What’s New In Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase Shopping Ads became available to UK advertisers in 2018. They appeared for generic search queries and consisted of 3 product images and a merchant name. Since we covered the benefits of running Showcase Shopping Ads in January, Google has updated the capabilities and reach of this relatively new ad format. To be more specific, Google:

  • announced a new video feature for Showcase Shopping Ads in September
  • seems to be testing the showing of Showcase Shopping Ads for more search queries
Google screen shot of search resuults for mirror
The new video feature for Showcase Shopping Ads was announced in September 2018

Showcase Shopping Video Ads

In September, Google announced that they would be allowing advertisers to show a video in their Showcase Shopping Ad. At the time of writing, it does not seem that UK advertisers can create videos yet, which means that we cannot yet confirm how long the video can be and other specifications – though a Search Engine Land post from November states that the video can be of any length, Google did not mention this in their announcement.

What we can tell from Google’s news is that:

  • the video will show in the space where the 3 product images once were, above the merchant name
  • whereas previously there was nothing below the merchant name in the ad, in Showcase Shopping Video Ads there will be 4 thumbnail product images
  • when the user clicks anywhere on the ad except the video, they will be led to the second level of the ad, namely the category of Product Listings Ads

Although a Search Engine Land post from September states that the video will play after the user clicks on it, Google did not mention this in their announcement so we cannot be sure whether the video will auto-play in the search results or not.

Showcase Shopping Beyond Generic Search

In the run-up to the holiday season, advertisers in the USA noticed that Showcase Shopping Ads started to show for more specific search queries and for branded search queries.

In 2019 advertisers will have even more opportunities to help users better understand their brand and the ability to establish their brand identity earlier on, in the very first level of the ad.

If this is the direction Google is heading in, then advertisers will be able to show more of their product range and get even more users engaged with their brand as the search queries that Showcase Shopping Ads are eligible to show for become more and more specific.

Moreover, the targeting of branded search queries in combination with the introduction of video will help designers and manufacturers to better differentiate themselves from their resellers in Google Shopping for searches of their brand. After all, there’s often little difference between one image for a product and another image for the same product, especially if the resellers have been allowed to use the brand’s own images. And unless the brand is extremely niche, it cannot be understood just by looking at three products.

Google Shopping Advertising In 2019

In 2018 Showcase Shopping Ads gave advertisers equal opportunity to be visible in the shopping results for generic search and more opportunities to engage users and promote themselves through images and text.

In 2019 advertisers will have even more opportunities to help users better understand their brand and the ability to establish their brand identity earlier on, in the very first level of the ad.

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