Google announces new omni-channel features ahead of holiday shopping season

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 1 Nov, 2017
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Google AdWords has released new features and tools to help marketers coordinate their online and offline marketing efforts to deliver effective results.

omni channel marketing

Shoppers today are savvy and typically research products extensively online before making a purchase. But they don’t always buy digitally, making it difficult for marketers to convert more prospects and track customer journeys. The latest Google tools are designed to bridge this gap, aiming to drive more offline sales with online ads and to provide actionable insights based on the data gathered. 

Showcase Shopping ads

Showcase Shopping adverts give marketers a chance to explore a new AdWords experience. With Google research showing 40% of shopping related searches focus on broad terms, this tool helps brands raise their profile when shoppers are still exploring. Initially available in 15 countries, marketing experts can curate lifestyle images that reflect their brand ethos and target market to encourage prospects to find out more.

Trials show promising lead generation for marketers, with users searching for a brand’s terms twice as often after they’ve expanded that brand’s Showcase Shopping advert.

showcase shopping ads

Local inventory for Google Assistant

The local inventory tool connects online marketing efforts with physical sales in a store. Shoppers that know what they’re looking for can use voice activated assistants to find places with the right stock nearby. It’s ideal for businesses that stock impulse buys or are seeking to attract last minute shoppers. Through keeping your local product inventory feed well updated, you can organically bring online shoppers into your store.

local assistant inventory

You could already be appearing in the relevant query results but marketers who want to give their store an extra push have the option to use promoted local experiences.

Store visits measurement reports

Assessing the offline impact of your online advertising can be difficult, but Google is expanding the reporting available to address this.

In the coming months, display advertisers will be able to take advantage of impression based store visits reporting, measuring store visits without needing click throughs. It will give marketers information on how long it takes users to visit a store after viewing an ad, providing vital data on ad effectiveness in keeping brand top of mind.

Google also announced three further new reports in AdWords for store visits:

  • Time lag report - see how long it takes for users to visit a store after clicking on your ad
  • New vs returning customer report (coming soon) - see how much of your sales comes from repeat business
  • Demographic report - add store visits to your existing demographic reports

For full details, see Google’s blog post on these features.

Local extensions

Local extensions are available across search, display, and YouTube, helping marketers steer potential consumers in the direction of useful information such as store times and locations. With the right information at their fingertips, customers can be encouraged to head into a store to make the purchase they’ve found online. Coupled with the new local inventory feature detailed above, it helps marketers create an omni-channel experience that complements the different strands of the business.

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