This year’s Google Marketing Livestream was timed perfectly. Just as the U.S. and much of the world were emerging from a global pandemic, Google emerged with a blueprint for the future.
The pandemic accelerated the growth of ecommerce and Google plans to use this momentum to usher in a new era of online shopping. In this year’s Google Marketing Livestream, the company has laid out its plans to enhance the Google Shopping experience with a new feature set that rivals its biggest competitors. Let’s review.
Augmented Reality on Google Shopping
Google is pushing the limit of product discovery beyond digital by expanding its use of augmented reality. AR will be used product listings and promotions to make online shopping more “real” than ever before.
“We launched an AR (augmented reality) makeup kit try-on experience for lipstick and eyeshadow, and soon consumers will be able to find that perfectly matching foundation, from brands like L'Oreal and Estee Lauder.” - Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google
Now Google is expanding its AR shopping capabilities beyond makeup. The expansion of AR will allow shoppers to visualize how clothing will look in the real world by letting them “try it on” in the augmented reality world. The AR apparel experience is expected to be rolled out this year.
Video Shopping Across Google
Google is also reimagining how sellers connect with their customers, especially at key decision-making points in the customer journey. Soon, sellers will have the ability to curate how their products appear on Google through videos, rich lifestyle imagery, and interactive story formats on Google Search, Google Shopping, Google Images, Google Maps, and YouTube. (And it’s all free!)
Brand Loyalty Programs
Google is piloting a merchant loyalty program integration that helps customers see your special deals, including free shipping, when they first start shopping on Google. This is the perfect tool for nurturing customers who have already purchased and those who are close to purchasing.
If you have a customer with loyalty to your company, they'll be able to easily link up their account. If not, the user can create an account in just one click!
Google Deals Page
Loyalty programs are great, but sometimes consumers just want a good deal — and quickly. According to Bill Ready, president of commerce at Google, searches for “discount code” have increased 50% since last year. These searches are usually performed by shoppers who are way down the funnel, which makes it the perfect opportunity to snatch sales from competitors.
With discount codes, Google will make it easier for shoppers to discover your brand’s promotions, just in time for holiday shopping. The new Deals results page on Search and the Shopping tab means that shoppers will be able to see merchant’s promotion options without leaving the search engine. New real-time deal optimization reporting is coming to Merchant Center too so keep an eye out for that.
Local Inventory Ads Expansion
Consumers now expect more buying options. Over the past year, “available near me,” “curbside pickup,” and "in stock" searches surged 800% year over year.
That’s why Google is now offering new ways to show consumers all of your store’s buying options. Whether it’s online, in-store, or somewhere else, you will be able to present that information to customers right on the SERP. Google Local Inventory Ads will now show products that are available for immediate store pick up, curbside pickup, or for pick up at a later time.
Curbside pickup and in-store shopping labels will be extended to other Google Surfacess too, including YouTube and Google Maps.
Google hopes to build an ecommerce future where your shoppers can learn about and interact with your brand without the common limitations of online shopping. To learn more about Google Shopping’s new features, watch the on-deman recordings of the Google Marketing Livestream.