Google launches ‘shop the look’ in the US

Google is launching an interactive experience In fashion and home decoration, allowing consumers to ‘shop the look’.

Content around advertising has become a critical part of the customer journey, and the search engine will now bring images posted by bloggers into search results.

The images powering Shop the Look come from brands, bloggers, retailers and publishers, which are sourced from Google’s trusted partners such as LIKEtoKNOW.it., Yahoo’s Polyvore, and Curalate, a visual content platform that works with 850 top brands to connect the dots between people browsing online and completing an action.

For Shop the Look, Curalate supplied lifestyle imagery from retailers like Crate and Barrel, Forever 21, Neiman Marcus, and others to populate Google Shopping results, and then connected the products within those images to direct links to purchase.

Google Shopping Senior Product Manager Melissa Hsieh Nikolic explained in a blog post that Google will charge retailers on a cost-per-click basis and report all impressions and clicks within existing Shopping campaigns.

Searching for images for “holiday looks,” for example, could serve up in query results the most popular fashion blogger wearing a black cocktail dress, heels and handbag. Searchers can shop for those exact or visually similar products featured in the image by tapping through the item to explore the relevant products shown in the form of Shopping Ads.

Google estimates that 90 per cent of smartphone users say they are not absolutely sure which specific brand they want to buy when they begin shopping, and nearly half of US readers consult blogs to find new trends and ideas, which is probably one reason Google developed the feature.
Mobile spend for product listing ads (PLAs) grew 135 per cent in the second quarter, while clicks grew 147 per cent, according to the Merkle Q2 2016 Digital Marketing Report.

Research shows that images are a strong element on the page attracting searchers to a product in query results. In Merkle’s Google Shopping PLA Playbook, the agency explains that the overall paid search growth by Google Shopping PLAs rose 73 per cent for clicks in the second quarter of 2016, compared with ad spend of 43 per cent. CPCs for the Google Shopping PLAs fell 17 per cent, confirming that images are one of the most successful paid-search formats.