All businesses (especially product sellers) need to understand Google's latest move via the 2022 Marketing Live event
By Phillip Scroggin II | Chief Marketing Nerd, Sol Insights
Shoppers won't just research on Google tools...they'll purchase too.
Google search enhancements
Google knows most of you go to its search engine and YouTube to conduct self-research when in the market for various products. But many shoppers are using Google tools during the beginning and middle of the shopping process - not the end.
Merchants on Google's marketplace will now have the power to enable checkout directly from the search engine. There is a potential concern about reduced total order value, but Google is seeking to reduce the clicks necessary to purchase product using its most popular product.
The changes which will have an even greater impact for both shoppers and merchants are its increased power around visuals. When you shop using google.com, Google wants you to see swipeable ads and 3D models of products. The "view in space" function (perhaps similar to Amazon's feature) is forthcoming and takes advantage of improving A/R tech to help shoppers visualize owning the product pre-purchase.
If you are one of the 81% of Americans who use YouTube, you've noticed Google going all out with YouTube Shorts. Reportedly, YouTube Shorts now average over 30 billion daily views (4x year over year), and Google wants to leverage this feature for advertisers.
For years, YouTube has been a prime influencer in discovering and selecting brands and products. At Google Marketing Live 2022, it was announced that video action campaigns and app campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts. YouTube viewers (and other connected services like YouTube TV) will certainly see more paid media to engage them at every step of the shopping process.
More insights and automation for advertisers
Google wants to use its ads to drive in-store traffic
If you've ever advertised your business with Google Ads, you may have noticed its Performance Max functionality. Performance Max was a big focus of Google Marketing Live 2022, getting significant upgrades to drive in-store sales and boost seasonal foot traffic. The automation power has also been enhanced. I can say from personal experience that Google will go out of its way to ensure your Ads account is optimized using easy automation feature to drive better conversions.
Google Ads Insights should make your job easier
Staying on Google Ads, the Insights page is getting its own set of changes, with as many as three new insight types: first-party viewer/audience insights, attribution insights, and budget insights. The overall objective by Google seems to be helping advertisers see which audiences are driving conversion and how to easily tweak campaigns to enhance performance.
Google Analytics 4 is in, Universal Analytics is out
A topic near and dear, the most popular analytics tool in the World has been changed permanently to reflect new privacy regulations, concerns, and policies. Google (Universal) Analytics is getting phased out and will stop processing new data in July, 2023. It has made way for Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which doesn't store IP addresses and is tailored for a "cookieless" future.
The new look is significant - GA4 features a new home dashboard which updates automatically to reflect your most frequented views and reports. Moreover, GA4 provides insights automatically to help marketers optimize digital flows, media, and campaigns. It seems like Google will favor predictive modeling to provide reporting and insights rather than the historic cookie tracking system and is confident that this system will drive better performance while having stronger data security and regulatory compliance.
The internet king aims to get more of the shopping pie
Google deserves its fair share of criticism, but one must confess that the tech giant is A.) responding to shopper habits with innovative and intuitive improvements to the internet shopping experience, and B.) making it easier to deploy, optimize, and measure marketing campaigns within the Google merchant ecosystem.
For Google's own recap of its Marketing Live 2022, see here. It seems Google is on its way to eating away from Amazon dominance in the shopping journey while also kicking digital-advertising giant Facebook while it's down.
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