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Google Images Gets Shoppable Ads for Mobile and Desktop

Google says that when folks research a product they’re considering buying, many skip past and instead head straight to its image search engine to see what comes up.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Instagram and Pinterest, Google is now testing shoppable ads within image search results that allow you to click through and make a purchase in a few quick steps.

The company has included ads in Google Images results on mobile for a while, but making them shoppable means retailers can add tags that show the price and brand name of the displayed product, or of multiple products shown in a single image. Tapping on an item offers up more information about it, and takes you a step closer to the checkout.

In a blog post this week outlining shoppable ads on Images, Google’s Surojit Chatterjee said his team is currently testing the feature “on a small percentage of traffic with select retailers, surfacing on broad queries like ‘home office ideas,’ ‘shower tile designs,’ and ‘abstract art.’”

So how would it work in practice? Chatterjee offers an example: “Let’s say a shopper is searching for home office ideas on her mobile device or desktop and goes to Google Images to explore ideas around how to organize her room. She can scroll through the images, hover over any sponsored ad with the price tag, and see the items for sale in the image — along with prices, the brand, and more.”

Chatterjee said the plan is to expand the feature to more categories over the coming months.

The online giant is also bringing its Showcase Shopping ads to Images. This lets sellers group together a selection of related products and present them together to introduce their  brand.

Chatterjee said that putting Showcase Shopping ads in Images has the potential to offer consumers “a more inspirational and rich visual experience.”

“Today’s consumers are interacting with us across a multitude of touchpoints, searching and asking for ideas,” Chatterjee said. “To help inspire them, we’re continually thinking of ways to create better shopping experiences.” An improved online shopping experience is to be welcomed for sure, though admittedly our wallet may wince at the idea of anything that makes it even easier to buy stuff.

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