If you asked any retailer whether they would take advantage of the opportunity to influence consumers earlier in their shopping journey, the answer would overwhelmingly be “YES!” In response, Google created Showcase Shopping Ads. With Skai’s early support for this new ad format, marketers can now capture this opportunity and ultimately get more value of our their investment in Google’s Shopping Ads.
Visual, mobile-friendly shopping ads are a proven means of driving conversions for retailers. According to Skai’s data, shopping ads account for almost 63% of all impressions for retailers, and they’re a bargain at less than half the CPC of keywords.
Shopping ads work very well when shoppers know what they are looking for. But, sometimes shoppers don’t have a specific idea of what they’re looking for and want to search more broadly for ideas – high-performance running shoes, trendy summer dresses, or casual sofas. This presents an opportunity for the savvy marketer to influence the consumer’s preference earlier in their decision journey. It’s also an opportunity to complement and amplify the success they already have with shopping ads.
What are Showcase Shopping Ads?
Showcase Shopping Ads will only be displayed on mobile for broad, upper funnel queries when shoppers don’t know exactly what they want to purchase. They allow advertisers to display a collection of ads to provide a sampling of their brand and product selection.
Showcase Shopping Ads display a collapsed ad by merchant in lieu of a specific product. Clicking on the collapsed ad opens an expanded ad with information about the brand and a collection of products that they offer. Clicking on the category URL or the header image will take the shopper to the advertiser’s website. A click on a specific product will go to the relevant product page on the website.
Showcase Shopping Ads are engagement based. Advertisers are only charged if a shopper clicks the Showcase Shopping Ad and then clicks a link on the expanded ad or meets a time threshold on the expanded ad.
What Do Showcase Shopping Ads Mean for Advertisers?
Showcase Shopping Ads are useful for retail advertisers to reach shoppers earlier in their decision making process before they’ve committed to a brand or specific product. They can be used to drive awareness of a new product category, increase awareness in an existing category, or reach new prospects.
The advertiser has a choice in the products that are displayed, allowing them to optimize their product mix and giving them more control over their brand identity. They can increase engagement by showing best sellers, trending products, or seasonal items.
New Challenges for Advertisers with Showcase Ads
With this new format and all of its’ benefits, marketers will also have some new challenges that require new capabilities to manage, optimize, and measure showcase ads efficiently.
- Performance measurement – As search moves up the funnel, marketers will need to think about measuring engagement – new metrics and longer attribution windows. And, they’ll need unified reporting and path to purchase to understand how the ads incrementally impact their shopping campaigns.
- Structuring product groups around interests – Retailers have learned how to structure their ads around intent, but now they’ll need to analyze and learn how to structure their ads for discovery. Instead of products, they’ll need to think in interests and categories, such as top selling sneakers, fashion sneakers, or office sneakers. These categories should help to build and support their brand identity.
- Creative management – While Shopping Ads were based on feeds, Showcase Shopping Ads will add a new element of image management to campaigns. Marketers need to manually select a lifestyle image for each Showcase Ad. They’ll need to work with their creative team to get these images. And as they scale their usage of Showcase Ads, ideally, they’d have access to a library of images to pull from. They’ll need to understand which ads are performing the best, and increase the efficiency of selecting and refreshing those ads to get the best results and keep content fresh.
Skai Support for Showcase Ads
We’re thrilled to provide clients with early support of Showcase Ads. Retailers already have a big investment in Google Shopping Ads. Showcase Ads enable them to get more value out of their investment with Google and maximize the opportunity.
With Skai’s first phase of support, advertisers can view Showcase Shopping Ads and engagement metrics in Skai reports and in the analysis grid alongside their Shopping Ads to learn how Showcase Shopping Ads are performing, how they fit into their advertising mix, and what product groups are working the best. We’ll be rolling out further support in the coming weeks.
Our strategic partnership with Google allows us to coordinate on the opportunities that will have the biggest impact for our clients, and we’re bullish on this new ad format. In the future, Skai looks forward to helping marketers scale their creative management with automation capabilities that will enable intelligent selection, application, and refresh of creative to drive the best results for their Showcase Shopping Ad campaigns.
Contact your account team or Skai Sales if you’re interested in getting started with Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads.