Google Uses Shopping Ads to Promote Products Available on Google Express

By — 11.16.17

As Google adds more retailers to their Google Express marketplace, many of us have been asking, “what’s next?” We may have our answer.

On Wednesday, we spotted a Shopping ad that lists “Google Express” in place of the retailer name. The ad led to a product page on Google Express. The item is sold by Costco, but brokered by Express. It appears the ads being served are limited to household products carried by Costco. We can assume this is a test between Google and the discount store.

After reaching out to Google for more information, we learned these ads are designed to help brands without a direct to consumer (D2C) website sell more products on the Google Express marketplace. 

This appears to be Google’s first major effort to use ads to drive shoppers to their marketplace. After the testing period, we’ll see more of these ads roll out as Google competes with Amazon to become the top destination for product searches.

While we’re not sure how Google currently charges for this program, we believe this creates two possible revenue streams. The first is through ad clicks that are paid for by the brands themselves. The second is through a commission the retailer pays to Google after a purchase is made. This commission will influence effective CPCs (eCPCs). These two payments could allow Google to outbid other advertisers competing in the auction, effectively driving more traffic to their marketplace. Once Google confirms how these ads are purchased, we’ll share it here.

You may be wondering what this means for Purchases on Google, a beta project that allows shoppers to buy products shown in a Shopping ad via a Google-hosted landing page. While the product has never gone live, it seems logical that Google will combine these two initiatives.

While we have more questions than answers, it’s clear that these ads will result in a major shift in how products are advertised and sold online.

Have you seen these ads? Share your thoughts below!

 


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