Shoppable Ads on Google Image allows retailers to add a direct purchase feature so consumers can purchase a product — or several — without being redirected and right from the sponsored advertisement. The search giant is also bringing over Showcase Shoppable Ads, a feature that first landed on the text-based search engine and has so far nabbed business from thousands of advertisers across 17 countries.
The idea behind these tools are to help retailers make it simple for consumers to buy at a key moment — while they’re in the “inspiration” phase.
“The top questions that we get in Google Images are ‘What price is this?’ and ‘Where can I buy it?’ It makes a lot of sense. You go to Google Images because you want to get some inspiration,” said Daniel Alegre, Google’s president of retail shopping and payments, onstage. “And once you’ve seen the product you’re looking for, how do you buy it? Fifty percent of online shoppers said that images of the product inspired them to purchase.”
Last month, Google expanded Merchant Center as a platform, and now stores can send product information to Google for free, so it can offer consumers more details on the items they’re interested in.
Visual search has been ramping up for years at places like Pinterest — which just released a set of visual search tools on Monday and whose co-founder and chief executive officer, Ben Silberman, just happened to precede Alegre’s keynote. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, specifically computer vision, the tech looks baked enough to become a major theme at this year’s Shoptalk.