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Google Launches Shoppable Images Ads

Written by Daniel
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Following in the steps of Instagram and Pinterest, Google recently announced the launch of Shoppable Images Ads. Check out the latest episode of Industry Spotlight to hear our take on the news…

See the full video transcription below.



Chris: So the final topic that we’re going to be discussing today is Google’s debut of the Shoppable Images, and the videos for Showcase Ads as well. So that’s something that you’ll probably be familiar with or you’ve already seen on Instagram with the Shoppable Tags and Posts. A bit of a Pinterest-style format.

But, yeah, Google have decided to experiment with it in their Images section, which is pretty cool. There’s already ads within Google Images, but I guess you’ve got something a little bit more visually enticing…I mean, we’re seeing a lot of that now. I think it is adopting the Instagram, Pinterest-style theme but on Google. I think it’ll be particularly prominent across fashion retail.

Jamie: I’m seeing it more on Instagram now. People are getting on board with it, aren’t they?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. I think that they’re taking the steer from Instagram. I think people like that experience, as well. It’s about inspiration, isn’t it? I think when you’re looking at, like, home utilities and furnishings and things like that, you have to almost imagine the setting and imagine that product in your home. With just showing the standard product image, it isn’t enough, really, to inspire you to imagine it in your own home. So I think it is a really sensible way to go with it, I think.

And I think it’ll make the service look a little bit more interesting as well. It does get a little bit tiresome from time to time just seeing shopping ads and, you know, it’s just an inventory shop. So, yeah, I think it’ll make the service look a little bit more interesting as well. It’ll be the same process as with the standard shopping ads, linking your feed and then, I imagine, tagging up your hero products that you want to advertise.

Lee: Mobile UI again. CAD-based design.

Jamie: They don’t care about desktop UI anymore, do they?

Chris: What’s desktop? Yeah. And the second thing there, as well, is the Showcase Ads. You’ve probably seen these intermittently across Google before. It’s like a collection almost of shopping ads, as opposed to the single units that you get when you search for a product. So they are, or have been, in beta. I think they’re just coming out of it now, and there’s select advertisers that are seeing that in their interface now, which is pretty cool.

But what they’ve decided to do, whereas it was just individual-product shops before, they’ve now allowed you to put video in there as well. Again, a little bit more inspiration. You can visualize and imagine what it’d look like in your own setting, or something like that. It’s just a bit more of a richer experience.

Lee: It makes so much sense, doesn’t it, with things like internet speeds, mobile internet speeds, the content, the type of ads that they’re able to serve now when people are on the move. Mobile-first is completely different to what it was two years ago.

Chris: I mean, it is a slightly risky move, in my opinion, if you’re doing it and you’re targeting specific product lines, because you’re almost taking emphasis. You’re giving people options. Whereas, if you give somebody an individual card of a product, they go straight to the website. Whereas these, it’ll take you to a Google-hosted landing page, effectively, and then you can browse them from there. So I don’t think it gets you to the purchase step as quickly. That is the only disadvantage, I would say, with these. But again, it’s…

Lee: Prospecting.

Chris: Yeah, it’s prospecting. It’s getting people to that stage where they’re eventually going to come back direct or with a brand search or something like that and find your product. I think a lot of advertisers are becoming a lot more savvy on that basis as well and not just going after acquisition 100% of the time, investing in people’s research cycles and getting them to, again, imagine what things are going to look like in the home.

And if you’re talking about home furnishings and things like that or, you know, like we just touched on with the Instagram Shoppable Posts, if you’re buying a new watch, you want to see how it looks on somebody, rather than just a single unit. So, yeah, I think we should expect to see more of that, yeah, rolled out in the next 6 to 12 months.

Lee: I think by March next year, Google will have AR ads in this space.

Chris: Yeah. Quite possibly, yeah. I think that’s a really good shout.

Jamie: No.

Lee: Facebook are doing it.

Jamie: March?

Lee: Facebook have already done it. Michael Kors, trying sunglasses on and stuff before you buy them. Yeah. They exist.

Jamie: Snapchat. Snapchat will do it.

Lee: Snapchat have already done it. Locked it in.

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