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Ads debut on Google's image search

Google has made a move to ensure it's not cut out of the growing mobile commerce trend by launching its own visual shopping ads.

In a blog post published Monday, Jonathan Alferness, Google Shopping’s VP of Product Management, announced Google would begin offering ads in image searches. The move comes as more consumers turn to their mobile phones to shop, and retailers search for impactful ways to reach that audience.

Reach consumers at micro-moments
The search engine is launching its shopping ads on Images in mobile. Mobile users will start seeing a line of sponsored items when they make an image search on Google. Google will also give you the option of sorting products by features like color, type — for example, couch versus recliner if you're looking for sofas — and locations where you could find that product in-stores.

Alferness writes, "the top questions Google Images users ask us are 'What's the price of this?’ and ‘Where can I buy it?’” He goes on to say introduction of these new Images ads make mobile shopping as easy as possible since the ads help answer those questions.

However, as Google increasingly competes against direct searches on mega e-commerce platforms like Amazon, the move also provides Google a value proposition to retailers during the much touted “micro-moments” — impactful online contact points that leave lasting impressions on consumers for when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Store pickup promotion in local inventory ads
As part of its offensive against Amazon, Google's also making its local inventory ads (LIA) — which let stores list which products they have in stock at which locations — more useful. With it, retailers can now include a “store pickup” link for shoppers who want to buy online and pick up their orders in store. The option appears on the local product landing page hosted by Google after a user clicks on an LIA.

Inventory search from local Knowledge Panel
Also new for advertisers running local inventory ads, users will be able to click a “Search items at this store” link in the retailer’s local Knowledge Panel to see whether particular items are in stock at their local stores.

Tags: Google, Technology, Marketing

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