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New ways to be there and be useful for mobile shoppers

It comes as little surprise to many of us, but mobile’s share of online retail purchases continues to grow. In 2016, 34% of online retail purchases in the US happen on mobile.1 And it’s not just the purchases themselves. It’s the explosion of ‘I-need-some-ideas,’ ‘which-one’s-best?’ and ‘I-want-to-buy-it’ micro-moments happening on Google that lead to those purchases. In fact, mobile shopping searches on Google have increased by 30% in the last year.2

Retailers have asked us to help make it easier for them to be there and be useful during these mobile moments. Here’s what we’ve been working on:

Introducing shopping ads on image search 

Whether they’re looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most.3 And it turns out, the top questions Google Images users ask us are 'What's the price of this?’ and ‘Where can I buy it?’

That’s why we are introducing Shopping ads on image search. Now your ads for related products will appear as shoppers browse Google Images, so they can easily click through to buy from you.

Brands like Swarovski are excited about this new visual format.

According to Yelena Aschberger, Vice President of Digital Communication, PR & Events at Swarovski CGB, “Swarovski is an emotional brand and we are always looking for new ways to bring our products into a visually inspiring context. We’re thrilled to be able to leverage Google’s newest formats, particularly Shopping ads on image search which will allow us to engage shoppers and inspire them to desire our brand as they’re browsing and discovering products in our categories.

Your ads are automatically eligible to show on image search as part of the Google Search Network.

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Shopping ads on image search 

Making local inventory ads more useful and accessible 

Searches with local intent - those that include a place name or zip code, or words like “near me” - have doubled in the past year.4 We introduced local inventory ads to help make the inventory in your local stores accessible to people shopping online. This format has been incredibly effective for shoppers and retailers, and we’ve shown them four times more to people looking for local products in the last year.

Starting today you can show people that you offer buy online pickup in store by adding a store pickup link to the Google-hosted local product page. This is the page that appears after a user clicks your local inventory ad.

Kohl’s, a participant in our Store Pick-up pilot program, saw a 40 to 50% increase in clicks from their Google local storefront to the Kohl’s site with this feature.

For advertisers who use local inventory ads, we’re also making your inventory searchable on Google.com in the local Knowledge Panel, a place where shoppers already look for store hours and directions. Together these updates will assure shoppers that what they’re looking for is in stock, bringing more of them into your stores.

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Store Pick-up link

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Searchable inventory in the local Knowledge Panel

Bringing Google Express to more shoppers and retailers 

Google Express continues to drive value for retailers by helping them sell their inventory online and particularly on mobile – with our mobile app accounting for over 50% of orders.

Over 50% of customers brought to retailers by Google Express are new.5 And sales from retailers’ existing customers have grown by 18%.5 On the back of this success, we continue to roll out our overnight delivery service. In June, we’ll launch to over 23M people in Texas and parts of surrounding states, increasing Google Express coverage to over 120M people.

More Purchases on Google 

Last July we launched Purchases on Google. This feature of Shopping ads allows people to easily buy products on mobile through retailer-branded product pages hosted by Google.

Ralph Lauren, UGG, Staples and more of our top advertisers have been testing this feature and seeing strong results. That's not only good for retailers, but also for shoppers who are more easily able to purchase on the go.

According to John Kalinich, Senior Vice President, Global Digital Commerce at Deckers Brands, "It's early days, but we're seeing a nearly 50% increase in conversion rate on our mobile Shopping ads with Purchases on Google and a 25% decrease in our cost per conversion for UGG."

 Staples has seen similar results. “We've added 95% of our products to the Purchases on Google program and within less than a year, we've already seen an improvement in ROAS, compared to mobile shopping ads” says Faisal Masud, EVP of Global E-Commerce at Staples.

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Purchases on Google 

As mobile’s role in shopping continues to grow, being there and being useful to people in their “I need some ideas,” “which one’s best?” and “I want to buy it” micro-moments will drive more online and store sales. Please talk to your Google account team if you’re interested in trying any of these features.     


1. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized data from Google Analytics for US retailers, U.S., April 2016.
2. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized mobile searches that are eligible for a Product Listing Ad, Global, May 10, 2015 - May 9, 2016.
3. Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016, Smartphone users = 1000. Search and purchase on smartphones weekly = 736. Shopping features include the following: Engage with advertisements or messages from a business (click, watch, etc.) Check product availability online or instore, Read reviews from other shoppers and experts, Watch online videos about the product or service, Look at product images for the product or service, Use discounts or offers for a product or service, Contact a store about a product or service, View store locations on a map.
4. Google Trends, U.S., 2015 vs 2014.
5. MasterCard/Google Express incrementality study, 2016