year.
Meanwhile Showcase Shopping ads, which offer retailers the opportunity to “showcase” a list of products around relevant search queries, has been rolled out to Google Images and the Discover feed, and will soon be available on YouTube. The format was first introduced for search in 2016.
Elsewhere, the company will now enable brands to ‘deep link’ from Google Ads, which directs users to a specific location within a mobile app rather than simply launching the app, provided the user already has the app installed.
The functionality, which in early tests drove 2X the conversion rate of non-deep linked ad experiences, according to the company, will be available over the next few weeks.
The search giant has also redesigned its Google Shopping service. Shoppers will now have a personalised homepage in the tab where they can filter based on features and brands, read reviews and watch videos about the products. They will be able to purchase products directly from Google for the first time, as well as with the online or physical stores.