Google to enhance online shopping
Posted: June 6, 2012 | 14:58 ET by Tessa Wegert
If there's one Internet-related activity with which consumers have surprised us, it's online shopping. It took some time for Canadians to get their feet wet (we weren't as quick to hand over our credit card numbers as our American counterparts), but shopping online has since become a critical part of our digital experience. EMarketer reports that Canadians spent $16.5 billion CAD online in 2010, and that this amount will likely double by 2015. According to research firm TNS, 19 percent of Canadians are already using mobile shopping applications while another 12 percent are interested in doing so.
The next step may be to shop with Google. The search and advertising giant announced last week it has begun experimenting with expanded shopping capabilities that include providing shopping options and merchant information in response to searches for products. With Google Shopping, paid search ads will include text, larger images, and product prices – but only for in-stock items.
Consumers have long been relying on search engines to help them research products online, but this new shopping-specific ad model promises to make reaching these shoppers easier for brands. It will replace the Google Product Search option that merchants have currently been using free of charge, but will still offer cost-per-click and cost-per-action pricing as per the Google norm.
It will be some time before Google Shopping is available to Canadian marketers en mass (in the U.S. Google is expected to adopt the new platform in full by the end of the year), but this bodes well for us; by then, trial merchants will have decoded the secret to success. Will Canadians be as open to the shopping options they receive through Google as they are elsewhere in the digital world? Odds are great that they'll embrace this channel just as thoroughly as marketers do.
Tags: Interactive Strategist
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.